Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to declutter or organize a room?
Just as people are unique, so are our clutter problems. I work with each client to determine their lifestyle needs, evaluate their spaces and storage and then customize an organizing plan to work for them. It's not about pretty baskets, bins and labels! It's about systems, function and psychology. A Professional Organizer just doesn't tidy up your home - that's what house cleaners do. This is a much more in-depth process that is geared towards making your home the way you really want it to be.
Do you work alone or with a team?
Both! Sometimes the work calls for dedicated one-on-one time with my clients to properly work through the clutter over time. Other times, the job calls for me to bring in a team or organizers or varying levels of expertise to "get 'er done". This is something that we determine during the consultation. Professional Organizing is very flexible and can be done quickly or in phases to suit your timeframe and budget.
How does a consultation work?
I normally start with an in-home consultation to discuss your needs. I take notes and photos (confidential), pepper you with fascinating questions and then use the information that I gather to put together an estimate and timeline. I also include estimated costs for any supplies or third party services (junk, cleaning, movers, etc.) that may be needed so you can have the complete picture. I charge a $50 fee for this service payable at the time of the consult.
How much does professional organizing cost?
In a nutshell, it depends. Sometimes, I work one-one-one with a client, so it is just my hourly rate. Other times, I need to bring in other organizers to get the job done quickly. I am priced in the mid-range for an organizer. New organizers tend to be in the $50/hr range, and highly certified and specialty organizers can be up to $125/hr. Considering I am only 1 of 8 organizers to earn my CPO-CD® designation, my rate is on the low side.
Here is my fee structure:
Kim's rate: $85/hour
Organizing Assistant: $55-$65/hour
Unpacking: $55-$85/hour - depending on level of organizer
Haul away items for donation: $85 per carload
A 50% deposit (based on the estimate) is required at time of booking.
Are supplies included?
No. I include costs for any recommended supplies in my estimate for your approval beforehand. For larger purchases such as furniture, shelving or even decor items such as linens, carpets, etc., I require a deposit before purchasing.
How do I book you?
Call, text or email me and we can set up a consult. I also am happy to chat on the phone first before doing a consult. Once you approve my estimate then I will send you my service agreement with a written scope of work so we are clear on your goals and the work to be done. I require a 50% deposit to book your job.
What do you do with garbage, recycling and donations?
For normal amounts of garbage and recycling, we bag it up appropriately and use the systems you have in place. For large amounts, I use a proper junk removal service to quickly get it out of the way.
As for donations, I always try to get items into the hands of those who can truly use and benefit from them. I also ask you what charities are important to you and try to align the donations accordingly. I either give you the contacts so you can drop them off or I charge a $75/load fee if you would like me to do that for you.
Do you clean?
Well, when organizing, we wipe out the drawers or shelves after pulling things out before putting them back in. However, we are not house cleaners so there is no vacuuming, scrubbing or sanitizing. We have been known to borrow a broom to sweep up sometimes though! If your home needs a good cleaning after we have organized it, or after we have packed you up for a move, then we have cleaning companies that we can recommend to you for that.
Do you assemble furniture and install shelving?
Yes we do the basics but for larger or more complicated jobs, I use a separate company to do the job since it is more economical for my clients.
Do I have to be there when you organize my home?
It's always better if you can be there but yes - organizing can be done without you. After we establish a clear scope of work, we can organize you and check in virtually using FaceTime or by texting/emailing photos and questions. Technology is great for this! Conversely, if you live somewhere where I can't get to, I can even do virtual organizing where, using FaceTime or Skype, I can do a consult or even an organizing session where I guide you through the process. There are no barriers!
What training do you have?
I have taken 12 courses through the Professional Organizers in Canada and have earned my Trained Professional Organizer Certificate. Also, I have completed over 40 courses through the Institute for Challenging Disorganization and have earned my foundation and level 2 certificates in Chronic Disorganization, Hoarding Behaviours, Aging and ADHD. I am now a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization (CPO-CD®) and am the 8th organizer in Canada to do so. As part of my training, I have read over 18 books in the areas of organizing, psychology, processing modalities and seniors. Knowledge is power!
Can I hire you to organize my elderly mother's home?
Of course! However, I need her permission to do so. You may be paying for the service but my agreement will be with her - the client. We can all discuss the work to be done but ultimately, it is her home and her stuff so she should make the decisions about it. This also applies to couples so there are no damaged relationships over missing things.
If I hire you to handle my move, do you pay the movers and bill me?
While I can connect you to several excellent movers and get estimates for you, since they are moving your stuff, their contract must be with you and you should pay them directly. In cases where this is not possible, I can pay them, but there will be a 10% fee added to my invoice for that. This applies to any large third party services.
I have a lot of antiques, crystal and Royal Doulton figurines. Can you sell them?
I get this situation a LOT. Since the older generation is in downsizing mode these days, there is a glut in the market for most of these items. Much of it has very low value now and is only suitable for donation. For special pieces that are desirable (Mid-century Modern teak is hot right now and Canadiana pine is not), I can recommend appropriate consignment stores or dealers who may be interested. Note: Large china hutches or anything in glossy cherry wood are very hard to sell. Beds and frames are also challenging due to Toronto's epidemic of bed bugs.
I do not sell items online or do garage sales for clients. It is never a profitable situation for anyone. And don't even get me started on pianos! It's so sad but no one seems to want a real piano any more. It's hard to even give them away for free (even schools and churches don't want them - unless you pay for moving and tuning). It's best to find a family member who will treasure it.
What if your break something or get injured while working in my home?
This is an excellent question! I have $2 million liability damages and theft insurance designed to protect you, the consumer, and me the service provider. To date, I have never had to make a claim or had a claim against me. Safety first!
It's December, can you organize my garage?
Heck no! Lol! Unless it is heated, we need to save those projects for warmer weather.
I welcome any other questions that you may have. Please call, text or email me and I am happy to answer them.