FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about working with a Professional Organizer
What is a professional organizer?
The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) describes a professional organizer as a person who "enhances the lives of clients by designing systems and processes using organizing principles and through transferring organizing skills. A professional organizer also educates the public on organizing solutions and the resulting benefits."
How can professional organizing help me?
Professional organizers provide a wide range of services and products designed to help people enhance their lives through management of their everyday tasks and belongings. There are organizers who specialize in everything from putting together photo albums to writing procedure manuals for your business to planning your move to another town. There are organizers who will help get your computer files in order, get your clothes off the floor and into the closet, who will work with you on managing paper, or even work with you in areas such as goal-setting and coaching you to be your best. Many organizers can do all these things and more! Interview a few organizers about their expertise in the areas you want to work and pick the person who feels right for you.
Are there NAPO-GPC organizers in my area?
The Greater Philadelphia Chapter serves Delaware, Central and Southern New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Many members travel nationally as well. Greater Philadelphia Chapter members are located near all major cities of the Delaware Valley including: Dover, Wilmington, Atlantic City, Cherry Hill, Princeton, Toms River, Trenton, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia and Reading.
I’ll bet my house/office is the worst you have ever seen. Am I hopeless?
No one is hopeless. Individuals store and access things very differently from one another. What works for one person may not work for another. Working with a professional organizer helps you begin defining your style and developing user-friendly systems that work well for you.
How long will it take to get organized? It does not seem to take very long on the popular organizing shows on TV.
The duration of a professional organizing project depends on how involved, committed and motivated you are to the process. It also depends on how quickly you can make decisions. Professional organizers will help you make these necessary decisions by asking questions and offering advice. Additionally, getting organized is a process...a dynamic one. None of us becomes organized once and considers the job finished. It is an ongoing process that changes as your needs change.
The primary purpose of television shows is entertainment. Contrasting the seemingly quick results depicted on TV organizing shows, in reality an organizing project involves much more time. Usually a number of work sessions are needed to complete a project. Rather than providing a crew of helpers, most professional organizers work in partnership with you, many times in a one-on-one setting. This is why it is important that the organizer and client work well together.
How much will this cost?
How much is it worth to you to become organized? The rates professional organizers charge clients are independently determined and are typically based on the organizer’s skills, experience and services. Professional organizers charge by the hour, by the session or on a project or package basis. Extras such as travel, supplies and shopping for organizing products may be an additional cost. Expect rates to mirror those of other business and home consulting professionals. Realize that organizing does not necessarily need to be accomplished all at once. You can spread the project out over time to stay within your budget.
Do you work with me or can you do it without me?
Most professional organizers work side-by-side with the client to create systems that are structured to fit the individual's unique personality and needs. However, once the client's specific goals and personal style are understood, professional organizers can work alone on some pieces of the project. Each situation is different and must be discussed early on in the process.
Are you going to make me get rid of things?
No one is going to force you to get rid of things. A professional organizer will help you make the best decisions for you, based on your goals. But remember your physical space is limited and, as much as you may want to keep everything, some tough decisions on your part might have to be made.
Why should I hire a NAPO member?
The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is recognized as the association for organizers. NAPO offers organizers many opportunities to sharpen their skills through ongoing education and professional development. NAPO has a Code of Ethics by which members have agreed to abide. A professional organizer who is a NAPO member has made an added commitment to his/her business and to you, the client.
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