Pay someone for help in organizing

alicesRestaurantMay 15, 2005

Well, I think I've hit bottom and think I'm going to try to find someone I can hire to help me organize. Anyone else done this?

I am at the point where I have decluttered a fair amount (still a lot more to do though) but am having trouble figuring out what kind of storage I want/need.

Also, we are in the middle of major remodeling (on the cheap, i.e. very slow) so I don't want to bring any new furniture in. How to handle getting organized within some severe limits of storage and/or how to set up temporary storage is one major problem. Also, because of some health problems, I don't have the energy I need is another major problem so hopefully they will help me optimize the energy I do have.

I'm hoping at the very least that this person will force me to face a schedule in order to make the best use of their help (and my money). I guess I will check the yellow pages and/or on the web. Don't want to hire someone I don't connect with very well and I am a tad eccentric so this may be an interesting search. I'll keep you guys posted.

Wish me luck.


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Like you, Alice, I have contemplated the same action. After watching "Neat" on Discovery Home television (on Mon and Wed), as well as "Clean Sweep", I really get a sense that I will never get it done if I don't have help. Oh for the energy of my yesterdays - yes!!! Please do let us know what you find and learn.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 9:35AM
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I did this once several years ago. I hired an organization lady to come in and help organize. I paid about $100 for about 3-4 hours. Somehow in my mind I thought we would plow through several rooms together. Instead, we reorganized the kitchen cabinets...that was it. yes, she was very helpful at working with me to organize the cabinets. And she kept me going to see the job through, and had some helpful ideas. however, I realized that to do all the areas I needed help with, would be expensive. And i am not someone who is good at keeping it that way. if you have a friend or family member who is naturally organized, and it comes easily to them, perhaps they could help you and you could help them in another way. for some, you don't want someone they know in their space, seeing the extent to the disorganization. therefore, a stranger who specializes at doing this can be a big help in pulling the house back together, when it reaches that overwhelming state, and we need it re-organized for our sanity. Cheaper than a therapist, and it will feel great and energizing to be able to be in your home, and not be looking at work every where you look, and to be able to enjoy your home again. let us know what you are doing and how it went.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 12:45PM
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I feel that if you hire a professional organizer, it will be money spent making sure that you organize your own things. Whenever I watch Neat or Mission Organization, it seems that those with the messy rooms are the ones doing most of the work, with the organizer pushing them to do it.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 7:31PM
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I am in the process of working on my organzing biz ( getting certified).. but it's a future venture so I don't have a time line and looking at my house at this moment you might find me crazy to even think of it. I think each organizer looks at things in a different way and TV plays no real role in how the process REALLY works. It really is best thought to find somone whom your blend with and who does not make you feel guilty. But your part of the work can come first in thinking about what you want from the process.. what REALLY bugs you most. It's a process and like most adventures it must be started in the right frame of mind.

I think a good way to start is with a favorite drink, and some good music.After that a BIG trash can with a liner bag then pick one place.. not a room.. not even a half a room. A desk is good. Start by dumping what you can. This step in it's self can get you so far. Then think about the desk. What do you really want to do at this desk? Pay bills? Write the great American novel? Do you like the desk? hate it? When you know how you will use it then take away ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that does not support that mission.

Don't feel locked into tradational uses for items or places. A good example would be my formal glass topped hutch. It was my MIL's and I am stuck with it for now.. but what I really needed was practical dish storage not glass fronted "show off " space.. so I took out the glass panels and added wooden ones that I painted to go with the room. I added extra shelfs and now I am able to store ALL of my dishes in a area that once did not support this.

The same goes for a tall antique dresser in the room. At one point I had table linens in it..but honestly I don't use them very much and this was a PRIME spot in the house that my kids use to do schooling. So I moved the cloths to a more remote location ( hall closet in two antique picnic hampers) and I put the kids everyday school stuff in this dresser so they don't have to haul it across the house each day and then of course they did not ever take it back .. now it's easy to clean up and things are much easier and more organized.

Hope those thougths help at least a bit.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 10:00PM
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Make sure you hire someone you can work with! Maddiemom is right. I find a book called "Organizing from the Inside OUt" helpful in terms of identifying what organizing problem you are trying to solve (have you never ID'd homes for your stuff? have you made the best use of your space but you're out of space? do you really have "too much: stuff (say who?)) etc. Don't hire someone you will "fight", which is what will happen if the person has the wrong attitude and aren't sympathetic. You are the expert in you. Maybe you need someone to come and install a closet system; or maybe you don't. So think about the interview process.

I've hired someone before. She helped me organize the way I used the house overall (overused and underused rooms and spaces within rooms, and then helped me with papers, the principal problems). That was back when I lived in Maryland. I'm about to try again here in Georgia. I've had friends try to help, but if they can't think (and feel) like me, they can't help. It's no use someone setting up a system that isn't easy for ME (not someone else!) to use.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 3:56PM
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Well, I've been reading what others have said and I've been thinking more about hiring someone and then I change my mind. I think I have the smarts to organize myself but not the discipline. I hate hiring someone just because I can't keep myself on a schedule. I checked out a web site that helps you locate an organizer
Click Here
(Note: I have no connection with this organization, financial or otherwise, not yet anyway.)

