Clutter and disarray driving you bonkers? Perhaps it’s
finally time to call in some organizing help. Whether you need
assistance with a large room or a small closet, or you need an entire
household reboot, this guide can get you started.
Project: Organizing your home.
An organized home is a more enjoyable, less stressful one. If you’re
downsizing, getting professional help to pare back and order your
belongings in your new, smaller space can be a lifesaver. For large,
busy households, organizing systems to help life run more smoothly.
And if you’ve been living in the same home for many years, it’s natural to need an organizational reboot from time to time. If you’re tired of letting your stuff take over your home (and your life), a professional can help you regain control.
It’s a good project for you if:
You haven’t been able to tackle organizing on your own. The example
that may first spring to mind is the garage or basement that’s been used
as a dumping ground for stuff for decades. While that is certainly a good project to call in the reserves for, far more important than the size of the project is whether you are feeling overwhelmed by it.
with a pro can help you push through roadblocks (both physical and
emotional), let go of clutter and put systems in place that will make it
easier to stay organized in the future.
Who to hire: A
professional organizer can help you declutter and set up attractive,
logical new organizing systems. Some professional organizers offer a
wide range of services, while others work in a niche area like clothing
closets or filing systems. Ask what kinds of organizing projects they do during your initial contact to see if they are a good fit.
professional organizer can help choose storage containers and systems,
but if you want built-in custom storage, you will also want to connect
with a closet and home storage designer. Just keep in mind
that a closet designer is not there to help set up organizing systems,
so get that taken care of first with an organizing pro.
Typical project length: Most one-room projects, like organizing a bedroom closet or sorting old photos, can be completed in a weekend. A stuffed-to-the-gills basement or attic will, of course, take extra time — a week or more for a really troublesome space.
organizing projects require some work on your part, so be prepared to
put in a few hours between visits from the pro to do your “homework” if
you want the project to wrap up on time.
organizers tend to charge by the hour, with average rates ranging from
$55 to $100 per hour, depending on location and experience. Some
organizers also charge by the project or by the day, which can be more
cost effective, depending on your project.
Best time to do this project:
Spring is when many of us get the organizing bug, but any time of year
works just as well. The only exception is for garages and other unheated
outbuildings in cold climates. Wait until the weather warms enough that working outdoors is comfortable.
Keep in mind: Hiring a pro
to completely organize a home from top to bottom is quite costly.
Consider tapping one to get help with specific projects that are really
giving you trouble, and commit to doing some of the work on your own.
expert input can be a great motivating force, so after the first visit
you may find you are able to accomplish more on your own than you
initially thought you could. Your organizer can also help you set up a
schedule for the year ahead, identifying areas that are likely to pose a
special challenge so you can schedule help for the times you will need
Search Houzz for closet and home storage designers and organizers
and check with the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)
. Or ask friends for recommendations.
you contact each of the organizers on your list, have the details of
your project ready to share (a few emailed pictures can be helpful) as
well as a list of questions to ask, including about rates and price
structure, services provided and the pro’s approach to organizing.
Remember, this is someone with whom you will be working quite closely in
your home, so beyond credentials, be sure you also click on a personal