We're not all neat people by nature. Over time, clutter and buildup can accumulate, and once it does, our homes can become messy, disorganized disaster zones. If that's the scenario you're in and your best efforts to get your living space in shape have failed you thus far, then it may be time to call in outside help in the form of a professional organizer.
What does a professional organizer do?
A professional organizer is someone who's good at visualizing and maximizing spaces. When you hire an organizer, that person will come in, assess the space you have to work with, and help bring order to it. Not only will that person give you advice on how to declutter, but he or she will generally go through the entire process with you. For example, if you need to clear out your garage, your organizer might physically help you remove all the items from that space, clean it out, and put things back in a neat, orderly fashion.
How much do organizers charge?
The amount you'll pay for an organizer will depend on where you live and the scope of the work at hand. Some professional organizers charge an hourly rate and bill you based on the total time spent in your home. Others charge by the project, so if you're looking to declutter your home office, you may be given an estimate of $500 based on the number of hours the job is expected to take.
When does it pay to hire a home organizer?
If your living space has gotten messy for a particular reason -- perhaps you're coming off the holiday season and you haven't yet organized all the gifts you received, or you've encountered a especially busy period at work that's caused cleanup to fall by the wayside -- then you may not need to spend the money to bring in a professional organizer. But in some cases, hiring one definitely does pay. You should consider an organizer if:
- Your previous attempts to declutter have all failed miserably.
- The idea of getting your home in order overwhelms you to the point where you don't know where to start.
- You're planning to put your home on the market, and it needs to be decluttered quickly and efficiently.
What to look for in a professional organizer
If you make the decision to work with a home organizer, don't choose just anyone. First, find someone whose method seems accessible to you and who will be sympathetic to your specific challenges. For example, if you tend to have an emotional attachment to the things you own, you don't want an organizer who will come in and toss out belongings left and right. Additionally, aim to hire someone whose fee structure and estimates are easy to understand. You don't want to land in a scenario where you're paying more than you're comfortable with.
Though hiring a home organizer may seem like the sort of thing that only rich people do, the fact of the matter is that anyone can benefit from working with a professional to declutter. Read up on what organizers do, and talk to people who have worked with one before to determine whether it's worth paying for that service.