You cannot open the newspaper or a magazine without reading an article on decluttering, how to simplify your life or why you need to get organised. With it being so topical in the media, pressure to own less and time increasingly becoming a precious commodity, more people start to consider getting in an organiser to help them get straight.
However, with this profession increasingly in demand, more and more people are becoming organisers. So how do you find an organiser that you can trust to do the job properly? We have compiled a list of seven questions you should ask an organiser before employing them in order to find a reputable one.
1. How long have you been in business?
As is the case with any profession, the longer an organiser has been working in an area, the more experience and knowledge they would have obtained. No business with a bad reputation can survive the test of time.
All Organised was established in April 2012. We have helped more than 80 clients in Kent and the South East. We have even completed a project for a European Commission official in Brussels.
2. Do you belong to APDO (Association for Professional Declutterers and Organisers)?
There is only one professional organisation that oversees, trains and supports organisers in the United Kingdom. Should an organiser not be registered to APDO, he/she does not have to adhere to any Code of Ethics.
All Organised has been a member of APDO for the past four and a half years. As a member we comply with all their conditions. We are registered at HMRC and with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) for inclusion on the Public Register of Data Controllers under the Data Protection Act 1998.
3. Do you have full and current Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance?
As a professional organiser you work with a client’s most precious and sometimes very valuable belongings. Should an organiser not have the above insurance, a client is very vulnerable in the case where an item gets damaged, broken or even lost.
All Organised has full and current Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance with Westminster Insurance. Our clients sign a copy of our “Terms and Conditions” which will cover all loss, breakage or damaging of goods whilst we are on the premises. However, as we work with great care and respect towards our client’s belongings, we are fortunate in never to have made a claim for any of the above.
4. Are you in possession of a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Certificate?
As a declutterer works so closely with people and often in an environment where there may be children or where the client is an elderly or vulnerable person, a DBS Certificate is a very necessary requirement. An organiser also obtains a wealth of information with regards to the security and contents of a home. It is indisputable that this is a necessary requirement. Previously known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is a record of an individual's unprotected Convictions, Cautions, Reprimands and Warnings and can also include intelligence held by the police and/or the DBS that relates to that individual and their suitability for a job position or working with vulnerable persons.
Both Nicki Munns and Heidi Vorster at All Organised are in possession of DBS Certificates and happy to produce them on demand.
5. Have you undergone any training or attended any courses on aspects of decluttering or home organising?
Although many people consider organising as a natural talent, there are many experts in the broad field of home organisation. A conscientious organiser would have attended conferences, workshops, courses and would belong to a professional support group who they could turn to when aspects of a case are new to them.
We at All Organised have attended numerous conferences in which we have had lectures and workshops on various aspects of organising by both national and international speakers. Lectures on topics such as “Chronic Disorganisation”, “Time Management”, “Dealing with clients with ADD/ADHD” and “Dealing with Digital Clutter” amongst others, have been attended. We have also participated in numerous workshops. Titles of a few are: “Photo Organising”, “How to identify valuable antiquities in a client’s home” and “Home Staging”. We have also attended a specialist course on working with people with hoarding tendencies. We meet up regularly with other professional organisers in London and the South East to discuss the latest trends in organising, latest resources and aids to help our clients and we share a database of charities and services that might be relevant in our field.
6. How do you dispose of unwanted goods?
A professional declutterer should always follow a green and environmentally friendly policy. A skip or tip run should be a very last resort.
Having worked in the same area for five years, we have built up a huge data bank of charities and worthy causes in the area. We are known to the local charity coordinators, food banks and shelters. An integral part of All Organised’s ethos is to recycle our clients’ unwanted items wherever possible. We have a relationship with a local EBay seller whom we trust and can put a client in touch with her should they wish to sell unwanted possessions.
7. Do you have any client recommendations or testimonials I can see?
An experienced, successful organiser should be able to provide you with several testimonials and recommendations. Be wary of too many “before” and “after” pictures as proof, as these could easily be staged. Very few clients would feel comfortable to allow an organiser to publish such pictures. An experienced organiser would usually have at least one client who are so happy with the end result that he/she is willing to speak to a prospective client.
All Organised has published numerous testimonials from several clients on our web site. There are a few “before” and “after” pictures to view – mostly taken by clients themselves and published with their permission. We have done more than one project for almost all of our clients and rely very strongly on word of mouth referrals. Several of our clients have explicitly said that they are happy to speak with prospective clients to explain how we work and talk about the end result.