By hour and by project – Forbes Advisor
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If you find that you haven’t seen your garage floor in years or you fear for your life every time you open that closet in your home, you may be looking for a professional organizer. A professional organizer is someone who will help you declutter your space and create an organization system that fits your lifestyle.
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The average hourly rate for a professional organizer is approximately $55 per houralthough this price can range from $30 to $130 per hour depending on the project and their level of expertise.
Average prices of professional home organizers
Professional Organizer Rates
Professional organizers usually charge either per hour or per project. This can vary greatly depending on the organizer’s business model, the scope of your project and their area of expertise.
Hourly billing is common for large jobs. Although the hourly rate is generally within the $50 to $60 interval, jobs that require more hands or more coordination can cost you a lot more. For smaller jobs, many organizers will require a minimum number of man-hours to ensure that the project they are taking on will cover the overhead necessary to complete it.
The location of your project will also determine the final cost. Typically, organizers in big cities will cost you more than those in suburban areas. They may also include additional costs for travel and transportation if you are outside their usual area.
Although not all professional organizers offer flat rates per project, many offer flat rates for simpler projects. Although these can sometimes seem more expensive initially, they often save you money in the long run. The average cost of an organization project is approximately $125although this cost varies greatly depending on the scope, from as low as $50 up to $1,500.
Some projects often offered at a flat rate are unpacking and organizing your belongings before moving into a new space, organizing a pantry or closet, and more specific tasks like sorting memories.
These costs are also in addition to any purchases of bins, baskets, or other home organization items needed for your project, which most organizers can acquire at a discount. Not all organizers pass on these discounts. Much depends on their business model, so be sure to ask about that as well when hiring someone.
What does a professional organizer do?
While discussing costs, it is also important to clarify what a professional organizer does and what it does not do. A professional organizer is someone who helps you manage your physical affairs. They’re the people you call when you need a helping hand sorting out and decluttering your stuff, developing organizational strategies, and putting a plan in place to keep your home or other space in good shape.
Some organizers will do basic cleaning depending on the project you hired them for, but as a rule, they are not professional cleaners or housekeepers. They are also not personal or life organizers and generally do not handle scheduling, goal setting, or time management outside of things directly related to your physical space. They are also not interior designers, although they can often offer design assistance and occasionally make purchases on your behalf.
There are many types of organisers, some more general in their approach and others with very specific areas of expertise. For example, a digital organizer helps declutter your digital space and can teach you how to use your technology to better meet your needs. A desktop organizer will specifically take care of the file structure and layout of your desktop to maximize your productivity.
Not all professional organizers offer all services, so understanding your project needs and their areas of expertise will help you find the most cost-effective option. Ultimately, the goal of a professional organizer is to design an organizing system that fits your lifestyle and will help make your living space as peaceful and efficient as possible.
level of experience
It goes without saying, but one of the biggest cost drivers when hiring a professional organizer is their experience. Someone who is new to the industry will charge less per hour but may need more time to complete the job, while someone with many years of experience will charge more but take less time.
The scope of the project
An organizing project can range from a small closet decluttering to a complete home reorganization. The scope of your project will determine the manpower needed to complete it, the number of hours or days it will take, and the time the organizer will need to spend preparing for the work.
This little closet decluttering will probably take an afternoon and, other than buying a few bins perhaps, shouldn’t take much time outside of that afternoon. However, if you want to use a custom closet system, the organizer will have to design that system, coordinate the installation, and spend the afternoon decluttering. What was perhaps a $150 to $300 project is now a $500 to $1,500 project for the same space.
This brings us nicely to the next major cost factor to consider: customization.
Personalization and additional services
As in the small closet example above, the more you customize your space, the more time an organizer will spend coordinating with other professionals and getting ready for work. The most common type of customization is adding specialized furniture, organization systems, or custom millwork, which usually requires placing custom orders or hiring a subcontractor to build something.
Some organizers may also offer interior design advice, such as helping with furniture and lighting arrangements or suggesting small decorative items. These services are usually offered at a slightly higher rate or are billed as an additional service. Other additional services could be home staging, scanning of photos and memorabilia, transportation and disposal of furniture and, in some cases, professional cleaning.
Tips for finding the right professional organizer for you
Because there are so many types of professional organizers, finding the best one for your job can seem overwhelming. The most important thing to understand is the level of service you think you need and the degree of involvement you want in the process.
Do you prefer to work with someone who only advises you and gives you homework? Or someone who will come and do the work alongside you and advise you? Or do you prefer someone to come and take care of everything so you don’t have to think about it? Understanding your own intentions in hiring an organizer will go a long way in finding the right person.
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Hire a professional organizer
Once you’ve narrowed down your area, it’s time to reach out and begin the process of hiring a professional organizer. Most organizers offer some free consultation, often a phone call. This will allow them to better assess your needs and prepare an accurate estimate of the work. This is the perfect time for you to ask questions about their experience and practice. Some good questions to ask are:
- What types of projects do you specialize in?
- Have you taken any training or certifications?
- What is your typical approach? Do you give homework?
- Do you offer a contract or other written agreement?
- Can you provide a portfolio or references?
Contracts aren’t common, but at the very least you should ask for an email detailing what work they will and won’t do and what you’ll pay for it. It’s also important to understand how they structure their payments and if they require down payments or have other fees to consider. Some organizers charge consultation fees or travel costs on top of their hourly rate, so it’s good to ask so you can anticipate these things in advance.
Once you’ve chosen an organizer, they’ll usually offer you an in-person consultation where they can see the space, understand your lifestyle, and develop strategies and next steps. Deadlines can vary, but a good organizer can give you a timeline for your project so you know what to expect and how to prepare.
Whatever the project, with the right professional organizer, you can also have a space that would make Marie Kondo proud and also provide you with a more relaxing environment in which to spend time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is hiring a professional organizer worth it?
A professional organizer’s job is to make your life easier and more efficient while saving you time and stress. Not to mention that they can often save you money with trade discounts on storage solutions. If you find decluttering to be a particularly stressful undertaking, a professional organizer may be worth the investment.
When is the best time to hire a professional organizer?
Professional organizers are particularly useful guides during times of transition. Moving house? Do you have a renovation project? Preparing for a new baby or adding another family member? A professional organizer can help take the stress out of setup.
Do professional organizers need licenses or other credentials?
While not all organizers seek professional certifications or credentials, many will take courses to keep up to date with industry standards. Some common credentials you might see are organizers who are members of NAPO or the National Association of Productivity and Organizational Professionals and CPOs or Certified Professional Organizers.