If your furniture resembles this, then you may need the help of a home organizer. But you’ll want to find someone whose services align with your needs. CONTRIBUTED

Professional organizers offer a range of services

Many Americans do not have the time or money to constantly keep their homes spotless and completely organized. Jobs, kids and other major responsibilities can leave some areas of your home or office feeling like a disaster zone. If you feel like getting organized in the new year, professional organizing services have been around for decades, and one may fit your needs and budget.

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On average, Americans spend one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items among the clutter in their homes, according to US News and World Report. The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) states that 80 percent of the clutter is stuff we never use. NAPO has a membership of approximately 3,500 professionals who are dedicated to helping people organize their lives.

Better Business Bureau offers these tips to help choose the right professional for you:

Determine what kind of service you’re looking for. Professional organizers offer a wide range of services, including chronic disorganization support, living spaces organization, closet organization, moving/relocation assistance, office organization, financial organization and more. Knowing what you need done will help narrow your search and help you find a professional who is specialized in what you need.

Be comfortable with your organizer. This is particularly important as organizers will be diving head first into your personal life. Find an organizer who is willing to listen, be creative, encouraging, patient and nonjudgmental.

Ask questions. Inquire about how long they have been working in the industry, what services they offer and specialize in and if they have any certifications. Understand if you’ll be working directly with them or if they’ll assign an employee or subcontractor.

Shop around and compare. Get several bids detailing the work to be done. Consider reputation and years of service. Be sure the organizer is properly insured.

Ask for references. A reputable company will be happy to provide you with a list of previous customers. Don’t be afraid to contact them or even ask to look at the work completed. Check with friends and family too. If they’re pleased with who they’ve used, most likely you’ll be too.

Understand the payment plan and get everything in writing. Fees will vary based on experience, your location and the type of services being provided. Some may charge by the hour, offer a package deal or offer project pricing. Establish a budget and go over any payment plans thoroughly. Get a written contract from your professional.

Getting organized can be tough, but the right professional can help you achieve your goals.

For more information, visit the NAPO website (www.napo.net) for a list of over 3,500 professional organizers who are dedicated to helping you. You can also contact your BBB for a list of BBB Accredited osrganizers and Business Profiles on ones you’re considering. Visit www. bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.

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