answers to common queries about professional home organisation

W hat does a Professional Organiser do?

A Professional Organiser provides an extra set of hands that everyone can benefit from. Every Professional Organiser is different, so it is important to find one that is the right fit for you, but generally speaking, Professional Organisers like The Organising Bee assist with clutter control, sorting, organising and developing time management strategies, along with the establishment of organising systems within the work or home environment.

Many Professional Organisers have tailored their service offering to meet the specific organising needs of particular niche markets – corporates, businesses, families, deceased estates or those downsizing, relocating or preparing their house for sale, just to name a few.  Amy likes to work with families.

According to the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers (now defunct), a good Professional Organiser will educate you. Professional Organisers want you to have the skills to stay organised well after the hands-on work is completed and will help you set up tailored organising systems for the area of your life that needs organising. This is one of the goals at The Organising Bee.

Why do I need a Professional Organiser?

Have you ever started to clear out the spare room or tidy the cupboard, then give up shortly after starting because it is all just too overwhelming?

Have you ever purchased a new pair of scissors, more pens or your hammer because you can’t find or remember the ‘safe place’ that you put the item in the first place?

Are you ever late for work or school drop-off because your kids can’t find their school shoes or you have misplaced your phone and keys?

Do you have an illness or disability that restricts you from accessing items in your home or keeping your home the way you desire?

Are you busy, tired and simply overwhelmed with life?

That’s where a Professional Organiser like The Organising Bee can help. Amy is by your side every step of the way to support you and to just get the job done. She can help you put in place systems, so that you can find your belongings when you need them and saving you money on constantly replacing them.

How can hiring a Professional Organiser help me?

A Professional Organiser like The Organising Bee can help you lighten the load and can help you:

  • get the job done (one less chore for you!)
  • reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning or looking for things
  • provide you with new ideas & concepts
  • help you create a home which is more inviting
  • reclaim your life and space
  • create a feeling of calm
  • create more time for you
  • create a feeling of more space
  • lighten your load
  • keep the momentum going when you are overwhelmed
  • support you when you want to give up
  • provide an objective opinion
  • save money (maybe even find some!)
  • find your misplaced or forgotten items
  • improve your physical & mental health
  • relieve anxiety & stress
  • reduce the feeling of overwhelm
  • regain control
  • see immediate results

The Organising Bee can provide an extra set of hands that everyone may need, no matter what your situation. Amy can help you reclaim your space and relieve some of the anxiety that living among chaos or clutter can create.

Amy can help you overcome your organising challenge during all life’s circumstances – she can support you through a career change, selling your home, moving, downsizing, dealing with a death of a loved one, preparing for and welcoming a new family member or when you are simply feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

How long will it take to organise my home?

Every home and every session is different. The length of the organising session that you require is dependent on many factors. These include your personal organising goals and expectations, the amount of clutter you have in your home, the size of your home, the degree of organising required and how challenging you find it to make decisions regarding items you wish to keep or discard.

The majority of our clients book 40 to 60 hour packages to organise the key areas of their home.  The following is a very rough guide for hands-on organising:

Standard pantry:  4 to 8 hours

Butler’s pantry: 8 to 12 hours

Kitchen (excluding pantry): 4 to 24 hours

Dining room: 4 to 12 hours

Family room: 4 to 24 hours

Home office: 24 to 30 hours

Childs room: 4 to 12 hours

Playroom: 8 to 24 hours

Bathroom: 4 hours

Laundry: 4 to 8 hours

Master Bedroom: 4 to 16 hours

Wardrobe: 4 to 16 hours

Spare room: 8 to 32 hours

Garage: 12 to 30 hours

Amy recommends that you book in for a complimentary in-home consultation so she can give you an indication as to what package would be most appropriate for your goals.

How much will it cost to declutter and organise my home?

There are many factors to consider. The size of your home, your goals, the amount of clutter that you have in your home and your capacity to help are just a couple of factors. For this reason, Amy is unable to provide an indicative price until she finds out a little more about your needs and goals for your home. Please feel free to contact Amy and she will happily email you a copy of our prices and packages.

What should I expect during the complimentary in-home consultation?

During the in-home consultation, Amy will ask you in depth about your home, how you or your family uses your space and the challenges and obstacles that maybe you are facing. She will also establish your expectations to enable her to meet your organising goals and priorities. This usually takes between 30 to 45 minutes. You will also be walked through the service and pricing. During this session, with your permission, Amy may measure or photograph your space in preparation of the session.

Do you work with those with Hoarding Disorder?

