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NAPO Chicago, a chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals

Hiring a Professional Organizer-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Professional Organizer?

Professional Organizers apply their skills and the basic principles of organizing to assist people who do not have the time or ability to create order in their homes or offices. They listen to the needs of their clients, offer solutions, implement them, and educate clients on ways to stay organized.

Why hire a professional Organizer - questions to ask yourself:

•   Are you always trying to do more in less time?

•   Are you dropping activities you enjoy because you don't have the time?

•   Are you too busy to make organizing your home, schedule, or workplace a priority?

•   Are you uncertain where to start, even if you DID have the time?

•   Would you like to have a more organized and less stressful life?

What does a Professional Organizer do? 

Think of the professional organizer as you would a personal fitness trainer. Do people go to the gym to tackle personal goals independently? Sure they do. But to really get mileage out of a workout, to find the quickest and best way to reach target goals, working with a pro sure helps. It’s a huge advantage. The same applies to getting on top of personal and business organization challenges. That’s what we’re here for, to help folks get over that organizational hump with tested principles and expertise. We meet with clients to discuss goals, plot out a course that best suits their personality or business culture, then do the work that gets them where they want to be; organized and in control. And importantly, help keep them there.

From organizing homes and offices to time management training, from efficient filing systems to streamlined closet design, whether helping business entrepreneurs, busy heads of households or timechallenged students undefined what a professional organizer basically does is help people gain better control of their lives.

How to choose the right Professional Organizer:

•   Professional Organizers can be as involved as you would like in the organizing process!

• Options include:

                     Question-And-Answer Consultation

                     Full Service, Hands On Project Management


•   NAPO organizers are your one stop source for organizing solutions!

                     Convenient - flexible hours, including evenings and weekends

                     Confidential - part of NAPO's Code of Ethics

                     Comprehensive - projects personalized to your needs

                     Affordable - flexible arrangements to meet your budget

What are the benefits of working with a Professional Residential Organizer?

  • Saving you time since your belongings will be easy to find
  • Saving you money since you won't buy duplicates of items you already have
  • Helping you clean out any part of your home (ie. kitchen, garage, attic or basement) to eliminate items you no longer need or use
  • Showing you how to keep your home clutter-free so you are always ready for unexpected guests

What are the benefits of working with a Professional Business Organizer?

  • Increasing employee efficiency and effectiveness by helping your staff master organizing techniques
  • Managing paper to improve workflow and reduce incoming and outgoing paperwork
  • Organizing office space, including the most common areas of disarray - desks, copy stations and common work areas
  • Creating a filing system that functions according to the way you work
  • Organizing storage like supply cabinets and storage spaces

How are they trained?

Professional organizers begin with patience and endurance, a passion for order, a knack for creating it, and a desire to help others. They study guidebooks on organizing, attend seminars and conferences, and learn from experience and networking. Continuing education is a benefit of membership in NAPO.  Certified Professional Organizers have met specific minimum standards, and prove through examination and client interaction that they possess the body of knowledge and experience required for certification.

How do I know they can solve my particular problem?

NAPO members have specialties that are listed beneath their company names in Find an Organizer. Select one or more organizers and discuss your situation over the phone, or have them visit you.

Will the person I speak with be the one to do the work?

Some organizers are sole proprietors. Others have employees or hire other organizers to work under their direction.

Do I have to be there while the work is being done?

That’s up to you. Some clients work with the organizer, or simply answer questions. Organizers are able to work alone, but you will have to be available at some point to answer questions.

What if I want to do the work myself?

It is your choice whether you want to hire an organizer for a needs assesment, the implementation or both.

How much do organizers cost?

Fees and pricing will vary based on the experience, location and specialty of the organizer. Some charge by the hour, and others offer package/project pricing. Avoid choosing an organizer based on cost alone; work with the organizer that best fits your personality, goals and needs.

What if I need containers, shelves, file cabinets, or other products?

Organizers recommend and purchase products for you, or advise you where to get them.

Will the organizer try to convince me to get rid of things?

Eliminating things is often part of the solution. If you have trouble parting with things you really don’t need, the organizer will guide you and offer options, but you make the final decision on every item.

Can an organizer help me sell or donate things, or haul things away? 

It depends on what you have. At a minimum, an organizer will advise you.

I have valuable items and confidential documents.  Can I trust an organizer? 

Organizers pledge their honesty and confidentiality, which are critical for sustaining their profession. NAPO members adhere to a Code of Ethics. If you like, ask for references and proof of insurance.

Truthfully, I'm embarrassed for anyone to see my mess!

Confidentiality plays a role here. Many people are overwhelmed or desperate by the time they call for assistance, so professional organizers are prepared for anything. They strive to be non-judgmental. They are there to solve the problem.

Once the task is completed, I'm afraid I will return to my bad habits. 

Part of an organizer’s job is to establish procedures and set up systems that will work best for you and be easy to follow. However, it is not uncommon for clients to call the organizer back for maintenance or instruction, or to find different solutions better suited to the client’s needs and personality.


NAPO Chicago, a chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals

A 501(c)(3) Organization
P.O. Box 409157, Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: 847-750-NAPO (847-750-6276)

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