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Organization overload: Should you outsource your organizing needs?

Stephanie Taylor Christensen writes about personal finance, small business, and consumer issues. She is the founder of Om for Mom Prenatal Yoga and Toning in Columbus, OH and Wellness On Less, a site dedicated to prioritized living and c...

Expert help for home organizing

We’d all like our own right-hand man when it comes to household chores and organization, but often, money is a consideration. However, when organization overload is seeping into other areas of your life, you might need a professional organizer.

Expert help for home organizing

Here are four signs that may determine when it's time to outsource your organization needs, and what you can expect from such a service.


When your wasted time is money

Zele Avradopoulos, owner of the organizing services company ZOrganize, recommends you determine the impact your current disorganization has on lost time and productivity. "If it takes you four hours to organize your closet, you lose four hours of work," the organizing expert says. "If you outsource it, the professional can probably do it in less time. That's four extra hours you can allocate to your work or leisure."

2When you're not a "Type A"

For some people, organizing provides a feeling of accomplishment and mental cleansing. Others don't mind it, but it certainly isn't a task we choose to do more than twice a year. Then there are the chronically disorganized; no amount of annoyance or inconvenience the clutter creates will motivate change.

If you fall into either of the last two groups, consider a professional organizing service. Avradopoulos points out that hiring a professional does not have to mean completely turning your life over to a third party; clients are welcome to be involved. "In that case, we organizers are excellent at motivating, cheering the person on and giving them that extra push, like a personal trainer at the gym," she says.

For those who really hate organizing, the services of a professional are, as the saying goes, priceless. Rates vary significantly by company, your needs and where you live, but expect to pay anywhere from $25 and hour to $120 and hour. Visit for a list of organizing services.

3When you're a slob on the job

Organizational expert Jill Pollack recommends considering the impact that your disorganization has on the image you present. If your mess makes you late for work every day, that's a problem. Likewise, when you can't find what you need and therefore dress inappropriately or waste a lot of money getting the right last-minute outfit for any work or social event, "that's money that should be invested in organizing your closet," says Pollack.

4When your mental health suffers

Disorganization in your life can be a metaphor for your mental state. Pollack advises that if your disorganization is causing you stress, it's time to bring in a professional. "Money spent on organizing your closet and your life can be say cheaper than therapy!" she explains. "Sometimes all people need are a few tweaks in their life to feel empowered and much more in control."

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