News

Date added: 12/01/2018 10th Anniversary conference of the Japanese Association of Life Organizers

Judith Kolberg has been invited to speak at the 10th Anniversary conference of the Japanese Association of Life Organizers. Stand-by for more details!

Date added: 09/01/2017 Crazy Lady and the Renaissance Man - Workshop

“Crazy Lady and the Renaissance Man”, a tentative workshop by Judith Kolberg at the Institute for Challenging Disorganization Annual Conference in St. Louis. For more information, go to www.challengingdisorganization.com

Date added: 06/30/2017 The Value of Working With A Professional Organizer

Recently, students at Fordham University conducted a study to identify the perceived value of hiring a Professional Organizer. This study identified reasons for hiring a Professional Organizer, the functional results of having hired a Professional Organizer and the perceived value of having done so.  A notable result of the survey was the perceived value of a reduction of stress.  

The Value of a Professional Organizer | Fileheads.net

So, you’re working in your client’s home. You are doing all that magic you do to make space for possessions where before there had been none, identifying excess for donation or give-away, and enabling your client to access what they want when they want it. But when your client hands over the payment, do you know what they value the most?

Professional Organizer's Value To A Client

According to a survey entitled “Customer Value Perception of Professional Organizers”* conducted by researchers at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, nearly half of the respondents reported that hiring a professional organizer is associated with spending more quality time with their family and friends. What clients feel they are paying for, most of all, is a social value of getting organized. Getting organized is also highly correlated (49%) with reducing stress. Although the price of paying a professional organizer is not reported as “economical,” the perception is that it’s really worth it for its “social” value.

Another primary finding of the survey is that our clients want to be heard. Of the clients surveyed, 65% of respondents report that the “empathetic nature” of a Professional Organizer builds trust. They value the conversations we have with them and the time we take to hear their stories.

Our experience and our confidence in ourselves is also perceived (over 90%) as a trust-builder. Building trust makes it possible for our clients to accomplish what the researchers identify as one of the foremost psychological values of getting organized: overcoming the emotional attachment to stuff. Fifty-eight percent of respondents cite this as a specific value of hiring us. But an even more prominent (66%) psychological value is that following the instructions of a professional organizer is easier and less stressful for our clients than making an organizing plan on their own.

From a functional point of view, 55% of respondents experienced greatly increased confidence when organizers shared organizing processes such as sorting, labeling and storing. These benefits are notable, but the most valued outcome for our clients is the capacity to find what they are looking for quickly. A full 74% felt increasingly more confident or greatly confident that hiring a professional organizer would help them in this area. Boom.

What's The Bottom Line?

Now let’s talk bottom line: Ours and our clients. Our clients do not perceive hiring a professional organizer to have a strong financial value as measured by typical residential organizing indicators like paying bills on time, buying fewer new items, or avoiding duplicate purchases. Because neither productivity consultants’ clients nor business clients were the focus of the survey, the perception of the financial value of organizing definitely deserves more research.

However, what about our bottom line; what can we do to increase business with the knowledge we now have? Most importantly, we can be the kind of organizers who know how to communicate well with clients, to show empathy and to listen to their needs. NAPO and many coaching organizations offer classes that can “up your communication game.” Our research partners at Fordham University recommend that professional organizers also sharpen their sales pitch to clearly define the social and psychological benefits of getting organizing and not just the functional value. And lastly, it wouldn’t hurt if we implement innovative pricing schemes to make our services more economical, if we are not already doing so. Concepts such as sliding scales, pricing packages, or special discounts are examples that are economical but do not undercut our value-rich rates.

Where Does A Professional Organizer Go From Here?

There is much fertile ground for ongoing research. One fact that leaps out from the survey is that both we organizers and our clients are overwhelmingly female-identified. Would the results of the survey be different if the sample included more male respondents? We simply do not know…yet. But we do know that the market for bringing men into the profession and into our client base is wide open. The motivation of millennials (26-35 year olds) for hiring professional organizers is least well-known. Over 80% of respondents were over 46 years old. Perhaps millennials are too young to need us…yet. But we should get ready. They’ll be here. Let’s be sure we’re reaching out to younger people to join NAPO. We may find that their cohort clientele will have totally different perceptions of the value of professional organizing and productivity consulting.

