5 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Professional Organizer

Hint: make sure your goals are aligned before you start working together.


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Is your kitchen a disaster? Do you spend fifteen minutes trying to find shoes every morning? Not sure where you put that first aid kit in an emergency? You might want to think about hiring a professional organizer. But with so many different organizing services available, choosing the right one can feel stressful. Communication is key and can make the entire process easier from start to finish. Here’s what professional organizers suggest asking before you hire them.

What Are Your Rates?

Every project has a budget and you want to make sure that you hire someone who won’t exceed yours or become unaffordable. It’s also important to understand there isn’t a standard fee structure in the industry and it can vary greatly between organizers. “Rates can range anywhere from $50 an hour for someone on the newer side to upwards of $250 an hour for a more seasoned professional. It is also key to know whether your organizer does a project rate or an hourly rate and how many organizers they will be bringing,” explains professional organizer Jennifer Jarrett of Jenuinely Contained.

She also notes that some organizers have packages or minimums. “You want to get a good sense of the investment you will be making into this project and into working with a particular organizer.”

What Is Your Process?

Much like rates, every organizer works differently. It’s a good idea to get a sense of how they work before they're officially hired. “Some organizers work alone, in which case your involvement might be more essential. Some organizers work in large teams and do the bulk of the work, bringing you in only to make decisions about what stays, what goes, and to talk through placement with you,” says Jarrett.

What Does the Service Include?

Some organizers charge additional fees for shopping, while others include it in the cost. The same applies to trash disposal. Professional organizer Sam Lund of Simply Sam tells me, “Our services include planning, shopping, pulling everything out, sorting, decluttering, organizing, putting everything back, labeling, and removing all trash and giveaway. We also offer handyman services if needed.”

However, most professional organizers do not include bins and containers in their cost because it can vary greatly from project to project. So, the price of materials should be considered when estimating the total cost of the project and service.

Do We Have the Same Goals When It Comes to Organizing?

Once you’ve hired the right person, it’s important to ask about their vision for not only what your space will look like, but also how it will function. Keep in mind that spaces that "wow" visually aren’t always the most functional for the people living in them. Jarrett explains, “You don't want to end up in a situation where you and your organizer are working towards different end goals. Do you want your playroom to look like an Instagram post or do you want it to be all about function? Being clear on what you want can assist in the selection process when it comes to choosing the right organizer for you.”

What If I Want Something Changed?

Sometimes an organizer will complete a project and you won’t like it or their systems simply won’t work for you and your family. “While we try to ask our clients a bunch of questions, we can never know if we got everything exactly right for how they live,” says Lund. “I always tell my client the point of organizing is not to always get it right the first time, but to learn more about how you live in your home, and make it easier to shift systems once you are living in your organized space. Something that may have taken you two hours to shift around before can now take five minutes. “

It’s a smart idea to ask if re-dos are a part of their rate or perhaps can be performed at a discount. Still, communication is key with any service, and expressing your goals, needs, and wants from the start is the best way to ensure the end product is something you’re happy with.

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