Hiring and Working with a Professional Organizer

Here are some good tips on hiring and working with a professional organizer to get your home or office running efficiently and smoothly. There’s also information here for people with chronic clutter issues and even more serious needs.

Why it’s important to get organized

Organization helps you to:

  • Be comfortable and happy in your own home
  • Have friends and family visit your home
  • Stay in control of your finances and avoid bank fees and damage to credit history due to late payments
  • Keep track of the household items you have on hand so you don’t re-buy things that you can’t find
  • Prepare your taxes before the tax deadlines so you avoid tax penalties and interest
  • Save you time and frustration spent looking for things
  • Combat procrastination and will allow you to be more productive
  • Improve your efficiency and maximize your time
  • Shop more efficiently and prepare healthy meals

What does a professional organizer do?

Still not sure? Find out here.

Q&A about Professional Organizing

Q: Do organizers have professional qualifications?

A: Through the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), Faith Manierre is the first Certified Professional Organizer in Connecticut specializing in Chronic Disorganization (CPO-CD®). Faith is currently enrolled as a Master Trainer in CD and Organization, which is the highest certification level of ICD’s extensive educational program.

If you are interviewing an organizer, ask  if he or she is a member of or certified by the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) or the National Association of Professional Organizers. These organizations provide training, certification and resources for professional organizers. Also, training and experience play a large part in whether the organizer has familiarity with a variety of successful systems and strategies.

Q: Can a professional organizer really improve my life?

A: Organizers provide structure, resources and creative ideas for systems to improve your productivity get control over your time and space, and reduce your level of stress about the disorder in your life. It’s really the skill of focusing in on what’s important to you and helping you figure out the best way to achieve and maintain it.

Q: Doesn’t everybody have clutter to some degree?

A: Many people are disorganized at times and let things pile up if they get sick or have too much going on in their lives. Occasional disorganization is different from chronic disorganization, which is characterized by feeling overwhelmed every day and sinking deeper and deeper into a disorganized state.

Q:  What is chronic disorganization?

A: The Institute for Challenging Disorganization defines chronic disorganization this way: More information about ICD

Chronic disorganization is having a past history of disorganization in which self-help efforts to change have failed. The disorganization is undermining the current quality of life, and there is an expectation of future disorganization.

Q: Are all professional organizers alike in terms of qualifications?

A: Most professional organizers can manage a variety of projects. But each one will have his or her specialty area of strength. Faith tends to work most often with residential clients, providing additional expertise in working with people who have special needs. Her style is to teach and provide education alongside her clients, helping them make lasting positive changes in their behavior and environment.

Q: What does professional organizing cost?

A: Prices depend on the scope of the project, but in general, Busy Bees charges by the hour. Faith gives a discount of 5% for pre-paying and scheduling 4 appointments up front. This is only available after the first session so there is a chance to meet and determine the goals for the project. She accepts MasterCard and Visa.

Q: How long does a typical session last?

A: Faith schedules sessions in three-hour blocks of time (typically from 9-12 and 1-4) unless other arrangements have been made. It’s a good idea to schedule sessions when you are at your best. Faith offers a free phone consultation to discuss your issues and concerns, and to determine if you and she are a “good fit.”

Q: What happens at the first session?

A: At the first session, Faith will ask for a tour of your home to have a visual assessment of your situation and find out what you want to achieve. After the tour, you and Faith will begin working on the problem area you need help with. Faith urges her clients not to clean up before their first session—she gains important information about you when she sees things as they truly are. Remember, Faith is there to help, not to judge.

Q: Is my privacy protected when I work with Busy Bees Professional Organizing?

A: Busy Bees Professional Organizing honors your privacy and we will not rent, give away, or sell your name or email. We give you our word! In addition, we will not speak with anyone regarding your organizing challenges unless you give written consent. Faith is the only organizer from Busy Bees Professional Organizing who works with clients. Her skilled office manager is responsible for billing and confirmation of calls, but does not have access to client information.

Q: What happens if I have to cancel an appointment?

A: Faith’s cancellation policy:It’s important that our relationship be based on mutual respect of one another’s time. Like other professionals, I reserve time slots for my clients. If you need to cancel your session due to something unforeseen, please contact me 48 hours before your appointment. Otherwise, you’ll be invoiced for ½ of the session fee, unless you’re seriously ill or you’ve had a true emergency. It’s a business necessity for me, since I can’t re-book that time slot if I’m not given enough notice. Thank you for understanding.”