Ballpark Estimate: $30 to $150 an hour
If you feel like you are drowning in clutter, maybe it’s time to call a professional organizer to the rescue. Professional organizers can be invaluable in helping you come up with a customized plan to clean up your space and manage it over time, so you can minimize your stress and free up your attention to focus more on your work and your family.
Creating Order Out of Chaos
Is your garage so full you can’t fit your car inside? Or perhaps you have a spare bedroom that is so filled with laundry and packages that you can’t see the floor. Or maybe your bills and mail are out of control. Whatever your situation, a professional organizer may be just what you need to help take control of your mess and create order out of your personal chaos.
Professional organizers can be helpful in a wide range of situations, from time-management challenges and office disarray to laundry malfunctions, closets bursting at the seams and general issues of disorganization. They can also help you clean your home if you plan to put it on the market, or create an organization system for a new home so you can keep control of your belongings right from the start when you move in, before things get out of hand again.
Better yet, you can count on a professional with organizational skills to do as much—or as little—as you need, from creating a strategy that you can implement yourself to actually sitting down beside you and sorting through the mess.
And while professional organizers can make a big difference in cleaning up the clutter, they can also help you keep it in check from here on in. The best professional organizers are trained to be able to effectively evaluate you and your life and organizational style and to come up with the strategies, as well as the resources and products, you will need to be successful in creating, and sticking with, a long-term plan.
Developing Customized Solutions
Organizing is a very personal thing. What works for one person may not work for someone else when it comes to rethinking a home space or office environment. An effective professional organizer must be able to understand your unique style and to determine what will work best for you, within your time frame, your setting and your situation.
As one professional organizer explains, the best way to help a person clean up a mess it to get to the root of how the mess happened in the first place. This is probably good advice, since the disarray didn’t happen on its own, and you need to have an action plan in place that is customized to help you specifically address your weak spots. You also have to be able to understand what has stopped you from being able to organize things on your own. Only once you address these issues will you be able to proceed in manageable steps and prevent the same disarray from happening again and again.
Signs You Need Help
If your life is a mess, you probably already know that you can use an expert to step in. But if you are on the fence, here are some important signs that would indicate you would benefit from an organizer’s expertise:
- You feel overwhelmed by the amount of things you have in your home or office space.
- You wish you could become more productive throughout the day but aren’t sure how to get started.
- You constantly spend time looking for things you’ve misplaced.
- Your closets, drawers and even spare rooms are bursting at the seams.
- You continually start cleaning and sorting through your mess but never seem to get anywhere on your own.
- Your children’s rooms are such a mess the kids can never find anything they need.
- Your pile of bills is taller than your vase of wilted flowers on the table.
- When you open your kitchen cabinets, all of your pots, as well as a few spare socks and toys, come tumbling out.
If any of these or a host of other, similar scenarios rings a bell, you probably could use some help coming up with a customized plan to take your life back under your own control. Let an organizer come up with a series of tips and techniques that you can put to work in your home or your office. Once you get your situation under control, you’ll likely be glad you did and will find yourself feeling a lot less stressed.
Finding the Right Fit
There is a wide range of people who call themselves organizers, and many are probably very good. That said, not everyone will be the right fit for every client. Your best bet is to do some research and figure out which one would be the right style for your personality and your needs. You will want to find someone who is experienced in doing what you need, and who is also trained in implementing and teaching organizational strategies and techniques. If you find an organizer you like, you should ask how they proceed with an assignment, how they decide their fees, and what the timeframe is for completing the project. You should also ask for several references and ask other clients what they think. If everything checks out, then go with your instincts. If you are putting your life in someone else’s hands, you want to make sure they understand you and that you will be able to work well together as a team to accomplish the task at hand.
What to Spend
Some professional organizers charge by the hour. Others have set fees for different tasks. A lot depends on how an organizer approaches a project and how experienced he or she is. In addition, how much you will spend will vary a great deal depending on how much time you expect the organizer to devote to your project. If you want the organizer strictly to develop a plan and then let you take over, this will obviously be much more cost-effective than if you want your organizer to pitch in with sorting through your clutter.
Also keep in mind that while more-experienced organizers can command much higher rates than new organizers, ones who have been at the job longer may be more efficient and have more-effective strategies that will ultimately save you time and money. So don’t let an hourly rate be your only deciding factor when it comes to deciding whom you will hire in the end.
You can expect to pay a professional organizer anywhere from $30 to $150 an hour.
If you want an organizer to come into your home and assess your needs and come up with a written plan that you can follow yourself, this can start at about $150 for the project. But if you want the organizer to delve into the project, one organizer estimates that a typical kitchen can take six to eight hours to complete, while file drawers run about three to four hours. So depending on the hourly rate, this means you can spend some serious money on the project. And keep in mind that any new products or organizational tools you need are usually an additional cost.
But if the expense of organizing your home sounds a bit steep for your budget, keep in mind the cost of keeping your disarray as is. For some people, the time savings, increased productivity and overall stress relief they get from taking this important step makes it worth every penny they invest.