What Is a Professional Organizer?

What Is a Professional Organizer?

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Small Projects and Repairs
By Ani Mouradian June 21, 2021

When we think ‘professional organizer’, we don’t necessarily picture a hard hat or a license to practice. However, professional organizers are the real deal. Certified professional organizers need to take an exam to receive their credentials. They are peer-reviewed along the way and must keep up at least 45 hours of continuing education units every three years. Some of the first professional organizers in the country met in Los Angeles to form the Association of Professional Organizers in 1983. This became the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) only three years later. NAPO reported that by 2015, the organization industry (organizing consultants and relevant products) was valued at $1billion.

What Is a Professional Organizer?

Despite the Netflix illusion, professional organizers existed even before “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. Mario Kondo simply showed us how relatable the families in her show were and how professional organization can be an actual life-changer. It is the job of a professional organizer to help homeowners, corporations, and businesses to manage time efficiently by implementing organizational principles.

The Lowdown on Professional Organization

The Lowdown on Professional Organization

A high-school diploma may be the only education requirement to begin educational coursework towards working as a professional organizer. However, to be a certified professional, an organizer or consultant must have at least 1,500 hours of paid work experience in the field. 

There are currently 365 certified professional organizers in the world, just under a third of whom are registered within five states; 50 in the DC Metropolitan region and 50 in California.

What Do Professional Organizers Do?

Professional organizers help organize any physical space in your home, office, or home office. This means closets, storage rooms, kitchens, playrooms, pantries, attics, and anywhere that can be organized more efficiently. They can even help organize and optimize digital spaces as well. 

The basic home organization services are:

  • decluttering your home or existing space
  • sorting and organizing the items that are left
  • advising on how to display memorabilia or specialty items
  • designing a long-term plan to keep the new system of cleanliness intact
What Do Professional Organizers Do

What Do Professional Organizers Do

The collaborative process begins with a professional organizer teaching you how to declutter. This starts with categorizing all the “things” you own into “must-haves and “can live without”. Then they will help you to create a specific place within your home for all those things. The end product will almost always include transparent bins and an endless supply of label-making tape. However,  seemingly small changes, like less time fumbling around for a spice you’re looking for when baking, or knowing immediately where to find a bank letter from 3 months ago, add up to create a drastically improved lifestyle and a sense of calm.

Here is a more specific look at some of the professional organization services it’s possible to take advantage of:

  • Creation of a system to organize your bills and paperwork.
  • Making your belongings more accessible and spaces more functional and beautiful in your bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, cabinets, playrooms, home offices, closets, attics, basements, and garages.
  • Developing a strategy and system to maintain optimization and efficiency in different parts of your home.
  • Moving (packing as well as organizing and settling your belongings in your new or newly renovated home correctly) 
  • Cleaning services.
  • Organizational writing (concise summarization of large quantities of information or data).

Getting organized and
decluttering really comes down to decision-making. It takes a certain state of mind to be able to decide what goes and what stays without stressing out. A certified professional organizer will advise on and help you exercise those decision-making muscles, which need to be strong when minimizing what you have to work with. They will also give you a list of action items to help you not only transform, for example, your paper clutter but also provide a system by which you can manage the flow of stuff that goes in and out of your home and in and out of different rooms on a daily or hourly basis. Keeping the chaos at bay on a regular basis is part of the package and is just as much of a commitment.

Why Do You Need One?

When and Why You Might Need a Professional Organizer In Your Life

When and Why You Might Need a Professional Organizer In Your Life

Because they love to organize. Haven’t you ever done something you don’t love to do and noticed how begrudgingly time goes by? Generally, we’re also more indifferent towards the results of what we’re doing if we’re not enjoying the process. Well, it’s the same with home organization. Chances are a certified professional organizer will be more passionate about a harmonious, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing clean-up than you are. This means, their guidance will get you significantly more tangible and long-lasting results. 

Professional Organization Is All About Creating a System

Professional Organization Is All About Creating a System

Also, committing to working with a professional will force you to set the necessary time aside to see your home organization project through to the end. Oftentimes, we may feel like we can and should handle our own home organization. But most times, that same overconfidence is overwhelmed by the layers of work it requires. Moreover, when we’re left to our own means and unreliable motivation, we often do things just to get them done and avoid the more time-consuming task of sorting through memorabilia. A good organizer will be patient and understanding during organization stages involving organizing sentimental items that may take longer.

Certified professional organizers are experienced in varying degrees of clutter and types of homes. This means they will quickly recognize the particularities of your home, your personality, and your lifestyle and take them into consideration when designing organizational solutions for you and your family.

The Demand for Professional Organizers Is On the Rise as We Spend More Time at Home

The Demand for Professional Organizers Is On the Rise as We Spend More Time at Home

If you are a single or working adult, with kids, hobbies, or a yearning to enjoy your life, then hiring a professional organizer can be seen as the key to getting back your free time at the end of the day. With a systematic improvement to tidiness in your home, you will be cutting down the time you need to clean up every day. This will give you more time to spend with your kids or on yourself.

New to Some, But In Real-Time a Fast-Growing Field

The best way to declutter your life is to hire a professional organizer. They are eager and able to transform your home in a way that will change your lifestyle for the better. This new lifestyle — filled with clarity, organization, and nothing extra —  delivers a feeling of joy you don’t necessarily know you need until you’ve tasted it. A belief in the transformative power of organization may sound almost cult-like, but the growth rate of the field, as research shows, brings it all back to reality to show...it’s real. A simple tag search for #GOMonth2021, the NAPO’s yearly campaign to showcase how “members improve the lives of their clients by helping them create environments that support productivity, general health and well-being”, will prove how sought after professional organizer services are countrywide. An invitation to get organized and productive is one we should all accept.

How Much Do Professional Organizers Charge

It’s a common misconception that non-traditional expertise has to break the bank. A professional organizer may be a young phenomenon compared to a seasoned home designer, however, working with one is just as valued yet much more accessible. Professional organizers charge between $55 to $100 per hour nationwide. Specific projects can cost from $400 to $800. The majority of home organization projects will take 2-10 hours unless they are largescale, full-home organization projects.

What to Expect When Hiring a Professional Organizer

What to Expect When Hiring a Professional Organizer

Something to consider if these prices seem steep is how much money you’ll be saving later because after decluttering you’ll be able to really see what you have or don’t have. Many homeowners discover that they were overbuying before having their kitchen professionally organized. Making everything you do in your house more efficient and accessible will also be a huge time-saver.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Professional Organizer

The number of years an organizer has been helping people achieve less stress and overcome being overwhelmed is a reasonable thing to consider. The more cases of ‘mess’ they’ve tackled increases the chance that they will be able to find the best solutions for you.

Many professional organizers are also life coaches. Many Americans need help organizing their clutter. But if you also find that you’re having trouble identifying your ambitions, priorities, or determining the direction your life should be taking, then you may benefit from life coaching as well. In this case, you’ll want to hit two birds with one stone and hire a professional organizer who is also a life coach.

Written by
Ani Mouradian

Written by Ani Mouradian


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