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When should you hire a professional organizer?

by respaced on March 8, 2010

You may think hiring a professional organizer (PO for short) is a luxury you can’t afford. But there are six situations when hiring a PO becomes more than a luxury; it becomes a necessity:

1. When your clutter is so overwhelming, you don’t know where to start. At this point, you have probably stopped using a corner or an entire room because there is too much stuff to use the space for what it is intended.
2. You have limited time and need to get organized by a deadline. A PO will have methods for decluttering and reclaiming your space that will drastically speed up the organizing process. You will get organized much faster with a PO than if you were to go it alone.

3. You are easily distracted and have a difficult time finishing what you start. A PO is more than a space-clearer. She is also a coach who will keep you on task and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. She will inspire you to keep going and support you through the tough decision-making you may encounter.

4. You can’t decide what to keep, toss or donate. You’ve been putting off making some tough decisions and could benefit from a neutral, objective perspective.

5. You are dealing with medical (physical or psychological) issues that make organizing extremely difficult. There are POs who specialize in working with people with certain conditions such as ADHD, compulsive hoarding, OCD and more. A good PO will help you find an organizer who can meet your needs, even if that organizer is not her!

6. You are going through a transition in your life such as a divorce, death in the family, downsizing to some form of adult care, foreclosure or relocation after several decades in the same house. I don’t recommend taking on an organizing project when you’re under such extreme stress (see my post on this issue from February). But sometimes you have no choice. Under those situations, a PO is essential.

Of course, I’d love it if you hired me to be your organizer. I’m here to help you take back control of your house and your life. But you may also find it helpful to check out the resources at the National Association of Professional Organizers and the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization.

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