HIRING AN ORGANIZER QUESTIONS

A professional organizer is someone who is trained and experienced in helping you reduce the clutter, “noise,” and complications from your home and/or business life. Disorganization is usually just delayed decisions. An effective professional organizer helps you make those sometimes difficult decisions with an eye to helping you adopt that positive behavior.

NAPO is the National Association of Professional Organizers and is dedicated to the field of organizing. Formed in 1985 as a not-for-profit professional association, NAPO is dedicated to sharing information about the growing organizing industry, its trends, and its concerns. NAPO works to set and define quality standards for the organizing profession. NAPO’s members include organizing consultants, speakers, trainers, authors, and manufacturers of organizing products. It surprises some people that such an association exists, but professional organization is a serious business requiring ongoing educational and professional development. Many people make their livelihoods by improving the organization of others as professional organizers.

We welcome you to read this post, 10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Professional Organizer. In addition, we add that you and the professional organizer you will work with are a team. The organizer cannot perform effective services for you unless they know what is important in your home or office and how that home or office functions. It’s in your best interest to find someone you can share that with. Ask for references and check them. We believe in education, and we recommend you work with someone committed to their profession. Determine what the investment will be up front. Think about how their professional knowledge and the organization they instill into your life will benefit you and save you time and money in the long run. Approach your search for a professional organizer as you would any other service professional. Do you feel they should have a certification? Think through the services you are looking for and assess your search for the person with professional affiliations you feel most comfortable working with. Ask questions and be comfortable not only with the answers but how they answer. Will this be the right fit? Base your final decision on a professional organizer who has the expertise, skill set and personality which best suits you to help you achieve your goals.

Because of the personal and business nature of much of what has to be organized, it is not realistic to expect that the organizer can work completely autonomously. Therefore, a relationship with this type of consultant is important. The professionals at The Organizing Agency have a strong educational background, and we approach our counsel with that training every day. We are familiar with adult learning styles, we respect confidentiality, and we have plenty of patience.

Professional organizing, like many professions, benefits the consumer through education and organization. Someone who was certified by the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers has proven through experience and a written exam a content of knowledge necessary to be successful. Additionally, CPOs® must follow a code of ethics and are likely to be the best of the best. Scott Roewer was one of the very first CPOs in 2007 and Nina Muscato earned the CPO designation in 2014. If you can’t find a CPO® in your area, look for someone who is a member of NAPO. Much of what we know individually in the increasingly sophisticated area of professional organization comes to us through the benefits of membership in NAPO. As the “organizing authority,” NAPO members have access to a larger list of resources and to other professionals and their ideas.

This Code of Ethics is a set of principles to provide guidelines in our professional conduct with our clients, colleagues and community. As a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, I pledge to exercise judgment, self-restraint and conscience in my conduct in order to establish and maintain public confidence in the integrity of NAPO members and to preserve and encourage fair and equitable practices among all who are engaged in the profession of organizing.

Clients
Working Relationships

I will serve my clients with integrity, competence, and objectivity, and will treat them with respect and courtesy.
I will offer services in those areas in which I am qualified and will accurately represent those qualifications in both verbal and written communications.
When unable or unqualified to fulfill requests for services, I will make every effort to recommend the services of other qualified organizers and/or other qualified professionals.
I will advertise my services in an honest manner and will represent the organizing profession accurately.

Confidentiality

I will keep confidential all client information, both business and personal, including that which may be revealed by other organizers.
I will use proprietary client information only with the client’s permission.
I will keep client information confidential and not use it to benefit myself or my firm, or reveal this information to others.

Fees

I will decide independently and communicate to my client in advance my fees and expenses, and will charge fees and expenses which I deem reasonable, legitimate, and commensurate with my experience, the services I deliver, and the responsibility I accept.
I will make recommendations for products and services with my client’s best interests in mind.

Colleagues

I will seek and maintain an equitable, honorable and cooperative association with other NAPO members and will treat them with respect and courtesy.
I will respect the intellectual property rights (materials, titles, and thematic creations) of my colleagues, and other firms and individuals, and will not use proprietary information or methodologies without permission.
I will act and speak on a high professional level so as to not bring discredit to the organizing profession.

I am a member of the following professional affiliations and possess the following formal education:

Immediate Past President of NAPO Washington, DC-Metro Chapter (served as President from 2006-2008).
Awarded 2008 Professional Organizer of the Year by NAPO-WDC. Certified Professional Organizer® (CPO®) Inaugural Class 2007
Director of Technology, Board of Certification for Professional Organizers (BCPO).
Chronic Disorganization Specialist Certificate, National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD) – devoted to exploring methods, techniques, approaches and solutions that benefit the chronically disorganized.
Member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO).
Master’s Degree, Education, University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Bachelors of Music, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Member, Top Shelf Advisory Panel, Closets Magazine.
Member, Potomac Executive Network (PEN).

According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, the top five client groups are:

Individuals at home
Home office based businesses
Small business owners
Individuals at their jobs
Executives

Clients cut pretty evenly across most demographics because people are creatures of (often bad) habit. Each day, professionals, businesspeople, homemakers, students, parents, CEOs, and secretaries work with professional organizers. If you’ve ever delayed throwing out junk mail, sorting through your closet, been late for a meeting or your child’s soccer practice because you misplaced something, consider calling us.

There are several concrete benefits to hiring a professional organizer.

