FAQ

Why should I get organized?

  • You’ll have more time to spend with your family and loved ones
  • You’ll gain a sense of control
  • You’ll have less stress in your life because your “house is in order”
  • You’ll have help developing a system to maintain the “new order” in your life
  • You’ll be able to find things easily and will have a “home” for everything in your home
  • You’ll model for your children the value of organization and personal responsibility (their future roommates and spouses will thank you for it!)
  • You’ll reduce physical and mental clutter
  • You’ll find your home or office has truly become “a castle” and you will no longer dread going home or to work
  • You’ll literally breathe easier in your “new” space

Does the organizer come to me?

YES!  All sessions take place within your home or office. We begin the process with a brief complimentary phone consultation to assess your needs and goals.  As needed, we may also follow up with a in-person consultation. See our pricing page for more information on the consultation process.

What happens during the session?
The client and the organizer work hand-in-hand throughout the entire job. In the course of one session, the client and the organizer typically focus on one area to tackle.  This ensures that the client will see a clear “result” at the end of the session.  (Jumping around from place to place can hamper progress.)  The organizer asks lots of questions so that she can fully understand the needs of the client and help to develop a customized system that works for the client and his/her family.

How many hours will it take to organize?
The time necessary totally depends upon the job at hand. A small home-office organization project may take as little as 3 hours, whereas a full-scale home-office makeover, complete with a revamped (or newly-created) filing system and a desk and office supplies overhaul may take four or more sessions (each session generally lasts three to four hours).  Since every situation and each client’s pace is different, it’s best for us to talk first about your specific needs to get an idea of what your project would entail.

What if I need supplies…will you get them for me?
We can purchase supplies for clients and they will be billed for the cost of the supplies, plus our hourly rate for the amount of time it takes to procure the items.

However, we have found that it is often preferable to make recommendations as to needed supplies, but to have the client purchase the supplies on their own.  The reason for this is that clients know their own tastes and preferences best, and if we end up getting a certain item that the client does not care for, we will need to bill them additional time for the return/exchange of the item.

We have also found that often the client has items around the house that can be used and sometimes we can save the client money by having them re-purpose things that are already in their home (i.e. using an old tupperware container that is missing a top can be used to store small office supplies, like paperclips).

What if I feel embarrassed about my mess?
Many clients feel nervous about showing their organization challenges to an organizer.  Please rest assured…there is nothing to be embarrassed about.  Organizers do not see an organizational project as something to hide but rather as a welcome challenge and an opportunity to help make their client’s life easier. In addition, strict confidentiality is maintained for all clients.

We also abide by the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals’ Code of Ethics:

 

This Code of Ethics is a set of principles to provide guidelines in our professional conduct with our clients, colleagues, and community. As a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, I pledge to exercise judgment, self-restraint, and conscience in my conduct in order to establish and maintain public confidence in the integrity of NAPO members and to preserve and encourage fair and equitable practices among all who are engaged in the profession of organizing.

 

CLIENTS

 

Working Relationships

• I will serve my clients with integrity, competence, and objectivity, and will treat them with respect and courtesy.
• I will offer services in those areas in which I am qualified and will accurately represent those qualifications in both verbal and written communications.
• When unable or unqualified to fulfill requests for services, I will make every effort to recommend the services of other qualified organizers and/or other qualified professionals.
• I will advertise my services in an honest manner and will represent the organizing profession accurately.

 

Confidentiality
• I will keep confidential all client information, both business and personal, including that which may be revealed by other organizers.
• I will use proprietary client information only with the client’s permission.
• I will keep client information confidential and not use it to benefit myself or my firm, or reveal this information to others.

 

Fees

• I will decide independently and communicate to my client in advance my fees and expenses, and will charge fees and expenses which I deem reasonable, legitimate, and commensurate with my experience, the services I deliver, and the responsibility I accept.

• I will make recommendations for products and services with my client’s best interests in mind.

 

COLLEAGUES

I will seek and maintain an equitable, honorable, and cooperative association with other NAPO members and will treat them with respect and courtesy.

• I will respect the intellectual property rights (materials, titles, and thematic creations) of my colleagues, and other firms and individuals, and will not use proprietary information or methodologies without permission.
• I will act and speak on a high professional level so as not to bring discredit to the organizing profession.

Can my kids be home while we organize?

While we love children, we have found that it can be difficult to organize when small children are present.  The parent’s first and foremost obligation is to their children; as such, it can be difficult for them to concentrate on the organizational task at hand.  Because clients pay by the hour, they may want to arrange for a sitter to get the most “bang for their buck” during the organizing project.

Older children, however, may want to be present if we are working in their personal space, such as their bedroom.

My whole house needs organizing…where do we start?
You will find that certain projects “call out” to you saying “me first, me first” and you will have a sense of which projects are on the top of your priority list.  For some, this may be the home office, because they realize that being organized in that area means it’s easier to pay bills, process mail and e-mail, and keep up with paper filing systems.  For others, for example those who love to cook, the kitchen may call out as the priority area.  Your organizer will talk with you to help you determine which area to address first.

How are the services billed?
Services are billed by each individual session.  (See our pricing page for specific pricing information.) Therefore, in advance of each session (generally 3 hours minimum), you will be provided with an invoice.  Payment in full is due at the end of each session. In the case of our JUMPSTART SERVICE, payment is billed and due in advance.

Can I pay in installments?
Services are paid in full upon completion.  However, because each session is billed individually, it ends up working like a partial payment plan because you do not have to come up with all the money at once.  That way, if you know you only have a limited amount of money available for your professional organization project each month, you can schedule according to your budget (i.e. only doing a few sessions a month, as opposed to multiple sessions in the same week).

How long do the sessions last?
While most sessions are a minimum of 3 hours, we generally don’t work with clients for more than 4 hours at a time.  Sessions tend to get less productive after the four hour mark as clients can tire from the work already completed. That being said, incredible progress can be made in these 3-4 hour time spans and clients will often visually see and emotionally feel a HUGE difference in the space at the end of the sessions.

Can I give the gift of organizing to my spouse, child, parent, or friend?
We no longer sell gift certificates.  Organizing is SUCH a personal process.  For the process to be successful, it requires that a person truly be ready.

One rule that we always follow is to never get between spouses, family members, or roommates.  When we have offered gift certificates in the past, it has put our organizers in difficult (sometimes hostile) situations to work with a client who felt shamed or coerced into the organizing process.

If you feel that your loved one needs a little organizational help, please discuss the possibility of using a professional organizer and encourage that person to contact an organizer directly.  We have found that organizing a person who does not WANT professional organizing help causes problems among family members.  In addition, the person generally does not “stay” organized because he/she was not yet ready or committed to make a shift towards organization in the first place.

Do you work with hoarders?
Hoarding is a very challenging condition that requires extra training and resources to address.  Ideally, anyone who struggles with hoarding would be working with a mental health professional in concert with an organizer. We typically do not work with individuals who struggle with hoarding since our staff is not trained in that very specialized area of the industry. We do have resources to whom we can refer, however, should a prospective client have a hoarding issue.