How Much Does It Cost?
This is always one of the first questions a person looking to get organized has when researching professional organizers.
Here at Andrew Mellen, Inc., I get this question all the time, usually before a potential client even understands what kinds of services are available.
And I get it.
Price matters, along with many other factors, when trying to decide if and when you will hire a professional organizer.
But price shouldn’t be the only, or even the most important, factor when making your decision.
What you get for your investment should be the most important factor.
So, to make sure you enter this process with your eyes open, you will need to develop an initial budget and plan for the project, no matter which organizer you choose.
Some Factors to Consider
- How quickly do you want to start?
- When do you want to be finished?
- What’s the number of rooms that need to be organized?
- How many people live or work in the space(s)?
- Will they also be participating or is it only you?
- How willing are you to let things go?
- Why now?
As you may imagine, a problem with answering this question accurately is the fact that there are so many different answers to the above questions.
And there are many different professional organizers with as many different skill sets.
With all that in mind, it can be tough to truly know before you start, how much it will cost to get and stay organized for good.
Even so, I’ll do my best to give you some realistic price ranges for what you can expect to spend to declutter and organize an average 1-bedroom apartment in New York City as well as a 3-bedroom suburban house.
Remember, these prices are average. They can vary dramatically depending on the amount of clutter, the number of people living in the home, the skills of the organizer, etc.
How Much Does a Professional Organizer Charge?
Some professional organizers charge by the hour, others charge by the project. One way is not better than the other. Depending on the type of home you have and the amount of clutter, prices can vary a lot.
While a bargain may be appealing at first glance, remember that you get what you pay for. If someone offers you a price that seems too good to be true, it may be too good to be true.
Inexperienced professional organizers may bill at rates that are comparable to other types of assistants.
More experienced professional organizers have spent years developing their skills, and their billing is likely to reflect that experience.
Their fees will be similar to other well-established professionals like interior designers, architects, and contractors.
Less experienced professional organizers charge $35–$100 per hour, with more experienced organizers charging $125–$500 or more per hour.
As with any other profession, fees can increase in line with specialized skills, such as computer and home networking expertise, construction and renovation experience, interior design, architectural consulting, estate management, and so on.
Just a Consultation
Occasionally a customer just wants a consultation.
Perhaps they are considering a DIY approach and want to get guidance from a pro and then do everything themselves.
Or they are comparison shopping and hoping to get several professional opinions on the best way to declutter and organize.
Some professional organizers may offer initial consultations for free, either onsite or virtually using the phone or video conferencing.
Others will charge, considering that any conversation is likely to include intellectual property and practical advice that will help the client in their process, whether they ultimately decide to hire that organizer or not.
Keep in mind these price ranges do not include reconfiguring or renovating any spaces, including closets, cabinets, pantries, basements, attics, and garages.
Sample Consultation Fees:
Up to 30 minutes: $0–$300
From 30 minutes to 1 hour: $50–$500
Over 1 hour: $125–$2,500
Some professional organizers will help you to organize your spaces, but lack the experience and possibly the skills to create any systems that will keep you from creating a mess again within a matter of weeks or months.
They will work diligently to organize the contents of your home but there is little guarantee that things won’t end up the same or worse after some time has gone by because YOU haven’t changed.
Basic organization typically includes decluttering:
- Laundry room
- Living room
- Home office
Most basic organizing does not include deep cleaning, repairs or improvements to your home.
If there are any problems with existing shelving, cabinets, drawers, and other built-in features, you will likely need a handyperson, carpenter or contractor to correct them.
The typical price range for a 1-bedroom apartment in New York City: $2,500–$5,000
And the typical price range for a 3-bedroom house in a suburban neighborhood: $6,500–$15,000
(This, like everything else mentioned in this article, is contingent on a variety of factors.)
Basic Organizing Plus a System
Some more experienced professional organizers have developed their own systems for getting you organized and keeping you that way. These are usually professional organizers who have been in business for more than 10 years.
These organizers offer a method they have crafted after many hours in the field.
While their method may not be customized to your specific needs, it often works well enough to create organized spaces and provide some suggestions on how to maintain the order once the organizer has left.
The typical price range for a 1-bedroom apartment in New York City: $6,500–$12,500
And the typical price range for a 3-bedroom house in a suburban neighborhood: $9,500–$20,000
Very few organizers have the skills and experience to customize the entire experience to meet your specific needs and provide the kind of educational experience that will prevent clutter from ever recurring.
These organizers have usually been in business for 20+ years, and have written at least one book on organizing that was published by a traditional publisher (not self-published).
They are recognized as leaders in their field and can often be found in the media as subject matter experts discussing the latest trends in organizing and decluttering.
Here is one way to think about it—a Mercedes Benz sedan and a Rolls Royce Phantom are both excellent cars.
They will both get you where you want to go, safely and with a degree of comfort and luxury. And that’s where the similarity ends.
You can customize a Mercedes in a way—you can choose the color of the interior, the kinds of wheels and tires, the sound system and you can get a sunroof.
But the car’s structure is not customizable. Every Mercedes sedan looks basically like every other Mercedes sedan.
Now, you have unique challenges and circumstances—that’s partly what allowed the clutter to gather in the first place.
So you need a solution to the physical disorganization AND a skilled organizer who can work with you to adopt the mindset shifts needed to change how you view and interact with stuff for the rest of your life.
The typical price range for a 1-bedroom apartment in New York City: $12,500–$25,000
And the typical price range for a 3-bedroom house in a suburban neighborhood: $20,000–$50,000
Prices for Other Options
If your budget or your personality seems to be saying to you that you can just do this yourself, I encourage you to try. You can always get help later.
Just remember that everything costs either time or money, so if you’re short on funds BUT have a surplus of time, DIY may be a great fit for you.
Here are a few budget resources that may be just what you’re looking for:
Clutterers Anonymous and other self-help meetings usually cost $2–$15 per meeting.
Organizing books usually cost $10-20.
Online self-guided organizing courses usually cost $100–$2,000.
LIVE online organizing courses usually cost $200–$3,000.
In-person live organizing courses and retreats usually cost $250–$4,500, plus travel.
All of these numbers and prices are very general. Still, I hope this article helps you to get a better feel for what it costs to work with a professional organizer and what you can expect for your investment.
Ultimately you have to decide if you want a temporary fix to a permanent problem …
OR if you are finally ready to create a system for living that solves the existing problem(s) AND offers you the kind of serenity and peace of mind that won’t be derailed by fatigue, procrastination, and other common human behaviors.
Remember, it’s not that difficult to get organized.
The trick is staying organized so you finally have enough free time to live your life in alignment with your values.
My team and I are happy to help you get an actual price for your organizing project. You can get a quote today.