If you have decided to hire a professional organizer, here are some questions you should ask PRIOR to starting a working relationship.
DO YOU OFFER A FREE CONSULTATION?
Many professional organizers offer a free consultation. This is helpful for both the organizer and the client for several reasons. First, it gives you both an opportunity to see if you work well together. Watch how the other communicates, and how you feel. Although this may change over time as you work together, it gives you a brief glimpse as to how things may proceed. Additionally, you have time to explain your process and expectations without the stress of being charged for time.
Some organizers offer a phone consultation. This may be necessary if distance is a concern, but because this is a very personal endeavor, and you are inviting someone into your home, I'd suggest you pursue an in-person meeting.
*NEST Home LLC only does in-person consultations.
HOW DO YOU CHARGE FOR YOUR SERVICES?
Many organizers require a deposit before they even begin a session. This may be necessary in a bigger city, but in our area, don't expect that to be the norm.
Some organizers offer standard fees for each area in your home that requires work, regardless of need. Others will only offer 1/2 or full house packages.
Fees for hourly rates, based on a national average, can range from $80 to $140 an hour.
*NEST Home LLC does NOT require a deposit. Additionally, NEST Home LLC charges by the hour, at a rate of $48/hr. For large projects, package rates can be negotiated.
DO YOU HAVE A CONTRACT?
Believe it or not, a contract protects BOTH participants in an organization agreement. When expectations are unclear, problems can arise. Having a comprehensive agreement that both parties sign is to the advantage of everyone.
*NEST Home LLC has a comprehensive agreement that consumers can request prior to the free consultation.
AM I REQUIRED TO PURCHASE PRODUCTS?
Some professional organizers offer products for sale to assist in the organization process, and some even require a purchase. Know your organizer's stance on this.
*NEST Home LLC does NOT require you to purchase ANY products. NEST Home LLC will, however, purchase products, often at a discount, if you should so desire. The details of this are listed in our contract.
DO YOU TAKE PICTURES?
Some organizers take before and after pictures. They may do this for advertising purposes, to illustrate their efficacy, but also for their clients, so they can see the change that has occurred. For whatever reason, you have to know how comfortable you are, as a client, having your belongings photographed. Details about this process should be outlined in any contract or agreement you sign.
*NEST Home LLC does NOT take before/after photographs, unless the client requests it.
HOW LONG WILL THE PROJECT TAKE?
This is often a very difficult answer for an organizer to give. Although most organizers have a pretty good sense of the hours required to complete a project, there are many other factors to consider. For example, some clients take longer than others to make decisions on what to do with their belongings. Either way, completing a "Scope of Work" agreement helps put parameters on a project.
*NEST Home LLC will estimate how long a project will take, and will also complete a "Scope of Work" agreement.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE?
A professional organizer has probably had working relationships with many different individuals with a variety of needs. Ask for examples of some of their projects. Ask them if they have a speciality. Ask for references or testimonials, if necessary.
Inviting a professional organizer into your home offers an exciting opportunity for change and growth. Know what questions to ask in advance, and add your own. A good professional organizer should be open to any questions you have before you start working together.
Good luck! NEST Home LLC is here.