Whether you’re tired of always being short on time or frustrated at the state of your garage, the reasons for turning to professional organizers are as varied and unique as the people who hire them.
At POC, we want to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make an informed decision about finding and hiring an organizer that’s a perfect fit for your specific needs. To help, we’ve answered some of the most common questions that we get asked in this FAQ list.
Select a question to view the answer.
A professional organizer is someone who provides information, products and assistance to help individuals and businesses achieve their specific organizing needs.
Here is what you can expect when you hire a professional organizer:
- Guidance, encouragement and education to help reduce your stress and gain control.
- A supportive approach where the professional organizer actively listens to your needs.
- Focus and direction to address your organizational challenges.
- A non-judgemental mindset that is focused on helping to reduce your stress.
- Extreme dedication with the goal of helping you do more in less time, with more energy.
- A commitment to professional excellence and adherence to POC’s strict code of ethics.
A professional organizer offers both consulting as well as hands-on organizing services, giving you the skills and tools you need to banish that awful feeling of being overwhelmed.
Like other professionals, many organizers have an area of specialization, and bring different areas of expertise, certifications and skills to the table.
The three broad service areas of professional organizing comprise:
- Small and home office
- Corporate organizing
Within those broader areas professional organizers may assist with time management, paper management, clutter control, chronic disorganization, behaviour modification, space planning, filing, organizing coaching, wardrobes, closet systems, event planning, errands, personal shopping, financial management, downsizing, packing/moving, records management, and so much more.
Some professional organizers work with specific populations such as, seniors, children, students, and people with ADD, hoarding issues or who are chronically disorganized. Some organizers specialize in specific niche professions such as healthcare/medical or legal offices. Others offer products, seminars and workshops on organizing or targeting a specific organizing subject.
A cleaning service will come into your home or office and clean it from top to bottom. But a professional organizer gets to the root of the issue and then creates a plan to help you put the processes and systems in place to keep your home or office organized.
In other words, when you hire a professional organizer you will have the skills in place to keep your home or office organized and tidy.
Most of the time a professional organizer will work with you in your home or office, but sometimes that’s just not possible – particularly if you live in a rural or remote area.
Thanks to the internet and digital technology, virtual organization is now possible. Simply use our Find an Organizer search tool and select “Virtual Organizing” from the Special Needs section.
You may want to start by asking trusted friends and colleagues for any recommendations.
POC has a professional organizer database that is easy to use. You can search by company name, or use the advanced search options to search by years of experience, geographic location and/or area of expertise.
Just as you would if you were hiring a contractor, lawyer or any other service professional, you need to look at expertise, background and skills. Equally as important, take time to evaluate the organizer’s personality and communication style during your preliminary call to see if you “click” and are comfortable with the organizer.
The organizer that is right for you will be an active listener, and gather information about your lifestyle or work routine. He or she will take the time to find out what you’ve tried in the past and why it hasn’t worked. They will develop an organizing system that is tailored to your needs. The organizing skills and processes must fit with your style, so that they are sustainable.
Please note: Ideally, you should talk to two or three organizers before making a decision. Email or telephone conversations are almost always free, but be aware that if you want an on-site assessment or consultation organizers may charge for their time.
Important questions to ask may include:
- What are your areas of expertise?
- Have you done similar projects?
- How long have you been a professional organizer?
- What training or certifications do you have?
- Can you outline your approach/process?
- May I get references?
- Do you provide me with a written proposal and/or contract?
- Do you have insurance?
- How do you charge for your fees – hourly, by the project or otherwise?
Will I be working directly with you, or will you be assigning an employee?
Some organizers base their fees on the overall project, and others charge an hourly rate. Others might offer special packages. Hourly rates can vary. An organizer’s rate is based on a variety of factors including:
- Years of experience
- Certifications and training
- Area of expertise
- Geographic location
- Travel required
While pricing may be a consideration when choosing a professional organizer, it should never be the sole criterion for making a final decision. Experience, expertise and a good fit are all important considerations.
POC does not recommend hiring a professional organizer on behalf of another person unless they have specifically requested you to do so, or unless you are hiring an office organizer to come in and train staff members. To be truly effective, organizers need to know their clients are as committed as they are to effecting true change.
Often, persons with hoarding issues will not approach a professional organizer until pressured by family members or landlords to make changes. Download an informative tip sheet for information about hoarding issues.
Trust is a key part of the relationship between you and the professional organizer you hire.
When you select a POC member, you know that this person has taken important professional development steps to further his or her career. POC members are committed to professional excellence and adhere to a strict code of ethics.
To become a POC Trained Professional Organizer there is a comprehensive training program, followed by an exam. Only POC members who go through the training and testing process will receive this designation.
POC encourages members to take ongoing education. All of our Chapters offer regular meetings where organizers share the latest organizing techniques, products and practices to keep on top of trends and industry knowledge.