NAPO Chicago, a chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Professional Organizers and Productivity Consultants apply their skills and the basic principles of organizing and time management 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 or Productivity Consultant - 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 or Productivity Consultant do?
Think of the Professional Organizer or Productivity Consultant as you would a Personal 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 time‐challenged students, our members help people gain better control of their lives.
How to choose the right Professional Organizer or Productivity Consultant:
• Professional Organizers and Productivity Consultants can be as involved as you would like in the working process!
• Options include:
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 Organizer or Productivity Consultant?
What are the benefits of working with a Professional Organizer or Productivity Consultant specializing in businesses?
How are they trained?
Professional Organizers and Productivity Consultants 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 a Professional Organizer or Productivity Consultant. Select one or more professional 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 professionals are sole proprietors. Others have employees or hire others 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 professional, or simply answer questions. Professional Organizers are able to work alone, but you will have to be available at some point to answer questions. Productivity Consultants work best alongside you.
What if I want to do the work myself?
It is your choice whether you want to hire a professional for a needs assessment, the implementation or both.
How much does it cost?
Fees and pricing will vary based on the experience, location and specialty. Some charge by the hour, and others offer package/project pricing. Avoid choosing a professional based on cost alone; work with someone who best fits your personality, goals, and needs.
What if I need containers, shelves, file cabinets, or other products?
Professional Organizers and Productivity Consultants can recommend and purchase products for you, or advise you where to get them.
Will the Professional 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 professional will guide you and offer options, but you make the final decision on every item.
Can a Professional Organizer help me sell or donate things, or haul things away?
It depends on what you have. At a minimum, the professional will advise you.
I have valuable items and confidential documents. Can I trust a Professional Organizer?
Professional Organizers and Productivity Consultants 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 a professional’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 get maintenance help or instruction, or to find different solutions better suited to the client’s needs and personality.