What exactly does a Professional Organiser do?

Pauline Purves Professional Organiser

People also ask:

  • How much does a professional organiser charge per hour?
  • Why should I hire a professional organiser?
  • How do I choose a professional organiser?

One of the biggest blocks that people have in decluttering their homes is procrastination and not knowing where to start.

For these reasons, people continue to live in homes which they find stressful, cluttered and unmanageable, with specific aspects that they do not like. Having identified these, they feel a failure for not being able to resolve them. In addition, it is likely to be a person’s inability to make decisions about their possessions, combined with a lack of organisational skills which makes tackling the issue alone, incredibly difficult.

A Professional Organiser is someone who:

is a good listener and always respectful when working in a clients home;

  • has a clarity of vision enabling them to take an overview of a person’s living space and suggest rational ways to improve it;
  • is easily able to systemise the process of decluttering;
  • is naturally organised;
  • has a good eye for detail;
  • is thorough;
  • can identify the best way to work with each client and offer a very personal service;
  • is a creative problem solver;
  • is able to work to a realistic budget.


A good professional organiser is also non-judgmental and compassionate. They must have excellent people skills to enable them to work effectively with each client, and devise the best way to work together.

A Professional Organiser’s own life-time of experiences, can help them be empathetic to the challenges many clients face:

For my part, having now lost both of my parents, I have personal experience of bereavment, which is quite a unique experience. This has really helped me when working with client’s who have experienced a recent loss & may be struggling as a result.

Having also had to help my father move after the death of my mother & his wife of 54 years, I fully understand the sensitivity that is required in such a situation.

Having brought up a family of three, I have direct experiences of the challenges placed on a family home at all stages of that journey.

All these experiences really help me in my work with a broad range of clients.

The specific role of a professional organiser

kelly decluttering cartoon

While the cartoon above makes a valid point that many people struggle to declutter themselves, there is much more to being a professional organiser than just opting for three bins marked “keep,” “trash,” and “donate.”

When working with clients I offer the following choices for the disposal of items:

  • Keep
  • Give to a specific person or place (school, community centre etc.)
  • Sell/auction
  • Give to a charity or charity shop (Sue Ryder & British Heart Foundation (BHF) will both take electrical items. The BHF will also take larger electrical items, furniture & large book collections. Depending on the quantity of items, they will also collect for free.
  • Place in regularly collected household recycling
  • Take to your local council recycling centre
  • Place on sites where people can have items for free as long as they collect them, such as https://www.freecycle.org/ and https://www.gumtree.com/
  • Finally, items can be placed in landfill, but ideally this should be kept to an absolute minimum!


In short, sometimes you need an objective, experienced opinion to help you move forward.

Professional organisers can offer that opinion, or help you discover options you wouldn’t have considered on your own.

How do I choose a Professional Organiser (PO)?

  • If you have met a PO and been inspired by them, check out their website, read their ‘about me section’ to see what experience they have, check the services they offer, their customer testimonials and their terms & conditions.
  • Ask family & friends for anyone they have worked with, or that they know and would recommend.
  • Make an initial exploratory call. I personally offer a free 30 minute call to potential new clients. We discuss the client’s needs and if we think we could work together we arrange an assessment home visit, which in my view is essential. The cost of this is £55 for an hour. This is followed up with a schedule of work and a bespoke quote.
  • Ultimately, you should choose someone you feel you can trust, you like, you can afford and that you feel will be compassionate but efficient.
  • Personally, I have a DBS certificate which I take with me on my first home visit with a new client. This shows that I have nio criminal record.
  • I also take along my Company Certificate of incorporation and my public & employee liability insurance certificate.
  • I also advise clients that I am a member of APDO (Association for Professional Declutterers & Organisers) and abide by their ethics & code of practice. The organisation has been in existence for 15 years and has over 300 members in the UK.
  • Most PO’s take 50% of the fee upfront with the balance due on completion of the job, and the minimum time slot is three hours. The deposit is really important, otherwise clients can cancel at short notice, leaving the PO without work, when they are likely to have declined other projects.
  • Hourly rates range from £35.00 to £55.00 across the UK, with London rates averaging £50 per hour.
  • I work all over greater London and charge £50 per hour. I also take a 50% deposit. For larger long-term jobs, a bespoke payment plan can be negotiated.


I hope that you have found this blog useful, and I very much hope that in 2021 you can achieve the changes that you need in order to create a beautiful home that you love & that works for both you & your family, in a practical way.

‘I love my home & am passionate about working with people to help them achieve this too’


‘I find my home relaxing, stress free, somewhere that I love be in, but also to return to.’

You can have this too. If you would like to book a free consultation call, you can do so here

or email me directly at pauline.purves@pleasanthomes.co.uk

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