As with any pursuit of a trusted professional, finding a Los Angeles professional organizer will require some investigation. A great organizer will have expertise, a widely varied skill set, and an outgoing personality that will suit your lifestyle and goals. Prior to making that first phone call, consider each of the following questions.
What types of professional organizing services would benefit me most?
Professional organizers may limit their service offerings to one or two niches while others will offer a very wide variety of services. If your needs are for a business, look for an organizing professional that specializes in office settings. Storage areas can be one of the greatest challenges and some professionals are best at designing custom filing system or closet structures. When seeking to organize large collections or memorabilia, see a professional with up-to-date knowledge in all the best methods for preserving your treasures. People who struggle with chronic disorganization will find that some professional organizers are specialists in maintaining the organized environment by visiting multiple times every year. People who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) find that personal organizers can bear some of the burden of maintaining the home.
What informational resources are available for my search?
The first stop should always be the NAPO Professional Organizer directory where you can find Los Angeles professional organizers sorted by services offered and distance from your current location, or both. Electronic and printed versions of the local Yellow Page directory can provide valuable contact information. While the headings within the listings will vary by location, some variation on, “Organizing Products and Services,” will usually contain the information sought.
How much would organizing services cost?
Fees charged by organizing professionals vary depending on their experience, location, and the number of competitors in the area. Some organizers charge hourly fees, but others will use a value-based pricing structure and charge a flat fee for the entire project. A detailed discussion with the professional can provide the information necessary to establish a budget that is affordable while achieving great results.
Price should never be the only deciding factor when choosing a Los Angeles professional organizer. Ask enough questions to make the decision based on the value provided by a professional that is easy to work with and able to meet the need. The organizer you choose should be able to deliver results in a reasonable period of time.
What interview questions will unveil the best organizer for my situation?
Conduct multiple interviews with professional organizers, but ask the same questions of each one to ensure a fair comparison. Telephone or email interviews are easy to conduct. Once you have reduced the field down to two or three candidates, your next step might be to meet each one personally. Ask if their consultations are free or if they charge for the initial consultation and then credit the fee toward future services if hired. Each organizer will operate under a different model so make sure you know what to expect.
Vital questions to ask:
1. Are you a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)? What about other professional organizations?
Membership does not guarantee a certain standard of work, but it does convey a commitment to the code of ethics and a heart for continuing education.
Other professional organizations are made up of organizing professionals, including: Professional Organizers in Canada (POC), The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), and the Australasian Association of Professional Organizers (AAPO).
2. What are your organizing specialty areas?
3. What types of projects have your completed recently?
4. Describe your typical client.
5. What types of training and certifications have you completed? (feng shui, coaching, interior design, chronic disorganization, etc.)
6. Describe your specific organizing approach and my role in the process.
7. What happens in a typical working session?
8. When did you start in the organizing business?
9. Do you perform the work yourself?
10. What fee structure do you use?
11. Do you work under a written contract?
12. What is the procedure for cancelling your services?
13. May I see written references?
14. How will this experience be different from attempting to organize myself?
The Organizer will Ask You Questions
In order for the professional organizer to be effective, that person must ask some very personal questions. One of the reasons that people become disorganized is because they do not understand their own personal preferences and work habits. The organizing professional will ask questions that will reveal your personality, work style, and the issues that have prevented you from achieving organization.
The success of the project will be dependent on your ability to answer every question and be honest about what is working. If something just does not meet your objectives, tell the professional and ask for a different solution. The goal must be the same for both of you, and that means organization is key to success.
After you have chosen an organizing professional to address your need, the decision is not irreversible. If your choice does not work well for your situation, speak openly with the professional and find a workable solution. One option is to go back to the top of the process and find another professional organizer. The best organizing professionals are supportive, encouraging, and never judgmental. When you are speaking this person should demonstrate good listening skills and provide a variety of suggestions and choices to create an organized system that works for you.