If you’re often searching frantically in your cluttered closet for a decent outfit, or it takes you longer to sift through the piles of paper on your desk than it does to actually do your work—you’ve probably thought about getting your life more organized.
We know what you’re thinking--hire someone to help me go through my personal stuff and throw out my junk? How icky. And indulgent! Except it’s not as indulgent as you think. You probably pay someone to help you get in shape, do your taxes or clean your house, right?
In the same way as enlisting any other pro, hiring an organizer can pay for itself—helping you gain time, feel healthier, be more productive and ultimately save you money. Not convinced? It may make sense to call in an expert if the following scenarios sound uncomfortably familiar:
- Your closets are filled with clothes with the tags still on them. Or they’re crammed so tightly you can’t see what you have. Or stuff falls on your head every time you open the door. A pro can help you pare down to the essentials and make some cash by selling the surplus. (Hello, eBay.)
- You’ve always assumed that a messy desk is a sign of creativity, but lately, yours is drawing far-from-admiring glances from colleagues. An organizer can help you streamline, be more productive and spiff up your work space. Bonus: It may be a deductible business expense.
- You spend hundreds—or thousands—of dollars each year on late fees, penalties and fines. An organizer can set up systems to help you manage your money and pay those bills on time. That’s key to keeping your credit score high.
- You’re feeling so overwhelmed by your stuff that you’re thinking of moving to a bigger place. Or you pay good money every month to keep you-can’t-remember-what in a storage facility.
It may also make sense to hire a pro when you're in a major life transition, like becoming a parent, moving in with a partner, a death in the family or a major career change.
And remember: While you may associate decluttering with hours of labor (and feelings of being overwhelmed) a trained organizer can help tackle a small project like one closet or a few file cabinets in just a few hours. For a larger project, expect to book several sessions.
Most pros charge hourly, with rates varying depending on organizers’ experience and location (expect to pay less than $100 per hour in non-metropolitan areas; more if you live in a major city). It’s about the cost of a nice dinner out—except you’ll feel lighter afterward.
Organization expert Lisa Zaslow is the founder of www.GothamOrganizers.com Visit to receive super-easy free organizing tips to save money, time, space and effort.