Who should you hire for your next project? Every once and a while someone will say to me, “I’m not sure exactly what you do but I think you can help us.” I always find it so hard to believe that people don’t know what I do. It’s so obvious to me and apparently only to me!
I suppose it’s because a professional organizer can do so many things. Maybe it’s because I not only organize your space but also decorate, design kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, home offices, manage small and medium size renovation projects and help you move and downsize.
Here is some basic information and a few of my thoughts based on my personal experience working with other professionals that might help you understand how we all fit together.
Depending on the size of your project, your general contractor can be the key to a successful renovation. They oversee the entire project, create and manage the timeline and budget, hire and manage all the trades (carpenter, tiler, electrician, painter, etc.) and more. For a small project you may decide to be your own general contractor and have your professional organizer, designer or decorator act as project manager or take on that role yourself.
According to the ASID “In addition to the aesthetics of a space, an interior designer creates a space that is functional, efficient and safe and enhances the quality of the working and living environment.” A designer can work with the contractor and the client from the blueprint stage right through to the finishing touches. A designer is well versed in building code and structural considerations. In order to do this type of work a designer needs special training and a license.
According to Apartment Therapy, “An interior decorator isn’t involved with the design of the building or the layout of the interior space. He or she is focused . . . on the furniture, colors, textiles and textures of a room. A decorators’ job is to capture the personality and style of the residents and express it in their space.” A decorator doesn’t need any official training but many have taken courses and will continue to educate themselves regularly in order to keep up with the latest trends and products available.
The Professional Organizers in Canada website says, “Professional Organizers create a better quality of life and improved . . . processes for you by creating orderly, functional, systematic, concise and lasting solutions, customized to your work and lifestyle.” Anyone can call themselves a Professional Organizer, but those who truly want to provide the best possible client experience will have taken training and may even have the Certified Professional Organizer® designation.
How We All Fit Together
Your professional organizer will usually be the first person you call and the last person to leave the job. We can work with your contractor, interior designer or decorator. An experienced professional organizer can look at a space focusing on where your stuff will go, who will be using it and how. At the beginning of the project we edit and sort your stuff and at the end of the project we make sure it all has a home. Some organizers provide design and decorating services or will work with your designer or decorator. Some professional organizers, designers and decorators offer project management services which means they work very closely with your contractor on timelines and budgeting and make all of the day-to-day decisions. Having someone fulfill this role can save you a whole lot of headaches and ensure that your project is finished on time and on budget.
There’s nothing better than a beautiful and functional home and a project completed to your satisfaction and beyond. So, do your homework, interview the people who will be on your team, choose those who are a good fit for you, and will work well together. And most importantly, have fun!