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BBB offers tips for hiring a professional organizer

The start of spring and the promise of warmer weather to come kindles enthusiasm in many people to create more organized living and work spaces. But when it comes time to actually do the work, we realize organization takes more patience than some...

The start of spring and the promise of warmer weather to come kindles enthusiasm in many people to create more organized living and work spaces.

But when it comes time to actually do the work, we realize organization takes more patience than some of us have and a professional organizer might be helpful. Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) offers tips to home and business owners before hiring someone to come into their space to sort through valuables and confidential paperwork.

"Getting things organized can be a daunting task but one that often helps us feel much happier in our surroundings," said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota in a news release. "It's a good idea to be clear about what an organizer does - and doesn't - do, and how he or she operates before you allow them access to your home or business."

The following tips were compiled by Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota in consultation with the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)-Minnesota Chapter:

• Check out companies at bbb.org before signing a contract.

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• Ask the organizer if they are a member of NAPO MN and about their credentials, experience and training.

• Find out if the organizer is insured.

• Ask the organizer to explain their process to gain a clear understanding of what they do and how they go about doing it.

• Ask how to best prepare for a professional organizer to come to a home or workplace. Find out specifically what the organizer needs as personal time may need to be committed to get the home prepared for the organization process).

• Ask about the fee structure - is it by the job or by the hour? Be clear about the budget and do not sign any contracts until fully understanding what is or isn't included in the service.

• Ask for clarification on what their services include, for example, purchasing of supplies for the organization process.

• Think about what kind of person you want to work with (example: 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.

• Ask for an estimate on how long the projects you have in mind will take to complete. Inquire about what might change/modify the timeline.

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• Find out how the organizer disposes of items removed from your home or office and if there are additional fees (are the items recycled, donated, shredded?). Make sure you feel comfortable with the plan - especially if items are personal or confidential in nature.

• You can also visit napomn.com to review their code of ethics and to search for an organizer.

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