Did you know every time your workflow is interrupted you lose an average of 18 minutes. It is due to:

  • searching for something
  • getting up to retrieve an item out of reach
  • thinking about another task you should be doing
  • someone calling or stopping by your office.

Multiply that by the number of interruptions you have in one day and you have just lost a significant amount of productivity. By being organized you can minimize those interruptions.

What Makes One Organizer Better Qualified Than Another One?

Not all organizers have the same knowledge and expertise. To be a professional organizer a minimum of 1500 hours of paid organizing experience, including the knowledge of time management and some background in psychology and behavioural modification is essential. 

In a metropolitan area where there is a large diversity of clientele, an organizer may need a cultural knowledge about different countries, ethnic groups, and religions.

To work with business owners, the knowledge of business management (including the understanding of book keeping and income tax preparation), facilities and records management (manual and electronic) is also essential.

A professional organizer must have integrity, respect, trust and honour. All these prerequisites are the foundation of any respectable business; a responsibility to clients that must be taken extremely seriously.

When hiring a professional organizer you must establish a personal bond and trust almost immediately since this organizer will be sorting through all of your belongings.   By meeting face to face the organizer and the client have the opportunity to connect and the organizer is able to ease the client's fears or concerns.

Please note, rarely can an organizer show you "Before and after" pictures of spaces they worked on because of the confidentiality and code of ethics issues. However, you can browse the Internet for before and after pictures of organized areas for a better idea.

If you need references, the only way an organizer can provide you with some is by having the written permission (signature) of the client because of the confidentiality requirement.

How Do You Know You Need The Help Of An Organizer?

If you feel overwhelmed by your possessions, keep promising yourself you will get organized soon and time keeps slipping away and you still cannot find the time to get organized, a professional organiser might be the answer to your problem.

A professional organizer will help you make the commitment to get organized, assess your obstacles, and find the most effective ways to solve your problems, while focussing on the big picture and keeping you motivated to finish the project.

Are you Too Ashamed To Have An Organizer Look At Your Space?

Professional organizers have seen many clients who have waited and waited to hire them because they are too embarrassed or ashamed or simply feel they do not have time.

You must understand this is what organizers do for a living, meaning help people declutter to reclaim their life and space. Organizers are normally humble and honoured, especially when clients in this situation hire them, because they know the difficult decision these clients have made to reclaim their space.  Organizers greatly respect their clients for this important step forward. Organizers never come into someone’s sacred place (home), or business, with judgment. They come with compassion and a clear vision of what it will look like when the task is completed. Organizers feel their career is extremely fulfilling since they know they helped someone change his or her life completely.

What Should You Expect After Contacting A Professional Organizer?

The first step will be to schedule a need assessment. This gives you an opportunity to meet the organizer, assess the problem areas and discuss the project. At this time, the organizer will help you determine your priorities; map a plan of action with an estimated cost.

What You Need To Do To Prepare For The First Consultation?

You do not need to prepare, pick-up or clean the space to be organized. It is most helpful for the organizer to see your space as it currently is.  It is not the time to go buy organizing products; this comes after a plan is established and items are categorized. The container must fit the content rather than the content fitting the container.

During the need assessment meeting, the organizer should provide you with a "Keep or purge questionnaire", a detailed list of "What to discard" and information about "How to let go of possessions with sentimental value" and a copy of his/her business' code of ethics.

How Long Does An Organizing Project Take?

Every client situation is unique. It depends on the size of the space, the amount of items, how long you will take to make a decision and the amount of time the organizer and you can work together without interruptions or distractions. Some projects may take a few hours others can take several days. A professional organizer can provide you with a "To do list" for those areas you feel you can handle on your own.

What Is The Cost Of Getting Organized?

It is only at the end of a consultation that the time and costs involved can adequately be estimated.  The organizer understands you may only want a “rough estimate” over the phone, but until the organizer actually sees your space, he/she cannot begin to determine which things require time and expertise and which things can be improved or resolved with just some helpful tips and solutions.  

What is the cost for the services of a professional organizer?

There are a number of factors when considering rates.

  • The services being offered: Generally speaking, services for a business are more expensive than residential because of the knowledge and expertise required by a professional organizer to properly systematize a business environment.  The nice break for a business is that it can write off the cost of these services as a taxable expense.
  • The organizer's  level of expertise based on :
    • the  variety of the services offered
    • the training specialization i.e., providing guidelines on how to let go of possessions with sentimental value, or knowing how to work with hoarders and their family, etc.
    • how long his/her business has been in operation
    • the certification, i.e., is the organizer offering individual or group classes or teaching individuals wanting to establish an organizing business, and the associations he/she belongs to.
  • The area going rate and how far he/she has to travel to get to provide the service.
    • If an organizer resides in a small town, it is not realistic to charge as much as one who lives in a metropolitan area.
    • If an organizer charges too much, he/she may lose business to the competition.
    • Keep in mind, however, that if he/she charges less, clients may perceive the quality of the services as inferior.
    • The organizer must take into consideration the price of gas and vehicle usage. The automobile allowance rates, for the government, for 2013 and2014, are: 54¢ per kilometer for the first 5,000 kilometers.