* NAPO professional organizers and productivity consultants volunteered the names of clients to participate in the survey. The researchers contacted the clients by email. Assuring anonymity, 96 clients actually completed the survey. Background research was also gathered from industry-related blogs, articles, white papers, personal interviews with professional organizers, and websites.

Date added: 06/05/2017 Professional Organizers: The Who, What & Why of the Organizing Industry

What Does A Professional Organizer Do?

According to a survey of 1,001 people sponsored by the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, the public is well-aware of the term “professional organizer”. In fact, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed is familiar with the term*. More than half of those surveyed know professional organizers assisting in both the home and work environments, and the public totally get that they can help reduce clutter, lower stress, and help them find things easier. In fact, 22% of all respondents who’ve never used an organizer’s services would consider hiring one. One of the primary factors that influences this decision is whether their friends or family members saw results when working with a professional organizer.

Why Should You Hire A Professional Organizer?

The tough nuts are those 50% of respondents who have not yet used a professional organizer and are holding back. Why? No, it’s not value. “I think it’s a waste of money” actually comes in fifth place. Is it cost? No, guess again. The number one reason people do not consider hiring a professional organizer is “I can do it myself.” Okay. Have at it. But when your home office explodes or your den has to house your returning adult children, the professional organizer be here for you. The office and den are the most disorganized rooms of a home, according to the survey at 42%, followed by the kitchen (35%), laundry room (33%) and master bedroom (30%).

Who Is Most Likely To Hire A Professional Organizer?

25-34 year olds are most primed to hire a professional organizer, the survey reveals, followed closely by 35-44 year olds. And although the survey does not make it clear what they might need from an organizer that differs from other age groups, we know that these millennials have just surpassed the Baby Boomers in numbers reaching 75.4 million this year. So there’s plenty of organizing business go to around.

Once someone hires an organizer, 73% of respondents with prior use of a professional organizer would hire one again and not just for clutter-control but for the broader benefits of increased safety and security and improved relationships. Who knew? Well, now you know!

Click here for a great infographics with more statistics from this survey.


*Conducted in April, 2016 by NAPO, the first annualPublic Survey is sponsored by the National Association of Professional Organizers. It surveyed 1001 qualified respondents on questions related to residential and office organization, organizing industry awareness, and perceptions of the public to that industry. Qualified respondents are US citizens only, over the age of 25 and who own their own home. For more information about these results, please contact Kahra Buss at kahra.buss@napo.net.

Date added: 04/26/2017 Organizing Dead People Workshop

April 26 – 29. “Organizing Dead People”, a workshop by Judith Kolberg at the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals Annual conference in Pittsburgh. For more information, go to www.napo.com

Date added: 02/13/2017 ADD and Digital Disorganization Workshop

“ADD and Digital Disorganization”, a workshop by Judith Kolberg at the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals chapter meeting in San Diego. For more information, go to www.naposandiego.com

Date added: 01/01/2017 FileHeads Executor’s Best Friend Service

FileHeads will launch a new service called “The Executor’s Best Friend”, an array of services for executors of estates of people who hoard. For more information, see www.FileHeads.net after January, 2017.

Date added: 10/11/2016 Conquering Chronic Disorganization Discussion

Judith Kolberg will conduct a round table discussion on Conquering Chronic Disorganization, at the monthly meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. For more information, go to www.ganapo.com

Date added: 09/22/2016 ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life 2nd Edition Pre-Order

Squall Press, www.squallpress.net, anticipates the release of the revised edition of ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life.  Click here to pre-order your advance copy NOW at 20% discount

Date added: 09/22/2016 Institute for Challenging Disorganization Annual Conference

September 22-24 – Institute for Challenging Disorganization annual conference in Portland Oregon. Squall Press will participate in the expo. For more information, go to www.challengingdisorganization.com

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