An organized home is a dream held by many, many, MANY people. You may have that dream yourself and believe that you can do it yourself – if you just find the right book/website, save enough money to buy the perfect organizing system, and can set aside enough time to do the job. You wouldn’t even think of hiring a professional organizer to do something you could do yourself, would you? Ask yourself this: would you pay a professional trainer to help keep you exercising? Do you pay someone to do your taxes? Take care of your lawn? Bake that birthday or graduation cake?
There are lots of things that we all *could* do but we choose to hire someone else to do it for us — and we don’t feel ashamed that we chose to get it done professionally. Why should organizing be any different?
What is a Professional Organizer?
A professional organizer is someone who has the training, skills, and knowledge to help you organize your home, your office, your special projects, and even your schedule/time. While some organizers will do the job for you, a majority of them work with you to find the systems and habits that will not only rid your space of clutter and chaos, but make it easy for you to maintain order once they are gone.
You don’t have to be a candidate for “messiest house in America” or one of those hoarding shows to think about working with a professional organizer. However, if you do have a problem home, or even just a problem area like a basement or garage or neglected storage unit, a organizer can walk you through the process of sorting, shedding, and organizing your stuff.
Professional organizers are also good at helping people at the start of something. Some businesses will hire them to help set up a new office so that it operates efficiently and doesn’t build up clutter. If you are remodeling your kitchen or bathroom or even designing a nursery for your new baby, an organizer can help you set it up right from the start.
In addition to organizing specific spaces, CPOs can help with organizing records, photographs and mementos, time management, and help you plan out specific projects. There are even CPOs who specialize in family records, such as assisting with genealogical research.
One of the unsung skills these professionals have is their personal network of vendors and businesses for disposing of your stuff. They will know where to get things shredded or recycled, which charities accept what donations and where you can get the best price if you want to sell items to a second-hand, consignment, or antique store. They will even know how to dispose of those odd chemicals in the garage and how to get a good deal on hauling away your trash.
Why Hire a CPO?
The main reasons people give for hiring a professional organizer are very similar to the reasons they hire any type of professional:
- Not enough time
- Don’t know where to start/what works
- Don’t want to face it alone
Tackling a reorganization project requires a major time commitment. You have to do your research (see reason #2), spend time doing the actual sorting, spend time purchasing organizational items like shelving and filing systems, spend time hauling things off to the trash, various charities, and selling things. Then you have to actually put everything in its place. Imagine if you could hire someone to do that for you?
Or maybe you are sick at looking at all those piles of things around your house but you just can’t figure out the best way to organize it. You’ve read a dozen books and started a dozen online checklists, but none of it seems to work the way you think. That’s because it isn’t “one size fits all.” A CPO will be able to assess your situation and your needs and design a system that will work naturally for you and your family.
Perhaps the best reason to hire a CPO is so you don’t have to go it alone. Having an objective, friendly face walking you through tough decisions, offering suggestions on how to handle problems, and helping with the physical labor can be a huge relief. It makes a seemingly impossible task suddenly seem manageable. And if you and your spouse are fighting over what to do with certain items, an impartial third-party can sometimes solve that problem, too.
It will come down to one specific question: Do you feel you can solve your organizational challenges on your own? If you are more likely to ignore the problem and put off dealing with it due to the reasons listed above, it might be a good idea to at least look into hiring a professional organizer.