Do You Believe You Cannot Afford To Hire A Professional Organizer?

Therefore, here are the questions to ask yourself:

  • How much is your time worth to you?
  • How many hours, days or weeks would it take you to sort through all of your stuff?  An organizer will takes less than a third of the time you would spend doing it yourself.
  • How much time have you wasted in the past searching for things you could not find?
  • How much more did you spend buying items you already have but could not find?
  • How many times have you organized your home or business in the past only to have seen it return to chaos because your system did not actually work?
  • What is the value of peace and serenity in your life?
  • What has been the emotional cost? 
  • What keeps you up at night? 
  • Do you run through a list of things you have to do the next day, or that you did not get done today?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and anxious when you look around you? 
  • Has your relationship with your family or friends suffered because of the chaos? 
  • Have you stopped inviting people into your home?
  • Do you feel shame or guilt and avoid having people over or circumvent hiring a professional to help you out.

Eventually this shame leads to depression.  

Everyone can afford to get organized when you stop to think about the alternatives. Then, first consider you have the easily measurable alternative to benefit from  - "Time".  The truth is you cannot afford NOT to get organized!

Do You Need To Throw Things Away During An Organization Session?

You will never be pressured by a professional organizer to discard items you are not ready to part with. The job of the organizer is to guide you through the process of determining what is most important to you and creating spaces for those things.

An organizer will also know the locations of local charities if you elect to make donations, for which in some cases you can obtain an income tax receipt. The organizer must be aware of the proper disposal methods to be followed during the decluttering process with respect to the environment.  This means adhering to the area’s recycling policy regarding garbage disposal regulations, toxin/chemical disposal, e-waste and metal recycling.

Some People Cannot Make Decisions About What To Discard - A Professional Organiser Can Help!

A professional organizer understands how difficult it can be for you to decide what things should stay close at hand, what should go in a bin to "Charity" or to the "Dump".  This is precisely why you need the help of an organizer! The attachment of a professional organiser is to you, the client, since he/she does not have an emotional attachment to your possessions.  Without that attachment the organizer can be very practical and realistic.  One of the things an organizer does best is to help you make the best decisions in a way that respects your feelings and values! A professional organizer is highly trained and it is these skills that make the experience and investment so worthwhile.

Can Clients Obtain Directions To Get Organized On Their Own?

Organizers will certainly be happy to give you guidance, directions and even a step by step plan.  However, this rarely works, unless you are determined, committed and self-disciplined.  How many times have you tried to do it on your own?  It all comes down to is time, knowledge and the help of a professional organizer to keep you focused.

You Live With A Lot Of clutter ... Are You A Hoarder?

There is a difference about having piles or some misplaced items and hoarding. The clinical definition of hoarding is the acquisition of, and failure to discard a large number of possessions that appear to be of useless or limited value. Also it is defined by living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which those spaces were designed. Included, is a significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding.

Clutterers as opposed to hoarders are able to throw things away and take out the trash. They are unlikely to allow their clutter to get to such an extreme point that it is holding back their lives. Their clutter does not restrict their freedom or comfort to the extreme that a hoarder's accumulation does.

Do You Have To Be Present During The Reorganization Process?

It is important that you and your family, using common sense taking age into consideration, participate in the planning of your new organized space. Your whole family must be involved in the decision-making process to ensure you maintain the new system after the organizer has completed the task. Do not throw away anything that does not belong to you; treat others the way you want to be treated.

Every project is different and there are many steps an organizer can do alone as well as things you can do on your own. This option can be discussed and worked into your plan according to your needs.

Can The Children Be At Home While You Are Getting Organized?

The choice is entirely up to you; but if a room is their own - taking into consideration their age - they must participate. One thing to take into consideration is that having young children at home during your organizing sessions may increase the length of time it takes to complete your project, resulting in a higher cost.  It may be in your best interest to consider having your spouse, a relative or a friend watch your children during those sessions.

How Do You Pay For The Services Of An Organizer?

Payment is normally requested immediately after the service is rendered, unless other arrangements have been agreed upon in advance.  Most large projects will require a deposit to begin the work.  Payment can be made in cash, check or credit card depending on the organizer's policy.

What Is The Policy relatively To A Cancellation?

Organizers understand that life happens. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, normally you will need to call at least 48 hours in advance.  Appointments cancelled or rescheduled with less than 48 hours notice will be charged a predetermined fee.  This policy takes into consideration that both the time of people involved is valuable.

Is There A Policy Regarding Confidentiality?

All organizers must have a policy in respect with confidentiality. All information seen, heard or discussed, as well as, all business transactions and personal information acquired will be held in the strictest confidence. Normally professional organizing businesses obey by a code of ethics. It is your right to request a signed copy from your professional organizer before he/she starts the project to ensure your private life is safeguarded. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

If you have other questions you would like answered please contact Marie Morrell at office@workeasycolution.com.


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