What is a Professional Organizer? Professional Organizers help clients improve upon their organization skills. Organizers assist clients to reduce chaos and clutter and by implementing systems to enable them to use their time more productively. The process of taking better control often reduces stress and allows clients to think more clearly and creatively. Strategies and systems are customized to each clients’ unique needs and goals, maximizing the likelihood that results can be maintained.
Why should I hire a Professional Organizer? Typical goals include achieving a more efficient, functional and aesthetically pleasing environment. Clutter and the stress it causes negatively affect critical thinking, quality of sleep, makes us more susceptible to illness and drains precious time. An uncluttered space is an uncluttered mind! We are inundated with information, distractions and seemingly never ending to do lists. If your efforts to gain better control and perspective have failed, an organizer can provide guidance, compassion, motivation and an objective assessment, to help you move forward. Professional organizers break projects down into manageable components and help you stay on task, until completion. Hiring a professional organizer can empower you to finally take charge of whatever is on your plate, improve your organizational skills, lighten your load and improve your quality of life.
Is it worth the cost? Chaos is more expensive! We invite you to read our Surprising Stats page to discover the high cost of disorganization. Have you bought duplicate items you didn’t need because you don’t know what you have or need? Have you paid late fees because you lack a system for making timely payments? Are you habitually late or do you miss out on events and opportunities because of poor time and schedule management?
Quite possibly, you can’t afford not to hire a Professional Organizer! This investment in yourself, will save you time and money. With a place for everything and everything in its place, you can find what you need fast. When your papers, supplies and other belongings are located conveniently to where they are needed, retrieval and clean up is simple and easy, increasing your productivity. An added bonus is that after sorting, purging and organizing what remains, you can reduce your housework or office cleaning by up to 40%! Your inr investment will likely be a drop in the bucket, compared to your improved peace of mind, which is priceless.
Why should I hire you? Organizing is a strength and passion for me, that comes quite naturally. Not blessed with a terrific memory, staying organized has truly been the underlying recipe to my success. I work hard to treat clients with the empathy, compassion, sensitivity and patience they deserve and strive to implement solutions that will work for them, so better habits can be established over time. I know the right questions to ask, to quickly start making headway. If you crave order that has been unattainable, I can help you achieve and maintain that order. The experience will likely prove to be inspirational, cathartic and even fun.
If my goal was to get rich, I would still be practicing law! Organizing is what I want to do. When you like what you do, you do it with a smile, good humor and it is easy to stay focused and energetic. The results are liberating not only for my clients, but for me too, knowing I helped them make positive changes in their lives!
Can a friend or relative help me get organized? Yes, if you have someone who is:
- An excellent project manager, able to keep you focused and on task
- A confident leader who can help you make difficult decisions
- Educated in the principles of organization and the latest techniques
- Knowledgeable in connection with professional resources
- Objective, non-judgmental, compassionate and won’t compound your feelings of guilt or shame
- Generous with their time and efforts and won’t make you feel forever indebted
- Able to turn a project you may dread, into an energizing, liberating and fun event.
How long will it take? The scope of your project, your goals, how quickly you absorb information and make decisions, all play a part in how long your unique project will take. Time and cost can be reduced, if you are inclined to do some homework between sessions, though this is not required. We predict you will be surprised at how much is accomplished in just one session and this will inspire you to keep going!
We will proceed as quickly as your comfort level allows. However, delays can occur if you are overly cautious, hesitant or not committed to the process. Extra time also mounts if you tend to expand the scope of your project.
Each situation is different and each organizing project is designed around what works for your budget and desired level of participation. We are flexible and will provide whatever level of service you prefer. For some help in clarifying the scope and length of your project, consider these questions:
- How long has the clutter been accumulating and how much space is affected?
- How willing are you to follow through on your organizer’s tips, systems and advice?
- How quickly can you make decisions, once presented with options and ideas?
- How long can you sit in one place and focus on a defined task?
- Do you seek beauty, perfection or merely functionality?
- How much time can you devote each week/month/quarter to working with your organizer?
- Will you make time to do any work on your own, between organizing sessions?
- How involved do you want to be in the process?
- Would you prefer that we merely assess your situation and offer suggestions to get you started?
- Do you foresee any situations that will cause delays in your project?
Will you be cleaning the space we are working in? Our primary function is to help you rid yourself of chaos and clutter and give you the tools with which to learn how to use your time and space more efficiently. We are not housekeepers. However, this is an excellent time to clean the spaces we organize. With your things out of their crammed spaces, a quick cleanup is quick and easy.
