Thinking Of Hiring A Professional Organizer?

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Since May is spring cleaning and organizational month we’ve been talking a lot about getting our homes systematized and in good order. If tasks like arranging the photo albums or clearing out the garage seem too daunting you may be wondering if it’s possible to hire a professional organizer while on a budget. Fortunately, hiring a pro isn’t as exclusive as you might think.

Most people cannot afford to hire someone to organize the entire home (or office) in one shot. We consulted a professional organizer, Kim Stetson of Project Organize, to help us understand when to do it ourselves and when to hire a pro.

“I think it is a better use of money, on a limited budget, to pick individual projects to focus on, and set up a home organization schedule (like the sample below).” This approach, whether done within one year or over a longer period of time, will break down the overwhelming projects you may have in your life.

“The professional organizer can help you with the things that you dread, but are also causing the biggest time-suck in your life. Kitchens are a big one that I think people don’t realize they lose time in, as well as the obvious home office and clothing closets. So I’d set up an organization schedule, and then tackle most of it on your own but hire the professional organizer on the bigger, more overwhelming projects. Each of these ‘projects’ can be scheduled throughout the year, and should only take a weekend for each one (basements and attics might take longer if they haven’t been cleaned out in a while!).”

Professional organizers are akin to a coach – helping the client not only tackle specific areas to arrange but also establish systems for remaining organized and preventing future clutter from accumulating. Most professional organizers charge by the hour (although some charge by the project or by the day) and the national average fee per hour is $55 - $85. Be sure to request a consultation to establish what work will actually be done and an estimate of how many hours it will take to complete. To find a professional in your area you can look through the National Association of Professional Organizers website.

Below you’ll see a sample chart of how to start the home organizational process.

Sample Project/Sample Date

Kitchen/January


  • Clean out all cupboards, drawers and the refrigerator.

  • Remove expired food.

  • Remove unused dishware and extra/duplicate cookware.

Basement/February


  • Clean out unused items such as furniture, toys, exercise equipment, etc.

  • Donate/sell unused items.

  • Clean and organize basement.

Photos/March


  • Upload photos from your camera to the computer.

  • Organize photos in albums and electronically.

  • Write captions, order prints, upload to Flickr or other online photo site.

Home Office/April


  • Organize, label, and store files.

  • Organize electronic files.

  • Recycle and shred unnecessary papers.

Clothing/May


  • Go through each clothing closet and remove Fall/Winter clothing that was not worn the past winter.

  • Remove clothing that does not fit.

  • Organize closet for Spring/Summer clothes.

  • Donate discarded clothing.


Garage/June

  • Clean out unused items such as tools, patio furniture, gardening supplies, etc.

  • Donate/sell unused items.

  • Clean and organize garage.

Bathroom/July


  • Go through drawers and cupboards in all bathrooms and remove old/unused bottles, medications and bath products.

  • Thoroughly clean every surface in the bathroom.

  • Remove old towels and bedding.

Kitchen/August


  • I recommend cleaning out the kitchen two times per year.

Clothing/September


  • Go through each clothing closet and remove Spring/Summer clothing that was not worn the past summer.

  • Remove clothing that does not fit.

  • Organize closet for Fall/Winter clothes.

  • Donate discarded clothing.

Photos/October


  • I recommend organizing your photos two times per year.

Attic/November


  • Clean out unused items and memorabilia that you no longer want.

  • Organize remaining memorabilia into airtight storage bins for long-term storage.

Home Office/December


  • I recommend cleaning out the office two times per year.

Thanks, Kim, for the advice!

Image Credit: The Container Store

Related posts: Keep Your Home Organized In 15 Minutes Or Less Per Day

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