Professional organizers offer wonderful services that can positively impact your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, which is why it might shock you when I say that you might not need one.
While it is gaining traction as a useful and empowering service, professional organizing is still a relatively young and niche profession. Most people have discovered it through social media’s depictions of perfectly curated bookshelves and deliciously organized closets— which is super fun and pretty, but it doesn’t showcase the full scope of what a professional organizer can do for you.
So if you’re curious about whether or not you need to help of a professional organizer, this post is for you! By asking yourself these few simple questions, you’ll know within minutes if it is (or is not) the best move for your organizing needs.
NOTE: For the sake of those of you who aren’t familiar, I wanted to disclose that I am, in fact, a professional organizer myself. Obviously, that may influence how you interpret what I have to say— and that’s completely fair! Just know that I tried my best to be as fair and objective in my assessments as possible. Thank you for reading!
What type of assistance do you need?
Professional organizers are a handy group because they tend to offer a wide range of services. And while some specialize in particular niches, they’re often flexible and will work with you to meet your unique needs. Here are some of the most common tasks organizers can help with:
physical decluttering and organizing
hauling unwanted items to charities
moving assistance (i.e. packing and unpacking boxes)
digital organizing (i.e. emails, filing, database streamlining, etc.)
Generally speaking, though, there are some services organizers don’t offer:
chores (i.e. laundry)
cleaning (beyond simple dusting, sanitizing, etc.)
Again, this varies with each organizer, but these services are rarely provided. It’s far better to pursue hiring a nanny, cleaning company, or other service to fill those needs.
Does your project require professional help?
Would you hire an electrical contractor to help you change a light bulb? Hopefully not. The same principle applies to organizers— it may be helpful to have an expert on hand, but it might not be truly necessary. Here are some valid reasons you may want or need professional help:
you don’t have the support you need to complete your project
your project is too difficult or time-consuming for you to handle alone
you’re completely stuck on your project and don’t know how to proceed
you want advice and assistance from someone with lots of experience
Of course, if you’re ever unsure, you can always reach out to an organizer directly and inquire whether or not they feel their services are warranted. They may offer to assist you virtually, or make themselves available to answer your questions; this can be just as helpful while being far less expensive. And if you still feel like you just need that extra pair of experienced hands, they’ll be more than happy to assist you!
Do you need long-term help, or short-term help?
In many ways, finding the right organizer is similar to finding the right therapist: you want to go in knowing exactly what you need and how long you’ll need it. Some organizers prefer to work with their clients every week, month, or quarter while others visit as often (or not often) as they’re needed. Here are some good questions to ask yourself before propositioning an organizer:
If you’re working in a physical space, how large is it? Does it span across more than one room? How physically demanding is the project? Will it take more than one organizer to finish? How much are you looking to donate/trash/sell?
If you’re working in a digital space, what software do you use? Will you be working with sensitive files or information? Are you comfortable with someone else moving them around? Does the project involve physical documents at all?
Are you in a good position (financially, physically, mentally, etc.) to start working on this project for an extended period of time? How much are you willing/able to invest in finishing it?
It’s best to be upfront about your needs from the get-go so you both understand the level of commitment that’s required. And if the organizer can’t or won’t be able to do what you need, see if negotiations can be made, or simply look elsewhere.
How much are you willing to pay?
Since most professional organizers are self-employed (and there is no standard wage for this position), they set their rates as they see fit. Here are some things that may influence how much an organizer chooses to charge:
their level of competency and experience
how long it takes to complete the project
if there is just one organizer vs. a team of them
if they need a vehicle to transport items to/from a site
the cost of supplies (organizing accessories, tools, etc.)
Ultimately, it’s up to you as the potential client to compare the rates of organizers in your area and decide if it’s a worthy investment. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend looking through their client reviews, if they have any: happy and unhappy customers alike tend to share if they feel their money was well-spent.
At the end of the day, the number-one tip I’d give to those considering hiring a professional organizer is to do your research. If you have multiple organizers in your area, look into how well their method fits what you are looking for, how highly they’re recommended, and how much they charge. Discuss your needs openly and don’t be afraid to ask for second opinions. Lastly, make an honest attempt on your own first, and if the project ends up feeling too challenging, then absolutely hire a professional!
And if you’ll indulge me for a moment of shameless self-promotion, I’ve been a professional organizer for nearly 10 years now and I’ve helped dozens of families achieve clarity and peace through organization. So if you’re looking for assistance with decluttering, organizing, or moving homes— or if you’re looking for FREE materials on how to organize your life like a professional— KMA Organizing is here to help!
My Services: Link
FREE General Organizing Guide: Link
FREE Overcoming Overwhelm Guide: Link