Is this mess the worst you’ve seen? There is no need to be embarrassed. This is what we do because we want to help you. Your mess won’t scare or surprise us. We pride ourselves on remaining non-judgmental and compassionate throughout the process. We welcome a challenge and see beyond your mess, opportunities for solutions to help you break old habits that aren’t working, so you can live a simpler and less stressful life.
Will I have to get rid of all my stuff? You won’t get rid of anything you don’t want to. Nothing will be discarded without your permission. After seeing your space and what’s in it, through interactive questioning, we will offer recommendations to help you evaluate and prioritize your belongings. Getting organized is not just throwing things out. Using space more efficiently is often the situation. However, if your space is maximized, there is simply too much to fit and you are not ready to do some purging so your space will function as you’d like, then hiring a professional organizer will be a waste of time and money.
Letting go can be difficult. Parting with some things may be easier, when you donate to a worthy cause. We can help you select appropriate places that will accept your things, can drop them off and provide you with a tax receipt. Other appealing options may include giving items to friends or family, selling, recycling or re-purposing them.
We will not try to influence you to give up irreplaceable items, but will cheer you on as you decide to give up things that no longer have meaning or value for you. On a personal note, I’ve kept my insanely awesome stationery collection intact for over 35 years, in 3 small boxes. I love knowing that this collection has survived, which brings me straight back to my childhood. I wouldn’t consider parting with it, nor should I ever have to (anyone up for trading?).
How are donations handled and will I get a receipt for tax purposes? We have a long list of great places accepting just about anything you can think of, where they will be reused or disposed of in a responsible eco-friendly manner. If interested, we can make your donations and request your tax receipt.
How do you attack organizing and time management projects? Although every home and business is different, the process of organizing space or time in either environment, is similar. For papers and things, it involves sorting. identifying what you have and then deciding what will be kept, thrown out, recycled, donated, gifted or re-purposed. The final step is finding a “home” for what you are keeping, which is convenient, makes sense to YOU and equipping you with the skills you need to keep the new system going.
Time management involves sorting through your obligations, activities and to do lists and analyzing how you are spending your time. Is there a good balance of time spent furthering your goals for work, home, family and self? We will need quantify how long different tasks and activities take, look to discard, say no to or postpone certain tasks and activities that are less meaningful, not urgent or do not further your goals. We will identify areas where delegation and streamlining are possible. After determining which activities / tasks will remain on your schedule, we will find a “home” for each one on a customized schedule, which can be a flexible or as structured as you like. In this way, you will know you have set aside time for each category, you will achieve better balance, no one area will monopolize your time and you will be furthering all of your goals.
Whether working with time or space, through our discussions, we will discover your preferences, habits, strengths and comfort zone, which will enable us to customize your ultimate solutions.
I’m still nervous and overwhelmed. What can I expect during my consultation and first organizing session? It’s natural to feel hesitant and anxious. It takes courage to ask for help. You will be entrusting us to be respectful of your privacy, your possessions and we recognize the importance of not making you feel judged or ashamed as to how things got to this point. Organizers see clutter, big and small, on a daily basis. We will not run from your project, no matter how insurmountable it may seem, so long as you truly want to make positive changes and are open to suggestions on how to facilitate that change.
At your consultation, we will look at and discuss your project and goals, what you feel has been holding you back, prior attempts you’ve made and an overall game plan. We will get to know each other, to make sure we are a good fit to work together.
During our first session we will dive in, attacking an area high on your priority list. The transformation will begin with sorting and taking inventory. You will see positive results after merely one session. From there we will forge ahead during subsequent sessions, working on manageable components of your overall project. In crafting solutions for you, it will be very important to have a clear understanding of what is already working for you and and what is not (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it).
The first step is the hardest but YOU have already taken it! You realize you need help to accomplish what you haven’t been able to on your own. Just look at these photos to see what you can achieve!
How should I prepare for our organizing session? Think about how you would like the space to function. Do you want a relaxing spot for family and friends to gather, an efficient office or home office, an area dedicated to your hobbies, gift wrapping, reading, etc. Envision the space and use this picture as a reminder of your goals as we work on your project and later, as you strive to maintain the results.
Should I tidy up before the organizing consultation or session? No, it is better that we see the whole home or office situation. Understanding the piles that habitually form, will help us to figure out how to make them disappear for good.
Do I need to be present at the organizing session? Yes, with few exceptions. We will work together as a team, asking questions and conveying information. You, as the ultimate decision maker should be there, to make sure what is being accomplished makes sense to you.
I’ve never been able to stay organized. How will this be different? We will work with you to establish an organizing system that suits your lifestyle and the way you think. No one answer is right for everyone. Several suggestions may be made, before we find one you think you can work with. We will provide support as needed, until you are comfortable that the new system is firmly in place.
