How to pick the right Professional Organizer for you
So you watched an episode of The Home Edit or Hoarders and felt inspired to organize your home, but you have never met an organizer. You need information. So you plug “Professional Organizer near me” or “Home organizer” into the search bar. A list of polished websites show up with smiling professional organizers offering to wave a wand and turn your clutter into a curated space worthy of your mother-in-law’s approval. Then the overwhelm hits. A flood of panic washes over your brain. What do I ask a professional organizer? Or is it a personal organizer? Or a home organizer? How much does a professional organizer in Eugene, Oregon, charge? What does a professional organizer do? Will these smiling weirdos judge me and my mess? There’s so many questions.
For example at Rock Star, we do things differently than our lovely friends here in the local industry. We are NOT a lot of things you might assume based on your interpretation from a show like The Home Edit. We are not luxury organizers. We do not have a design background. The Marie Kondo method is excellent for some but doesn’t tend to work for our clients. We are not a product-first company. The perfect aesthetic is not exciting to us. What we at Rock Star ARE, is a company that wants to see more happy, healthy women living in a way that feels intentional and fulfilling to them. Our method is to create simple and routine-based environments to get them there.
We are a feminist company. Driven to use de-cluttering and organization services to help other feminist women decrease overwhelm and increase time freedom. We want to create functional spaces and a routine-based household flow that works for the family living in it rather than against the individual that tends to carry the emotional and mental load for their family (spoiler alert; it’s probably you). We are proud to say we shine when it comes to holding space for our clients struggling with shame or overwhelm. We are kind, non-judgemental, efficient, and sometimes even fun! And you never have to worry about us not loving your dog. That is a given.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to know what type of organizer might be a good fit.
I will not go into licensing, liability insurance, or other legal issues here. I’m focusing on helping you find the right personality and service fit! A professional organizer will see all the parts of you and your home the average person doesn’t see. You must feel safe and comfortable with this organizer. Skill set and approach are very important, and we will get to that quickly. First let’s make sure you find someone who will react to your secret chocolate stash you hide from your kids in your underwear drawer in just the perfect way for you:
- What are your top values regarding your home? The things I value the most in my home include simplicity, coziness, and comfort. I prefer simple because I don’t like to clean or organize one hot minute more than I have to, and I am very clutter-sensitive. I love coziness because soft blankets, hot tea, and cuddling with my dogs brings me peace and I enjoy a cozy aesthetic over hard lines. I aim for comfort because I have a chronic illness and I like hot baths, soft mattresses, and good pillows to help my pain levels. When describing my home values, it becomes clear that I prefer a functional organizer over an aesthetic-focused organizer.
- What is your end goal? Defining your end goal will help you determine what kind of home organizing service to hire. Close your eyes, Imagine you are walking through the door after work and doing your evening routine. Do the same for your morning routine. How does your home look and feel? This exercise may help you define your end goal, but it could be specific goals like not wanting toys in the living room anymore or being able to cook healthy meals more easily. Have a clear picture of your end goal so you can choose a strong organizer in that area.
- What type of personalities do you like? What personality traits are deal breakers? Think back to coworkers that you felt joy (or a lack of) working beside, or service providers that knocked it out of the park. Your organizer can be a soft-spoken, loving energy or a militant take-no-excuses personality. There’s a wide range of characters; you should be clear on who you want to discover that chocolate stash.
- Do you desire a specialty? The organizing industry is brilliant for coming up with lots of specialties. Some focus on packing and moving. Others offer design services, and others specialize in working with the elderly. If you have a specific area you need support in, like ADD, hoarding, or paper management, it may be worth hiring someone who specializes in that. While these specialties cost more, you can accomplish your goal faster.
Here are some questions you could ask your organizer:
- Who is your ideal client? At Rock Star, we love love love serving women who identify as feminists and want to simplify and systematize their environment for increased time freedom. Knowing who your organizer is passionate about helping will give you an idea if you two are a match.
- What are your favorite spaces or type of projects to de-clutter and organize? Here at Rock Star, I get pretty jazzed about transforming a garage. Our lead organizer is a trained personal chef, so she loves kitchens. It’s always nice to find an organizer or de-cluttering service that is crazy pumped to work on your goal space!
- Where does your organizing company shine in comparison to others in the area? I keep using us as an example, but who else would I use? Rock Star has a team and a rocking process to de-clutter an environment efficiently. We are also a team of caring, energetic women who love supporting other women. These qualities make us a killer choice for someone with an environment that has gotten very chaotic and cluttered. We can rock out space very quickly if needed and with endless kindness. Your organizer should know their strengths and limitations.
- How did you get into this field? Some folks worked their way into professional organizing, while some received licensing through an organization like NAPO. Some are new, and some have been around since MTV played music videos. Asking this question will get more information on their journey, which includes education and experience.
- What does your process look like from consultation through the first session? It can be comforting to know what to expect if you have never hired a personal organizer. What does a session look like? What should you expect in between sessions? Your organizer should be able to paint a clear path through your mutual experience.
- How do you charge? Hourly? Packages are a prevalent industry standard. At Rock Star, we charge by the session so our clients can schedule and budget in a way that works for them.
- How far are you scheduled out? If you find an organizer booked out for weeks and professional enough to return your call (strangely, this doesn’t happen sometimes), that is a sign they are doing great work, but you might need help pronto so hiring the new kid on the block may be worth it. Knowing your time-frame and your potential organizer’s availability right off the bat can expedite the decision-making process.
All those questions should help you get a vision of what you want and help you navigate choices. Investing in your home is rarely a waste of resources. Good luck finding the perfect fit!