7 Things to Look For in a Professional Organizer

Working with an organizer can be immensely helpful to get you to your organizing goals faster, just as hiring a personal trainer keeps you on track with getting in shape.

It can be a little intimidating to think of hiring a stranger to come inside your home, so I wrote this list of things to consider.

  1. Trust is vital. You’ll be sharing with your organizer parts of your life that you’re embarrassed about or even ashamed of. The organizer should make you feel comfortable and supported. Good organizers adhere to a code of ethics and promise confidentiality and respect.
  2. A good organizer offers an objective viewpoint. When you’re overwhelmed, it’s pretty darned hard to get perspective on your own situation. Your organizer should be able to make a nonjudgmental assessment that focuses on how things are now, how you want to change them and how that will happen, rather than mistakes you made or skills you lack.
  3. Look for an organizer who understands your unique situation. You are the one who chooses the goals you want to work toward. A capable organizer will ask questions to assess what’s going on with you and help refine your goals, but not make assumptions about what you want. Whether an organizer is a good fit for you should be determined by how easily you can communicate.
  4. Pay attention to personality and temperament. An upbeat, high energy organizer may be ideal for you to stay motivated and charged up. Or that organizer might make you feel anxious and tired. You’ll be spending hours at a time with your organizer, so make sure you click.
  5. A good organizer listens actively, taking in not only what you say but how you say it and how you feel. As I mentioned above, getting organized can bring up some uncomfortable feelings. You don’t need to let it all hang out, but an organizer can help you better if she knows what you’re feeling.
  6. Creative problem solving is an essential skill. People who seek out organizers often have tried to get organized by reading books, but find the programs too hard to follow, or just not suited to them. A good organizer uses her professional experience and understanding of the client to develop solutions that are tailor made for each one.
  7. Don’t forget to find out if the organizer can work with your schedule! If you can only devote time to organizing on the weekends, a Monday-Friday organizer can’t help you. You’ll get better results if you commit time to your organizing project. If you work full time, squeezing in sessions on weekday evenings isn’t ideal. The time and energy you put into the project will pay you back generously with a sustainable organized space.

Did I leave anything out? What would you look for?