top ten reasons to get rid of things

Top 10 list

I’ve been thinking about this one for a while so I thought I’d just go for it and put it out there.

There are a lot of people who claim to be Professional Organizers out there. But are they really?

Professional Organizing is still a highly unregulated field. Even though Professional Organizers have been around for a very long time, it is still considered a “young” profession. We don’t even have a code for the IRS when we file taxes. In fact, some of us have to say that we’re movers or interior designers so that the IRS can categorize us. We’re trying to get acknowledged by the IRS and so many other governmental entities but given that we are still a growing industry it’s going to take time.

There are many people who choose this industry as an occupation because it doesn’t yet require licensing, a degree or certification. Due to the lack of requirements, people can just hang out a shingle and claim that they are a Professional Organizer. It seems easy. But, the truth is that this industry is anything but easy. It requires skill, patience, knowledge, business acumen, physical strength and stamina, resources and so much more.

The thing is, I take my profession seriously. I just have to hope that others seeking to provide services under the umbrella of Professional Organizing will do the same. Those that don’t actually do more harm than good. Those who are putting themselves out there as Professional Organizers should be experienced and prepared to handle the job they’re hired for.

NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers, is a worldwide association that provides its members with education, certifications in certain areas are now available and more importantly a code of ethics. IMHO anyone out there providing organizing services should be part of this association if they are serious about this profession. Those that don’t, will unfortunately undermine the success of this profession.

One of the most important lessons I learned as a member of NAPO is “do no harm”. Simply put, if you aren’t qualified to work with a potential client then refer them to someone that is. In this line of work, we come across people from every walk of life, every ethnicity, race, age and people of varying degrees of abilities, both mentally and physically.  Everyone has their own issues, reasons, circumstances and we must understand our limitations as Organizers as to who we should and should not work with based on our experience, skills, knowledge, etc.

So, I will leave you with some good advice when seeking the assistance of a Professional Organizer. Do your due diligence and ask these questions:

  • Are you a member of NAPO? You can check to see if someone you want to work with is a member.
  • Are you insured? Ask for proof of general liability insurance.
  • Do you have a business license? Ask to see it.
  • Do you have an on-line presence? As for their website, social media, blog info.
  • Do you have the experience and resources to undertake the task at hand? Inquire about their experience/years in business.
  • Ask to see before and after photos of other, and perhaps similar, jobs.
  • Ask for references from prior or present clients. Do check references!
  • Check Yelp or Google-My-Business to see their reviews.
  • Find out what their specialty is so that you can make sure they would be a good fit. There are many, many areas that organizers can specialize in (ie., photo organizing, relocations, digital organizing, etc.)
  • Find out if they are a sole practitioner or if they have employees as some jobs require more than one person.
  • Finally, make sure that whoever you hire understands what YOUR goal is.  Be clear about what you want the outcome to be so that your expectations are clear.  Make sure you’re on the same page as the person/company that you ultimately hire.

    If you want to get organized, or better organized, please give us a call. We’d love to be of service!