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How to Hire a Professional Organizer

After years of failed New Year’s resolutions—and even being told you should be on Dr. Phil—you’ve decided to hire someone to get your home organized. Now what do you do?

Instructions

  • Step 1: Contact the pros For referrals, contact the National Association of Professional Organizers (found online at www.napo.net), or just type 'professional organizer' into a search engine.
  • Step 2: Ask about price Ask about price. Fees vary widely based on geographic location, experience, and the type of services provided. Most organizers charge an hourly fee that ranges from $25 to more than $200. But some work on a fixed-fee basis, and some use a combination of hourly and fixed fees.
  • Step 3: Interview them Interview several people before making your choice. Some questions to ask: What is your background and training? How long have you been in the business? What is your particular area of expertise? Are you a member of a professional association? Do you have references?
  • Step 4: Get a proposal Ask the organizer to take a look around your home and offer an initial proposal on what they’d do. This should give you a good idea of how their mind works, and whether you two are on the same page.
  • Step 5: Explain your goals Tell the organizer what you hope to achieve with their help. The more specific you can be about the end result you want, the better able they will be to help you achieve it.
  • TIP: Don’t be the kind of person who cleans the house before the maid comes; an organizer needs to be able to see what your normal clutter looks like.
  • Step 6: Make sure you click Make sure you click. Ask yourself if you’ll feel comfortable having this person spend a lot of time in your home going through your things. If you feel intimidated by her, or she seems domineering or inflexible, don’t hire her—no matter how good she seems at her job.
  • Step 7: Get it in writing Once you’ve settled on an organizer, make sure you put in writing exactly what you expect them to accomplish.
  • Step 8: Negotiate fee Don’t just accept the quoted rate; see if you can negotiate something lower. Now go reclaim your life!
  • FACT: Americans spend 55 minutes a day looking for things they know they own but can't find, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers.

You Will Need

  • Due diligence
  • A clear vision
  • Negotiating skills

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