Home » FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Organizing

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Organizing

Q. How do we get started?

A. Let’s start with my complimentary initial consultation over the phone, or via video using Skype, Google Duo, or Zoom and then an on-site, no obligation consult which typically lasts an hour. This is the opportunity for me to visit with you in your space of need and discuss options, goals, and scheduling. It’s also a chance for us to decide if we’re comfortable with each other and think we’ll make a good team. It’s understandable that a good number of those considering getting organized are completely overwhelmed. Getting started can be the biggest challenge you’ll face but I am there to support you and your goals 100%. Most clients are amazed and delighted at how much we accomplish in our first hands-on session and that gives them the confidence and hope needed to realize their aspirations.

Q. What are your rates?

A. My rates are $55 – $75 per hour.  I do not charge for my travel time unless I’m on a mission/errand for your project, or you are located more than 45 minutes away from Chatham, NY. In that case $.55 per mile is charged. Time “on the clock” can include phone consulting and coaching, research for your project, shopping for your project, lengthy emails, instant messaging or texting. The total cost of every project depends on the size and how much you wish to do yourself. You are responsible for the cost of goods used in your project. Payment is due at the end of each session. Cash, check, credit card and PayPal are accepted.

Q. Do you have an option for DIY’ers?

A.  Sure! I fully support do it yourself projects, but you may need some direction. My DIY consultation includes a full walk-through of all of your spaces. I take notes, identifying trouble zone and potential solutions, while listening to your needs and desired goals. I will provide a verbal assessment and a written plan of action including priorities, possible supplies to consider, as well as resources specific to your area. The consultation typically lasts 1-2 hours and is followed up via email/snail mail and two 15-minute phone/video support sessions as needed. The fee is $250.00.

Q. Do you work outside of typical business hours?

A. My schedule is flexible, in that I can arrange to meet and work with you when you have free time, which includes weekends.  Sessions are typically booked in am and pm blocks. For instance, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm or 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm. I usually only book one session per day on weekends.

Q. Do you provide hands-on services?

A. Absolutely, I generally work side-by-side with a client for organizing projects and am directly involved in most of the physicality of your project. However, I limit lifting heavy and/or awkward objects, as well as the shuffling and schlepping of stuff to a reasonable amount. Projects that involve potential safety hazards will be addressed on a case by case basis.

Q. Will you make me throw things away?

A. Absolutely not! However, editing and purging is often a part of decluttering and organizing. I’m there to be a voice of reason, providing guidance and support, but YOU make the final decision. It’s your home and your stuff and I am respectful of both! If you’re trying to downsize and let go of excess, I will suggest a reduction plan based on percentages to help you meet your goals.  We work together to find a way to store or utilize everything that you want to keep. Any donate-able goods can go to the charity of your choosing. You make all of the final decisions!!

Q. How long will decluttering, downsizing or getting organized take?

A. Every project is different and there are a variety of factors that contribute to or influence our progress: How quickly decisions can be made; what kind of clutter and how much clutter we’ll be working with; the size of your home, office or areas that you would like to get organized; how detailed you would like the organizing to be; how much time can you devote to the project; and if you can commit to doing homework.

It’s during our first hands-on session/sessions together that I we’ll get a better idea of how quickly we’re able to make progress. Being ready for our session and limiting distractions is essential to spending our time wisely. I’ll be sending you more information about that after our initial phone consult.

Q. What about before and after pictures?

A. I prefer not to take pictures, as I respect my client’s privacy. If you’d like to know if my clients are happy with the work that we accomplish, please visit the testimonial page to see for yourself!

Q. Is there anything I can do outside of our organizing sessions to keep the project moving?

A. Yes! For those who want to carve out the extra time to commit to homework, we can make lists or set aside a pile or a box of items to work on.  Homework can involve going through paperwork or sentimental photos, letters or journals, taking returns back to stores, posting items for sale, or dealing with garbage/recyclables.  Some clients have time and energy to commit to homework, while others don’t. It’s certainly not a requirement and there is no judgement.

Q. Will I have to buy a fancy closet system or lots of organizing containers?

A. Not necessarily. I always like to utilize any organizing and storage solutions that may already be in your home. If it seems necessary to purchase containers or other organizing items, together we’ll come up with practical solutions that will work best for you and that fit in with your style.

Q. Can you guarantee that I will stay clutter free and organized?

A. That would be like a personal trainer guaranteeing that their client will stay in great physical shape. Your success is based on us finding systems that will work best for you, implementing a realistic action plan, and upkeep on your part. Keeping clutter at bay and staying organized is something we all have to work at, just like maintaining our health. I do support clients after an organizing project via phone, email or occasional “tweaking” sessions based on their needs.

Q. I’m a little embarrassed about the state of my home and to be asking for help, can you protect my privacy?

A. Yes! I understand completely. Confidentiality is of utmost importance to me. I abide by a strict code of ethics. My vehicle is unmarked and I don’t wear logo branded clothing. Remember, I am an unbiased professional who comes to you without judgement.

Q. Why should I hire a NAPO professional organizer rather than a non NAPO organizer?

(NAPO refers to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professional)
A. Professional organizing, like many professions, benefits the consumer through education and organization. NAPO members sign a code of ethics and are likely to be the best of the best. Much of what we know individually in the increasingly sophisticated area of professional organization comes to us through the benefits of membership in NAPO. As the “organizing authority,” NAPO members have access to a larger list of resources and to other professionals and their ideas. I also belong to the Institute for the Challenging Disorganized and follow their code of ethics, as well as my own personal code based on integrity, honesty and trust. Continuing education and training is a high priority for me!

These questions are the ones we are asked most frequently (FAQs) by new and prospective clients. If you have any questions that we have not addressed here, or if you’d like further explanation, please call Julie at 518-821-4682, by email , or use the form on our Contact page.