Amy works with those who have identified that their belongings are controlling their lives and are actively seeking change.  She does not work with anyone who doesn’t believe that they need support or are being forcibly removed from their home. If Amy feels that the project is too complex she will always refer you onto another provider.

How is each decluttering and organising session structured?

Each organising and decluttering session is tailored around your needs and structured to meet your goals. At beginning of each session, Amy will identify your decluttering and organising goals and the desired outcome. During the session, she will work towards your goal by providing hands-on support to declutter (if needed) and sort/categorise your belongings. Once your space is clear from all clutter, Amy looks strategically at your space, how you currently use the space, or how you would prefer to use it. She then supports you put in place organising systems which are practical for your needs and lifestyle. For those who have booked more than a single session, you will receive continual coaching on organising skills, strategies and tips that you can implement in your daily life with the focus of helping to become and stay organised for the long term.

What happens during a typical decluttering or organising session?

Amy works closely with you, supports you and guides you to ensure your home is organised in a way that works for you and your family today and into the future. Everyone’s needs are different. Therefore, so is the process. Here is a general guide to a typical organising session.

Initial discussion. We will have an initial discussion over phone or via email to discuss your basic needs.  From there we will set up a time for a complimentary in-home consultation.

In-home consultation. We will talk in depth about your space, how you or your family use your space, the challenges and obstacles that you may be facing. We then set your expectations to enable us to meet your organising goals and priorities. This usually takes between 30 to 45 minutes. It is at this consultation that Amy would be able to advise the length of the session required to meet your needs. It is a lovely opportunity to meet each other before any commitments are made.

Vision and goal setting. Amy supports you to develop a vision for your home and discuss the function of each room or space to ensure that your home works for the needs and hobbies of your family.

Decluttering and sorting. We begin by collecting and sorting the items in your home into like categories. This will help to you see what you own. Then you can identify the items that you wish to keep and those you would like to dispose of, donate or re-home. It is up to you how hands on you want to be. Amy is happy for you sit with your feet up and relax. If mobility is an issue, she will do all of the lifting and hands on work for you. Amy provides advice, but will not make you to get rid of anything. It is essential that the final decision on what to keep and what to get rid of is made by you.

Planning and organising your space. Once your space is clear of all clutter, it is time to begin the organising of your belongings and put in place some organising systems to ensure that your space works efficiently for you and your usual behaviour. Amy looks strategically at the space and how you use it. Then she creates homes for all your items in the areas that you are most likely going to be using them. She will provide advice and guidance on the most appropriate way to store your belongings according to your needs. It is crucial that this step is customised to you and for family, so that you will be able to maintain it in the long term. Amy loves problem solving.

Purchase of organising tools and storage. Depending on the type of storage and organising tools you already have, Amy may advise the on the purchase of tubs, containers, bookshelves or other organising or storage solutions. If purchase of items is recommended, we provide a personal shopping service (at an additional hourly rate) or you can purchase the items based on recommendations. In many cases, by the time we have decluttered we find that you have an excess of empty containers and no purchase is necessary.

Completion & maintenance. Your space will be organised in the way that works for you. Every item has a dedicated home and is stored in a way which is practical to you. A sense of calm is emerging from the room and for many people this feels like a huge weight being lifted off their shoulders. It is time for us to say goodbye and for Amy to hand the reins over to you to keep it this way. This is not as big and scary as it seems, as we have set up organising systems that are tailored to you and provided guidance and strategies for you to practice along the way. If you are still unsure about being able to maintain the space yourself, we can set you up on our maintenance program.

Do you practice the KonMari Method?

Amy shares Marie Kondo’s philosophy that you should only have things in your home that bring you joy or have a functional purpose. Depending on the desires of our client we will use the KonMari method to fold clothing and linens.

However, Amy follows a different approach during  sessions to the KonMari method of tidying. Through her method, Marie Kondo suggests that you sort by category – clothing, books, paper, kimono (miscellaneous).  During a session with The Organising Bee, we usually sort by space or room. Amy has found that in Canberra we have much larger homes than in Japan and it is often too overwhelming or difficult (sometimes impossible) for clients to gather up all of the items from each category and group them in a single space before sorting. In some cases, there may not be enough space in the home to sort by category.  Sorting by space also allows Amy’s clients the time to declutter in shorter, more manageable chunks of time.

Can you offer ongoing organisational support?

Yes, if you would like ongoing organisation support, Amy can set you up on a maintenance program This works in much the same way as a cleaner – except instead of cleaning we put your items away in the homes that we have implemented during our organising sessions. You could even book Amy in for the morning or day before your cleaner comes, so that you don’t have to rush around the home tidying before the cleaner arrives.

