The local paper’s headline blares “Roofing company fined for putting workers at risk.” Misusing ladders, insufficient safety equipment. I’ve stepped through a client’s window – which, by the way, was on the floor. I wasn’t in the middle of martial arts demonstrations. A garden rake gave me a black eye in an Everett thrift store (unnamed to protect the innocent) when I was taking its photo for a public relations piece. It must have been camera-shy.

Why am I telling tales on myself? I have full liability insurance, a policy developed by a company which specializes in covering Professional Organizers. I’m betting that roofing company – not so much. A competent Professional Organizer has liability insurance, is bonded, and licensed, at a minimum, within his/her base state of operations. I zealously check all my boxes every year.

 

We come into people’s business and personal spaces. We move in and around their things, their pets, their children. In that way, we’re “just” general contractors. And just as you check a general contractor’s references, take a look at the website, see if you can find the dirt with a quick Google search (me, you’ll find the dirt because I like working in garages and attics), you need to check a Professional Organizer. See if s/he belongs to professional societies, has decent reviews, a credible website. This “how to hire a Professional Organizer” from the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) is a no-nonsense guide to the process. I’ll admit though, that while I’m extremely proud of my status as a Certified Professional Organizer(R) through NAPO, it isn’t always critical that you hire someone with that level of expertise, or the highly specialized training I’ve pursued through the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. If you’re not sure who or what you need, interview several people. This collaboration is more intimate than a partnership with a lawyer or many doctors. You need to be 100% comfortable with your choice.

 

About Lauren Williams

Me, Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®: I'm a professional organizer who works in homes, home businesses and also small businesses. I'm a NYC native who's spent time in Philadelphia, Palo Alto, Baltimore and now Seattle. All great places, but NYC will always be home, and Seattle will be where I now stay. I help you think outside of the box to get something into the box.