Many people are almost paralyzed by their environment and want to simplify their lives. Gaining control of the “things” in their lives, and learning to manage their time and their belongings, allows them to operate more efficiently, effectively, and confidently.
In many households, and even to some degree companies, some of the traditional roles have changed. Change with it, but know how, and be prepared.
America is getting faster. Telecommunications such as e-mail, faxes, telephone technology, and other “improvements” affect our lives and our environment in ways many of us haven’t grasped yet. What appears to be easier may not always be easy to manage. Allow us to help you get ready for it. The second part of that question is easy: If you’re thinking about the need of a professional organizer, it’s probably time to hire one. We live in a complicated time where an unusual amount of “things” come flying at us from all directions. And most of it we didn’t ask for. Additional responsibilities, mail, schedules, work, children’s activities, bills, and throw in a hobby or an interest and life easily becomes overwhelming. Don’t let the bureaucracy of your life get in the way of living your life.

INVESTMENT & BUSINESS POLICY QUESTIONS

Travel to and from your home or office in the greater Washington, DC area is not charged. For areas beyond a defined radius from downtown DC, we charge for 1-way travel. Those fees are stated in advance for your approval.

The majority of our clients work with us in a pre-define package and prepay for the best pricing options. Single appointments for new clients are paid in advance and for the Comprehensive Needs Assessment.

That may vary from organizer to organizer. Professional organization is a business where money changes hands in exchange for services. It’s always prudent to have a full, written understanding of what is going to be delivered. The Organizing Agency provides a letter of agreement for our clients.

The Organizing Agency’s fees are based on an hourly rate for our individual session and package pricing for those clients in our Six Month Success Programs. Although professional organizing costs money, it’s an investment in your future. There is a big difference between an investment and an expense, and getting part of your life back is an investment. We leave clients with opportunities to accomplish tasks between appointments. If you take the opportunity to work independently, you’ll accomplish your goals sooner and save money!

Yes, The Organizing Agency has full insurance coverage and can provide documentation upon request.

We request your cancellation made by phone 48 hours before the appointment without incurring a charge. Call 202-249-8330. Otherwise, a fee for the full session may be charged. We are offering a professional service to you, and both of our times are valuable. We base this policy on our need for mutual respect and the fact that this profession involves external appointments that require some planning.

Yes we do! Our clients working in a Six Month Success Program are prepaid to obtain the best pricing. For our single session clients, prepayment for the appointment may be collected in advance for new clients. We also accept check and cash on the day of your appointment.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROCESS

Simply call us at 202-249-8330 or contact us online. We can discuss your needs, answer any specific questions you have and decide the best way to proceed. We’ll also schedule a Get Acquainted Call with Scott Roewer, The Organizing Agency’s Founder who will help establish a strategic direction for your project. Appointments are available seven days a week, from 9 AM – 1 PM, or 2 PM – 6 PM.

Prior to your Get Acquainted Call with Scott Roewer, we will have you respond to an online questionnaire so we can understand your needs and the details of the project. We’ll also send you one document to read and a few photos to review.

We know that no two homes or offices are alike, and the Get Acquainted Call gives us some idea of how we can best help you and work efficiently when we arrive. Next, for the majority of our clients we complete a Comprehensive Needs Assessment. During the assessment we will help you understand the cause of the disorganization and outline a plan on exactly how we will fix the situation (with your involvement) and approximately how long it will take.

On the first day, you’ll see dramatic results and be excited for us to return for the next phase. Should your project require items to be installed, The Organizing Agency is skilled to do the demolition and installation for most of our projects. We can also facilitate the purchase of supplies if necessary.

The Organizing Agency has team members available seven days a week from 9AM – 1PM or from 2PM – 6PM. Our clients who work with us in a package, often have a standing appointment date and time. We will do our best to accommodate your schedule unless we have existing client appointments. It is recommended you schedule your appointments at least two weeks in advance.

Not necessarily, but they may help you come to some realizations about what is and what is not important. We will help you find and create a home for your most important belongings, and more importantly, we can determine what may be placed out of the way for the time being and until you need or want it. Overall, we save our clients money, save time, and most say their lives are more fulfilling. Some of the more extreme “organization” shows can be a little radical. In reality, you are the client and these are your possessions. We just want to help you organize and cut through what doesn’t need to be directly in front of you every day. And if you are interested, professional organizers know places where your goods can be donated or consigned to help other people.

QUESTIONS SPECIFIC TO YOU

The timelines for each organizing project vary from person to person. The timeline is usually based on what has to get accomplished and the level of commitment you put forth. Well do our best to move the process along as quickly as possible.

Your professional organizer will need some direction from you about what is important and what isn’t, and they will have to have some idea of how your life runs. Share that. Based on what is involved, the meetings will require your involvement. And although there are some standard techniques in the industry that can be employed, The Organizing Agency offers a customized approach with each individual. That can only happen with input from you, the client. We will work with you to develop some guidelines on not only what you hope to accomplish but how we will work together. You will contribute to creating the process based on your needs. Our Organizers generally work side-by-side with you, and we do our own installations, assemble furniture, and are directly involved in most of the physicality of the process.

Absolutely! Some of our most challenging cases have said the same thing. We will develop a plan you can live with that will be realistic to maintain. Again, we will do everything we can to instill a learned behavior from which you, as a client can benefit.

As a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), the team of The Organizing Agency adheres strictly to its Code of Ethics. We treat every situation discreetly and confidentially, and we respect your boundaries.