I’d like decluttering and organising support, but the thought makes me feel overwhelmed, nervous & anxious?

That is okay and very normal. The Organising Bee’s service is designed to support you get to where you want to be. Amy will be gentle, kind and non-judgmental. It is her goal to make this experience as easy and as comfortable for you as she can.

Do I need to be home for the sessions?

Yes, it is essential that you are home for the home decluttering and organising sessions. For the results to be long lasting it is important that the home is organised according to your usual behaviours and lifestyle. Amy needs your input to develop these systems.

Once your home is organised and you have chosen to go on a maintenance program, if you feel comfortable doing so we can arrange for the maintenance session to be whilst you are at work.

How hands on do I need to be?

It is up to you how hands on you want to be. Amy is happy for you to sit with your feet up and relax, but it is essential that you are at home and present. If mobility is an issue, Amy can be your hands.

Will you force me to get rid of anything?

No. Amy will ask you questions about the significance of the items which we are decluttering, but we will not force you to get rid of anything.

Will I need to purchase storage & organising tools?

Amy strongly advises against purchasing of any storage or organising tools prior to beginning a decluttering or organising project. In many cases, the items purchased are not the right fit for the items which need organising. This can exacerbate the feeling of disorganisation.

Once the decluttering and categorisation stages are complete, we have a good visual picture of the items that need storage and organisation. Depending on the type of storage (furniture, containers, baskets, tubs etc.) that you already have, Amy may advise the purchase of additional storage or organising solutions to meet your goals. However, Amy always tries to work with what you already own before any purchase is recommended. If a recommendation is made, we will work within your budget to find an option that suits your needs. In many cases, by the time we have decluttered we find that you have an excess of empty containers and can repurpose what you already have and no purchase is necessary.

If the purchase of organisers is required, you have the option to purchase items from The Organising Bee’s  stock, Amy can give you a shopping list or you can take advantage of the personal shopping service. This saves you the time and effort of going out to purchase them yourself. Please note that the costs of storage or organising tools is not included in the package price.

Do you offer a personal shopping service?

Depending on the type of storage and organising tools you already have, Amy may advise the on the purchase of tubs, containers, bookshelves or other organising or storage solutions. If purchase of items is recommended, she provides a personal shopping service to save you the time and hassle of trying to find the right sized container or basket to fit the space.

Not all cases require the purchase of additional storage and we won’t know this until the sorting and decluttering step is complete. In most cases, we find that once you remove some of your clutter that you have ample storage spaces within your home. However, where additional storage is required we will work within your budget to find something that suits your needs. Personal shopping is billed at the same hourly rate as our decluttering and organising sessions, and excludes purchase cost of storage items.

Will you take away items I wish to discard or donate?

Yes, at the end of the session, Amy can take one car load full of donations and will drop them to the specified charity on your behalf. If it exceeds this, we can organise removal (fees apply). Amy does not take rubbish or recyclables.

Will the sessions be kept confidential?

Absolutely. Everything that we talk about or do within the home is discrete, kept private and confidential, unless you give Amy permission. The Organising Bee works under a strict Code of Practice as outlined by the Institute of Professional Organisers (IOPO).

Can The Organising Bee help with preparing your home for sale?

Amy does not offer real estate or interior design or styling advice. However, she can support you to speed up the process of preparing your home by providing an extra set of hands to declutter and remove excess to make your home presentable for sale.

I am about to move into a new home, can you help me with the move?

The Organising Bee does not offer a removal or relocation service, but can help you to unpack and ensure your home functions for you in the way that you need from the moment that you move in. It is common practice to try and unpack as quickly as possible to you can get on with life with little consideration as to how you intend the home to function and how it relates your lifestyle. Many families simply put things away with the intention of coming back and reorganising this at another time. But as Amy’s clients can tell you, this rarely happens. The Organising Bee can support you in these early stages to establish storage zones within your home and identify the function of each storage space, so that when we unpack it is exactly the way you want it.

Will you take photos of my home?

Yes. Amy needs to take photos of your home to track progress and for business record keeping. She will not share these with anyone unless you give us permission to.

Will you share photos of my home?

No. Amy will not share photos of your home with anyone unless you give her permission to. Before we begin working together, we will sign a Client Service Agreement which outlines the expectations for both parties to ensure that your decluttering and organising goals are met. It is within this document that you provide authority to use any photos for The Organising Bee’s social media or website.

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