NAPO defines Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant as follows:
- A Professional Organizer supports evaluation, decision-making, and action around objects, space, and data; helping clients achieve desired outcomes regarding function, order, and clarity.
- A Productivity Consultant supports evaluation, decision-making, and action around time, energy, and resources; helping clients achieve desired outcomes regarding goals, effectiveness, and priorities.
How does a professional organizer work? Is it like on "Hoarders," where an entire crew comes in to help clear my clutter? Is there a certain level of disorganization required before I call in for "professional help"?
All organizing projects -- such as clearing clutter, sorting paper, or setting up a new office -- require decision-making. The professional organizer supports you making necessary decisions by asking questions, offering options, and providing hands-on help. Some organizers offer a "needs assessment" which is a written or verbal overview of the work that needs to be done and a game plan for getting it done. Some professional organizers also offer phone or email consultation services.
There are many levels of disorganization from "minor" to "extreme". If you or a loved one has a disorganized home or work environment, a professional organizer can bring experience and skills to the situation. The show "Hoarders" deals with the more extreme cases of disorganization, usually accompanied by one or more mental health disorders such as hoarding disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, or anxiety. Specially trained professional organizers work with more chronic cases. See the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) for more information.
Unlike television reality shows, many real organizing projects involves just the client and a single organizer, and more work sessions spaced out over time. Most professional organizers work side-by-side with you. So it's important that the organizer and client work well together.
Productivity consultants more often work with businesses, but can also work with people in their homes. They can help with employee productivity, work flow improvement, and other issues related to "getting more done".
What rates do professional organizers and/or productivity consultants charge in Minnesota?
As with most professions, fees vary widely based on experience, travel costs, and competition. Professional organizers may charge by the hour, by the work session, or possibly by the project. They may offer packages. You may be able to choose between payments for each work session and a commitment to hire the organizer for the entire project.
While cost may be a major factor in your decision, also focus on the value by finding an organizer who has the skills that matches your needs, and who seems to be the professional that you would enjoy working with.
Who can be a professional organizer or productivity consultant? Is there any formal education or a certification program? Is NAPO membership required?
Many professional organizers and productivity consultants find organizing after having another career first. That means they bring with them skills and talents that can be very valuable to you. No college degree is required to become a professional organizer or productivity consultant. Some productivity consultants started as professional organizers, and as their skills and client base changed, they found that productivity consulting was a natural direction to take their business. NAPO offers educational classes, certificates of achievement, and a CPO program. NAPO Minnesota offers monthly meetings that often include an educational element.
The CPO program was developed by NAPO and is operated under the auspices of the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers® (BCPO®). The Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®) designation is a voluntary, industry-led effort. CPO Certification recognizes professionals who have met specific minimum qualifications and have proven through examination and client interaction that they possess the body of knowledge and experience required for certification. The program recognizes and raises industry standards, practices, and ethics. The CPO designation is not an endorsement or recommendation.
What does being a "NAPO national member or NAPO Minnesota member" mean?
NAPO members support, mentor and educate one another, making it more likely that new professional organizers and productivity consultants will succeed in their new businesses. NAPO members have agreed to NAPO's Code of Ethics, which includes providing confidentiality and fair, independent pricing for clients.
How can I find a professional organizer or productivity consultant to help me?
Use the free and confidential "Find A Professional Organizer" search tool on the right-hand side of the page on our website.
NAPO Minnesota recommends that you contact at least three professional organizers or productivity consultants to find the one who best matches your organizing needs, personality, and budget.
How can I become a NAPO Minnesota member?
Read about requirements and benefits by starting here.