As January is National Get Organized month, many of us become more dedicated about creating more organized living and work spaces. This often requires the assistance of a professional organizer. Whether you’ve decided to tackle getting your garage, closets, or office organized, finding the right company can make the difference between feeling frustrated and being confident that the money was well spent. Better Business Bureau Serving Central East Texas (BBB) reminds consumers that it is important to hire someone trustworthy to sort through valuable, personal and confidential belongings.

“Hiring a professional is a wonderful way to declutter your home and workspace,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas said. “It’s important, however, to ensure the individual or company you hire is someone you can trust.”

The following tips were compiled by BBB in consultation with the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO):

  • Check out companies at bbb.org before making any final decisions, and definitely before signing a contract.
  • Ask the organizer if they are a member of NAPO and about their credentials, experience and training.
  • Find out if the organizer is insured.
  • Ask the organizer to explain their process. Do they normally work in groups, or do they work alone?
  • Inquire about how to best prepare for the professional organizer to come to your home or workplace.
  • What is their fee structure? Do they get paid by the job or by the hour? Be clear about the budget and do not sign any contracts until you fully understand what is or isn’t included in the service. Ask for clarification on what their services include. For example, are supplies for the organization process included, or will you need to purchase them?
  • Consider the type of person you want to work with. Will you work best in a drill sergeant environment or with someone who treats you like a friend? Ask the potential organizer about their style.
  • Make sure you get an estimate on how long the projects you have in mind will take to complete. How long is their standard organizing session? Inquire about what might change/modify the timeline.
  • Find out how the organizer disposes of items removed from your home or office and if there are additional fees associated. Are the items recycled, donated, shredded? Make sure you feel comfortable with the plan, particularly if items are personal or confidential in nature.
  • Become familiar with their cancellation policy. It is a common practice for organizers to charge if you have to change an appointment at the last minute, for example, within 48 hours.

For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call BBB at 903-581-5704 or report it via BBB ScamTracker.

About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. There are over 100 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central East Texas, which was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties