Hey Collectors – it’s been way too long! I have been super busy with Collector Care, and it’s a good thing. I have been out clutter busting, training people in the field, setting up our new office, buying a new truck – and recording a podcast – life is good. Now that things have settled I plan to put more time into my blog, so you my wonderful Collectors can hear all about what’s going on with organizing, hoarding, chronic disorganization, and clutter.
One question I get a lot on estimates and over the phone is “why are Professional Organizers expensive?” Well for one we are legitimate. You get what you pay for okay? You might think there is “nothing to organizing”, it’s “just like housecleaning”, etc.
Collectors, insurance and bonding is expensive. Just think, you are having someone go in your home and through all of your personal items, god forbid they break something or hurt themselves. You get what you pay for. If you are being cheap about hiring an organizer there is a very high likely hood that they are cheap for a reason. If they were paying business insurance and dues, they would be charging much more.
Real quick, I will tell you two stories about my experience working with people after they had no success with someone they found for cheap. One was from TaskRabbit and the other was from good ole’ Craigslist. The names have been changed to protect the disorganized.
Story 1: When I got to Mary’s home the odor of garbage was incredibly strong walking up her driveway. The front door had disintegrating bankers boxes stacked high on either side, and the front door itself was almost off the hinges. I knocked a couple times before I heard a raspy voice yelling at me to “come in!”. New Amazon, QVC, and Google Delivery boxes were stacked up in the foyer and the smell of rotten food got progressively worse. You see Mary was diabetic and had recently fallen badly in her home and was basically stuck on her couch. She had no pathway to the bathroom or kitchen. She was still compulsively shopping. She was very distraught not only because of her current situation, but that she had hired two inexperienced, uninsured organizers off the craigslist and they basically ransacked her home. She felt as though jewelry were missing and possibly cash. She was too embarrassed about her home to call the police.
Story 2: Veronica is a busy mom. She feels like her laundry, paperwork, and clutter has piled up and she wants help decluttering and putting some systems in place so that she can manage her family and stuff easily. She hopped onto TaskRabbit and found someone to come over and help. Awesome right? No. They were super nice but they had never organized professionally before. When they were done Veronica was left with neatly folded piles of laundry, neat piles of paper and bins overflowing with toys. No systems were put in place. No transference of skills happened. By the following month her clutter had crept in again.
An awesome Pro Organizer has been trained and has experience. We have associations for our profession. We pay for our association dues, our classes, and meet often. Try and find someone who is involved in their community, the chamber of commerce, or volunteering. Check out their reviews online to see what other Clients had to say.
Additionally, when we do our larger jobs we dispose of things properly, which means more fees and specialized licensing. We use our vehicles which we have to maintain to transport all donations and debris. Yesterday Tony and Katie spent 3 hours cleaning and disinfecting our truck after rotten food managed to spill and splatter all over the inside and our supplies. No fun. We spend a lot on organizing and cleaning supplies. We spent countless hours to and from donation centers and electronic recycling centers. This is all before and after we have worked all day. These are the same fees other larger companies have to absorb as well.
Hopefully you will take into this blog into consideration when you are looking for help with your clutter. Cheaper is not always better.