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Will Declutter for...

June 26th, 2008 at 11:34 am

cash, stock options and or real estate !

Really, this would be a job I would love to help people with. I have only received pay once...and that was from my sister!!

The satisfying feeling of order is what drives me to dig through piles of junk. When I was still a teenager, I even sent away for information from the National Association of Professional Organizers. Well, college got in the way and I earned a degree in finance.

Now, I'm a stay at home mom with a finance degree with time on my hands to help others declutter and organize. Has anyone ever hired one? How much did they charge?

I really think this would be a flexible and fun way to earn some cash. Any ideas on how to promote such a thing? What would you pay someone to help you clean up and organize a room?

6 Responses to “Will Declutter for...”

  1. disneysteve Says:

    I would never pay someone for this service. I can't imagine how anyone else could declutter my stuff. How would they know what I need/want to keep and what I could get rid of? How could they know how I'd like stuff organized? I suppose they could sort stuff somehow for me to go through, like putting all the books together and letting me decide which ones to keep, but I can't imagine ever paying someone to do something like that.

  2. JanH Says:

    We have a professional organizer in our neighborhood. I know I've seen her at fairs and events, passing out business flyers and cards. She has also been on the local TV with a re-occuring segment on different things like organizing for Christmas supplies and back to school and other stuff. Then, they give out her name and phone number and email adress for her business. I can imagine she's doing fairly well by now. I have no idea how much she charges, though. I think she helps people with what to keep and helps them with storage options for what they do keep. She's had a lot of ideas for storage and organizing what you need to keep on TV. Good luck! I'm sure you'd be needed to fill a niche in your area!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Professional organizers help those who have trouble helping themselves. They do not decide for you what to toss and what to throw...but coach you through the decision making process by asking questions on your preferences. It's not a service for everyone and probably not for us frugal people...but there is a need for it.

  4. tiki Says:

    I'd LOVE to use your services if you were in my area. Great idea for a career, you should pursue it!

    If I were you I'd charge between 10-20 dollars and hour at the minimum, but I don't know what the going rate is. Just don't undervalue your own time...you're providing a service that will transform people's lives :-)

  5. sillyoleme Says:

    I think you could probably make a business for yourself, but maybe only in a more affluent market. I can't imagine very many people I know paying someone for organization (even if they should)... but maybe people with more money than time!

    Sounds like it would be similar to interior decorating... and people pay for that. I have no idea how much you could charge, but maybe a flat fee for each "project" instead of hourly?

    Also - maybe there's some inspiration in that TV show about decluttering? The name slips my mind, but they go in and really help people clean everything out, decide what stays and goes, and then organize what does stay. Good luck if you do it!

  6. gruntina Says:

    I have done organizing and decluttering services for those I know who are in wheel chairs or other form of physical limitation when it comes to height and bending. We try to set up a system that is best for them but there is only so much you can do.

    Sometimes I just offer to come back every few months to help them move stuff around and shred papers and so on. It can be the same for spring cleaning for them as they cannot reach the dusty refrigerator top or window treatment. But I do admit I have done most of the above as favors as most people on disabilities are on a limited income.

  7. Julie Bestry Says:

    As a Certified Professional Organizer®, I may have a different perspective for you. I suggest you check out the website of the National Association of Professional Organizers http://www.napo.net again (as well as the list of chapters, to find one near you) as well as the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization http://www.nsgcd.org. (Since you attended college in the interim since you last checked, your last interaction with NAPO and our industry was eons ago, relative to the fast-paced changes.) You'll probably get the greatest sense as to whether our profession is for you if you attend a chapter meeting and talk with professional organizers currently practicing.

    Members of our industry come from a wide variety of fields: corporate America, finance, elementary education, law, engineering, mommyhood and daddyhood and more. (For example, I was a television executive, which especially helps me to coach clients on paper organizing and time management.) The key, however, isn't solely an ability to organize, per se, but to transfer skills to and create systems for the client. After all, they need to know how to maintain the organization after you are involved in their lives. :-)

    It is not necessary to live in a high socioeconomic area (though, as with any service profession, it helps), and though the recession is tough on solopreneurs, someone willing to invest time and effort into running a business (rather than having a hobby) should find this a rewarding career. Indeed, given that judiciously organizing a client will help them save money in the long run, once people understand exactly what services are available, they come from many different socioeconomic strata. It's much harder to run a business in a rural area or an severely economically depressed one, but you need not live/work in a wealthy community.

    As for DisneySteve's comment, I understand why one might think as he does, but NAPO includes 4000+ North American professional organizers, and there are many others in Professional Organizers of Canada and in organizations worldwide. We work with clients with a wide range of organizing issues, everything from hoarding and chronic disorganization to decluttering closets to organizing households to deal with major change issues like new babies, blended families or caregiving for an elderly relative. We also work with clients with specialized needs or in special populations (seniors, students, ADD/ADHD, traumatic brain injury); professional organizers may be generalists, or specialize in one particular field. I work with residential clients and home-based or small businesses, but I have colleagues who only do time management coaching for executives, or paper management organizing for non-profits...niches are manifold.

    Just as one would hire a certified financial planner, a fitness coach, and ADD coach or any of a wide variety of professionals to help you evaluate your obstacles, teach you the right skills, help you develop the right systems and provide you with motivation and accountability to reach your goals, one would hire a professional organizer. I should note, however, given your comment about rates to "organize and clean" a room, two things. First, organizing and cleaning are two very different fields. Organizing depends on customizing systems for a client's intellectual and emotional (and other) needs; cleaning is obviously a valid and important profession, but it is unrelated to professional organizing. A house or office cleaner goes in and does the work FOR the client; a professional organizer works with the client, in an active as well as coaching capacity, side-by-side.

    Finally, if you have a finance degree, you might want to check out a related field, that of Daily Money Managers or DMMs. These people are often also professional organizers who specialize in finance, helping elderly clients (as well as those with household staffs, or ADD/ADHD, or traumatic brain injury, or just too much life activity) to organize and handle their finances. If that might appeal to you, check out [url]www.aadmm.com[/url. Given technology, more and more DMMs are working virtually, so that might be helpful, given your at-home status. Your finance background might also serve you well if you chose to organize for small (or large) businesses.

    Wow, sorry to take up so much comment space. :-) Good luck!

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