Once you have the knowledge, tools and new systems in place, long term success is largely up to you. Staying organized doesn’t happen by itself. It takes commitment to work at what you’ve learned, until it becomes an improved habit. Remembering where you started and the work it took to create space that you love, may inspire you to keep it that way.
While some clients maintain sufficiently on their own, others experience backsliding, lose momentum and struggle to stay on top of everything. This is not a big problem, if you seek help while the issues are relatively small. Don’t wait and risk losing the benefits of all your hard work. Scheduled periodic maintenance sessions are also available in person or by phone, to keep you on track. We may need to tweak your systems to better suit your patterns and lifestyle, after analyzing which aspects were most problematic for you to maintain.
Should I buy storage containers or organizing systems ahead of time? No. There are great products available, if you need them. But, we will want to make sure you buy containers to fit what will go in them and that the containers fit perfectly where they will be stored. Buying randomly, without having worked through this process is typically not useful.
Do you bring the necessary supplies or do I need to purchase them? We have on hand basic supplies for labeling, filing and sorting. If more than a few basic supplies are provided, reimbursement for the cost is expected. Having cleaning supplies, paper towels, trash bags and a few zip lock or bags of various sizes on hand for our sessions would be helpful.
Will I have to buy new furniture or a lot of organizing products? You probably have more organizing products than you realize. Often, once we take hold of what you will be keeping and put it to good use, we find you already have most, if not all of what you need to containerize these items. If you come up short, we may recommend that you purchase some organizing products, shelving or furniture, to create more storage and more efficient use of your space.
If purchases are necessary, we can help you find the right items, We have access to many great resources for organizing products and services and are happy to pass along any industry discounts available.
What you buy depends on your taste. For ex., I am happy with function over beauty inside my drawers and cabinets. Where it’s not out in the open, I use all kinds of small boxes and mismatched containers to house various items. Although this works for me, you may prefer beautifully color coded, uniform containers and want to buy what is needed for the look you want.
Do you have to take before and after photos for your website? Photos are not taken without your permission. Before photos are useful, to refer to as we transform your space, to keep you motivated and to remind you of where you started. Before and after photos will not be posted on our website without your permission, though you may want them posted, so others can see your dramatic results.
How do you stay abreast of the latest organizing techniques and tools? I network with other organizers on Long Island, attend POLI meetings (Professional Organizers of Long Island) and benefit from the new products, technology and resources presented at those meetings. I have attained a certificate of study in chronic disorganization from ICD (Institute of Challenging Disorganization) and continue to take many of their course offerings. As a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), I avail myself of courses as needed and stay abreast of current topics through participation on their listserv. I also enjoy reading materials on time management, organizing, filing systems, downsizing, home staging, moving, smart phone applications and technology that can help save time. That there is always more to learn about tools that can help make clients’ lives easier, is one of the things I enjoy.
Shouldn’t you specialize in one particular area of organizing? Many do specialize in one aspect, such as photos, papers and filing systems, offices, homes, time management, moving, senior downsizing, children and students, hoarders, ADHD, the chronically disorganized, etc. My preference has been to obtain a broad knowledge base in all of these areas. While I don’t pretend to know everything about each one, I know enough to competently help clients in all of these areas. As I grow and develop, I may decide to narrow the clients I will work with, but for now, it’s mostly one stop shopping. I am prepared to work with you on most any organizing project you may have and if I am ever stumped, rest assured I will do everything I can to locate whatever information is needed or refer you to one of my colleagues, who may be a better fit for you.
Is our organizing confidential? Yes. As a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), I am held to a strict code of ethics. Simply Orderly respects your privacy and will not share your information with any third parties.
Can I hire you to organize another family member’s space? Yes, if that person wants to make changes to become more organized. Gift certificates are available and can make great gifts!
What are your fees? We offer a free consultation of roughly 30 minutes or a free hour toward your first session. Generally, we avoid charging by the project, since many factors affect the ultimate time required. Though hourly rates among professional organizers vary from roughly $25 to over $100 an hour, Simply Orderly charges $60 per hour across the board, for all services provided. Hands on organizing sessions are a minimum of 3 hours. Travel time is complimentary up to 60 minutes round trip.
Are your services guaranteed? Yes. If you are not completely satisfied with the services provided, you may request an additional session, free of charge within 30 days of your project completion. This session (up to 3 hours) will focus on addressing and alleviating your concerns.
What types of payment do you accept? Payment is due at the conclusion of each session or if you prefer, you can prepay for multiple sessions in advance. We accept cash, credit cards, checks and money orders. Returned checks are subject to a $35 administrative fee.
Can I check client references? References are provided upon request. Visit our testimonials and see what some of our clients have to say about our services.