How hiring a professional organizer can save you money

March 19, 2015

By Sheryl Smolkin

If you have been meaning to clean out the garage, tackle the mess in your home office or ream out the cupboards under the kitchen sink for years but haven’t gotten around to it, maybe it’s time to hire a professional organizer.

While many organizers charge an hourly fee, others work on a project or package basis. Fees typically depend on the organizer’s area of expertise, geographical location, how far he/she has to travel and what competitors are charging. As a result, professional organizing fees can range anywhere from $50 to $175 per hour plus GST and provincial sales tax.

That may seem steep until you think about how paying someone to get you organized can actually save you money. For example:

  1. If your desk is so cluttered that credit card bills and utility bills are buried, you may be paying hundreds of dollars or more in fines or late payments on overdue payments.
  2. Lost receipts and warranties could mean that when your appliances or latest tech toys break down you may have to bite the bullet and get new ones instead of getting free repairs or replacements.
  3. Avoid having to make last minute visits to the store to buy ingredients for your favourite recipe, only to find that you have several open and unopened packages in the back of your pantry.
  4. Because archived unopened packages and cans of food quickly become stale-dated you may find yourself regularly pitching pricey unused ingredients after their “best before” dates.
  5. Time is money. How much time do you waste every week looking for the sweater that goes with your outfit, only to give up and wear something else because you have no idea where you saw it last?
  6. If you have several children close in age, clothing in good condition can be handed down to the next child. That’s if you can find what you need when you need it. Unless items are washed, sorted by size and carefully packed away, you will end up buying the same thing all over again for the next baby.
  7. Finding a newer, bigger place to live is expensive and disruptive. If you can only get the basement cleaned up and organized you may find you actually have lots of space for a home office or a playroom for your children.

Until recently in both our current home and the previous one, organizing my husband’s workroom seemed like an insurmountable challenge. There were large pieces of equipment he never used and it seemed impossible to safely and neatly store his amazing collection of tools acquired over many years.

Because it was so cluttered he found it very difficult to do any creative wood working and I got irritated every time I went downstairs to do the laundry. We finally hired a professional organizer last spring because my son was moving back home temporarily and we had to free up as much space as possible for his stuff.

In about 12 hours on three separate days he worked with my husband to organize both the work room and the garage. As a result, my son did not have to pay to store his boxes because we found room for them. The organizer carted off several pieces of useful equipment and found them a new home. Also, he put a kiln and a wheel from Joel’s pottery-making days on Kijiji and managed the replies.

There have been several cases where Joel couldn’t find things after the organizer left because they were carefully put away in a place that intuitively made no sense to him. But overall, we are delighted with the result and there is one less thing for me to grumble about.

You can find a professional organizer using the search tool on the Professional Organizers in Canada website. If you have the inclination to organize other people’s messes for a living, you can also find information about training and accreditation as a professional organizer.

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