But funny thing, I woke up today and started telling myself I could be my own "coach". I wrote down little cliche's that I know a coach would say such as "It isn't going to get any easier." etc. (procrastination is one of my worst problems.)

Anyway, I had more energy and discipline to stay with the "effort to organize" today than I have had in a while. Maybe externalizing this "self-coach" concept isn't such a bad idea. I also made a more detailed "plan" today as far as home maintenance and "dilemmas" that I need to get thru.

Thanks everybody for your comments.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 12:22AM
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Hello all,
I've been working away at just this task (clutter reduction, space efficient organization) in my own home and in the condo of my 83-year old mother. I found it useful to take my usual research approach: I head for the public library and check out 3 or 4 or 7 self-help books on the topic, skim through them over a period of a few days or weeks, and implement those ideas that speak to me or seem right for my situation... I am always amazed by how smart other folks are in coming up with clever solutions that I never would have thought of in a zillion years. Good luck everyone!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 12:51AM
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If you feel you have the skills, but need the discipline, can you get a "work-out buddy"?

Do you have a friend, maybe not even a close one, who has something SHE needs to do in her life? (paint the bathroom, remember to pay her bills on time, do her mending)

Maybe you can swap Saturdays, or swap one of her Saturdays for two weeknights of help/company.

But actually, I think a pro might be a REALLY good idea for you in your current situation, because of this:

we are in the middle of major remodeling (on the cheap, i.e. very slow) so I don't want to bring any new furniture in. How to handle getting organized within some severe limits of storage and/or how to set up temporary storage is one major problem.

I envision you using a professiona lorganizer to help you strategize about what your FINAL storage solution should be, and what interim steps are most effective.

If "shelves under the stairs" or "a short stretch of wall between two doors with a shallow dry-wall-enclosed bookcase" will make a difference in your storage, wouldn't you want to know it NOW?

and though you might believe you have the skills, you also might not--you may have amateur-level skills, which are considerable, but you may not have pro-level skills. As Shrimpie says, I am always amazed by how smart other folks are in coming up w/ clever solutions I would never have thought of. Much more rapidly, too--that, to me, is the difference between a pro and an amateur. Pros can leap to the workable solutions much more rapidly.

i think it's worth trying ot find someone, and interviewing them to see what they would do, what suggestions THEY have for how best you could use their skills (and your $$)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 11:09AM
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I had another good day as far as progress but .... Talley Sue is correct about speed of reaching the desired destination being an issue. I can do this, but I am not young and I wish to have some serenity soon and we can afford for me to have at least some help, doesn't have to be the permanent addition of a staff member to our family so tomorrow, I'm thinking I will contact at least one or two organizers from that web site. (Would make my husband very happy.) Now let's see how I feel when I wake up in the morning (LOL).

I also agree with Elizabeth_Pinelake that I should think carefully about the interview process...

The saga continues.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 12:02AM
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Thanks for the site. Users - don't despair - they start really specific at the top, but down at the bottom is the "chronically disorganized" category. When I first looked at it I thought, if I had one of these really limited problems I wouldn't even be here! (like needing someone to help just with paper files, closet organizing, or the kitchen).

They came up with 69 matches for me, but I had some strong reactions to the company names (some sounded like they would try to put me in boxes) - a lesson for anyone thinking of starting a service: your name conveys all kinds of meanings.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 10:36AM
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Well, thought I'd give a status. I don't seem to be able to make that final decision to pay someone. I still may do it but I'm sure many of you can understand.

In the meantime, I have made very very significant progress in handling the paper in this house. Figured out that if I attack it first thing in the morning, the results are amazing. I've almost gotten it under control which is saying a lot. The infrasturcture of file folders, categories, process of handling mail has been defined after being culled over and adjusted and redefined several times. I feel pretty good about it. It has been a lot of work. I can't say I'm finished because I still have some boxes to sort thru but I have places to put the results, YAY!

I think the trick for me has been to work on it first thing in the morning.

After I really finish the paper issues, I'm going to attack some of my other "dilemmas" the same way. Luckily, I'm retired and have this luxury. Thanks everyone for your feedback and suggestions.

I still may hire someone to get the house "ready for sale" even though we aren't selling, LOL! but that will be a bit different than having to have someone establish an infrastructure for our papers.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 4:17PM
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Alice, I think that's great. I still stand by my thinking that paying someone would be the same as hiring a babysitter. They are there to make sure you actually finish.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 4:23PM
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Thanks for the update, Alice! I've been wondering whether you'd taken the plunge.

Good luck w/ that paper. (toss, toss, most of it doesn't matter; if it's been in a box this long, it's probably not important)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 12:06PM
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Yesterday I discovered that although I probably wouldn't care to keep any papers in a pile if I didn't look at them, I lean toward keeping at least some of them if I do look at them. I would probably be just fine with tossing them without looking, but I can't quite bring myself to do it!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 1:08PM
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