15 Jun Hiring a Professional Organizing Service You Can Trust
A disorganized space hurts our concentration, wastes time and energy, and can even cause physical stress. That’s why more and more people are choosing to enlist a professional organizing service.
Professional organizers are available in virtually every city. They specialize in helping people get organized in all types of situations. Perhaps you’re upsizing or downsizing your home, inheriting property, or adding to your family. Or perhaps it’s finally time to clean up the problem area in your office.
When you’re ready to find the right partner to fight clutter, you need to find someone you can trust. Learn what to look for when you hire a professional organizing service.
Hiring a professional organizer is very similar to hiring other types of service providers. Meet with two or three organizers. Then apply the same business best practices you would in other situations:
First, your professional organizer should have proper insurance, including liability insurance. You should be able to ask to see proof of insurance and the insurance company to verify it. Ask exactly what the policy covers. Likewise, inquire with your own agent if you aren’t sure what your homeowner’s policy covers.
A Cancellation Policy
Next, ask about potential cancellations. What happens when either you or the organizer can’t make it with little notice? A trustworthy organizer will have a plan.
It’s the organizer’s job to comb through your personal belongings. Therefore, they should be able to explain how they plan to proceed in delicate situations. This may include handling personal documents or objects of great sentimental value. Furthermore, some people feel embarrassed about their disorganization. If that describes you, make sure you can trust the organizer’s discretion.
A Written Contract
Most important, ask for a contract. Any contractor you work with should put your agreement in writing. This way, you clarify the terms of your relationship. Read it carefully and ask about anything you don’t understand.
Anyone can claim that they’re a professional organizer. To make sure you’re dealing with someone legitimate, take these steps:
Ask For References
The organizer will likely include testimonials or previous work on their website. However, you can also ask for contact information for other clients who had similar needs. Checking with references is a great way verify that they’re experienced. Another route is to ask your network for recommendations. You could also visit a site like Angie’s List that reviews contractors.
Check For a Physical Office
Next, check the physical address. Plenty of amateur organizers work from their homes or organize part-time as a hobby. However, a well-established and successful professional organizing service will generally have an office.
Experience is particularly relevant if you have a specific organizational need. Some professional organizers specialize in certain types of organizing, such as hoarding issues or personal paperwork. This respected personal organizer suggests noting the organizer’s past employers to get a feel for their professional background.
Certifications and Affiliations
A professional organization exists for just about everything and yes, there is one for organizers. An organizer becomes a CPO® or Certified Professional Organizer by passing a test and adopting a code of ethics. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) administers this certification. NAPO explains, “CPO®s embody a professional ideal that includes a proven level of knowledge, an ethical approach, and requisite experience. Professional organizers who have successfully completed the steps of becoming a CPO® have shown they are committed and serious about their work.” Comparable organizations exist in Canada, Australia, and other countries.
Find a Good Personal Fit
This person will be spending a lot of time with you and in your home. They will handle objects you cherish. Make sure that you get along with them personally and share a vision.
The best organizers should be able to articulate their personal approaches to organization and what inspired them, as this article suggests. They should listen to you carefully as you describe your organizational goals and indicate that they’ve truly heard your needs. This includes a discussion of how involved you personally want to be — or should be — in the organization process.
Trust your gut regarding your relationship with this person. They should put you at ease and keep your values and objectives in mind as they work.
For more questions to ask your potential organizer, check out this list from NAPO.