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Would you pay for someone to come and help organise your life?

(31 Posts)
buffersandbumpers Mon 24-Mar-14 22:32:12

Just that really. I'm looking for a career change and want to become a professional organiser. I would go to someone's house and help with anything from dealing with mail, filing, organising office space, administration, correspondence to decluttering and downsizing.
Clients would be the busy (working or SAHP) or elderly or vulnerable or absent for long periods (e.g working abroad). What do you think about paying for that sort of service?

AwfulMaureen Mon 24-Mar-14 23:55:52

Is it like being a freelance, temporary PA? If I had the money I might,...but then if I had the money, I'd have a PA.

trixymalixy Mon 24-Mar-14 23:57:55

I was wondering if such a thing existed recently. I definitely need someone to come and organise us. Not sure I can afford it though!

Blueberrybaby Tue 25-Mar-14 00:03:05

Where I live (Toronto), this kind of service is becoming popular. Do a google for personal concierge services. They offer so much more than just de cluttering etc. a lot of them you can hire to manage a particular project e.g. a DIY project or a small event. Depending on where you live people will pay for this.

EthelDorothySusan Tue 25-Mar-14 00:11:08

I have paid for someone to come and help me once, it was useful, though a expensive and she only wanted to do four hours. I would have used her more often if she was not so pricey.

buffersandbumpers Tue 25-Mar-14 21:51:51

Blueberry - I'm in UK. By all accounts we're reluctant to pay for things like this hence my caution.
Would be more than a PA - project management of small projects also in my kitbag smile

buffersandbumpers Tue 25-Mar-14 21:54:40

Ethel, how pricey is pricey in your opinion? One person in the next county I know charges per half (£95) or full day (£200) or by job.
Lots of people say they'd love to have the service - just not to pay much for it. Dilemma...

almondblossom Wed 02-Apr-14 09:21:23

I think your stumbling block initially will be confidentiality and security- if people are allowing you to see their personal mail and come into their homes then you would need references and maybe even CRB clearance if children were around.

The kind of people who tend to do life-uncluttering are often trained life/personal coaches who have chosen to specialise in that type of client.

Vatta Wed 02-Apr-14 09:57:03

I would totally pay you to do that, and would be fine with 200 a day.

My concern would be confidentiality though - we have bank statements etc lying around, not sure how you'd deal with that aspect?

Bonsoir Wed 02-Apr-14 10:12:43

I think that you need to worm your way into someone's life by doing tasks that are not too personal first eg you might start off by reorganising someone's books and bookcases and their kitchen, and move onto mail and filing.

almondblossom Wed 02-Apr-14 11:27:33

I think it depends on supply and demand what you can charge.

£200 a day (8 hours) sounds a lot lot me as it's £25 an hour and what parents pay for a qualified teacher for tutoring. I can't see how tidying up can possibly be worth that amount.

twentyten Wed 02-Apr-14 11:38:46

Have a look at virtual assistants and local women's networking events. Meet people and test your ideas locally. Good luck!

wordfactory Wed 02-Apr-14 11:40:52

My friend does this.

It started quite small with her helping a fellow Mum when the family were on an extended holiday...getting house spring cleaned, all odd jobs undertaken and some new cupboards fitted.

From there she got quite a few recommendations and she easily fills her weeks now. She's done everything from source and oversea new kitchens to organising big parties to doing all the admin...

My friend loves her work. And is well paid, I think!

Bonsoir Wed 02-Apr-14 11:53:05

"£200 a day (8 hours) sounds a lot lot me as it's £25 an hour and what parents pay for a qualified teacher for tutoring. I can't see how tidying up can possibly be worth that amount."

Tutoring is a hell of a lot easier (more repetitive) than the type of work the OP is suggesting.

Vatta Wed 02-Apr-14 12:02:37

I don't think op is talking about just tidying though - if I could hire somebody to update/sort out all my filing, deal with post and admin, reorganise our house, book holidays, organise house moves, get a new kitchen fitted for me etc that would definitely be worth 200 a day to me! It's like a PA service for your home.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 02-Apr-14 12:05:35

hello OP

I think the price is fine because the type of people who would book these services imo would be professionals with little time themselves.
As each client would need different tasks and requirements it would be a bespoke service and people pay more for this.
I would market yourself at the top end, so probably few clients but them paying top whack.
Just a thought, if you didn't charge by the hour but for the task or project this may be easier. Then you can visit or from initial contact give potential clients a quote or estimate.
I think it would work if you had a company and whilst you do the jobs/tasks you enjoy and are good at, you have a list of contractors to use for other things. So project garden if you know nothing about this you have a designer and landscaper you use. Then obviously you are gaining some money from these, almost like an agent, say 15/20%

Bonsoir Wed 02-Apr-14 12:07:26

I recently went through every single book shelf in our apartment, removed and dusted all the books, dusted and cleaned (wood treated) the bookcases, sorted through them all and sent a whole lot off to recycling and rearranged the remainder. It took the best part of 5 days (not sequential - I needed a breather from time to time) and required quite a lot of thought as well as muscle.

That's the sort of task I aim to do every year, fail to do more than once every three years and eats into my time and depletes my energy resources. Tidying or tutoring are a doddle comparison (I tutor the dyslexic son of a friend of mine once a week - I am sitting down being served cups of tea all the while and leave quite refreshed wink).

LyndaCartersBigPants Wed 02-Apr-14 12:21:49

I'm just not sure how someone else can organise your stuff though - how do they know what to keep, what to bin, what goes with what etc.?

I'm thinking of the random piles of crap that accumulate in my house - not even I know what half of it is for, I have to ask the DCs. I have 3 different bank accounts (all the same bank) so my in-tray has statements for all of these and I have to carefully check which account they are for before I file them away.

I'd definitely like someone to sort out my utilities etc as I've spent bloody days on the phone to them recently, but they all need security questions and passwords (I have been trying to switch from my ex's name to mine and nobody will let me past the first security checks on the phone and he can't even remember half his passwords!) so I don't know how someone else could sort all that out. Similarly holidays, how would they know where to book, there are so many nuances for me when booking a holiday, flight times, cost, location, facilities, the wow factor, recommendations etc. It's quite a complex job picking a holiday. If you just want to go back to the same place again of course it's easy, but then you can do it yourself!

I'm sure there are lots of jobs that someone else could theoretically do in my home, but the printer that has sat at the top of the stairs for 6 months because I don't have a home for it, the piles of washing abandoned because no bugger will claim it and put it away, the various folders and notebooks that sit around waiting for inspiration to strike and the assorted computer-related debris (that belongs to something but nobody knows what) would leave a professional as stumped as I am!

Bonsoir Wed 02-Apr-14 12:36:36

I want someone to do a technology audit of my home.

Viviennemary Wed 02-Apr-14 12:39:48

I think it's a brilliant idea for a new business. Have you seen this website for professional organisers. Couldn't do a proper link.

bishboschone Wed 02-Apr-14 12:50:49

Id be brilliant at this . I do this for my mum while she has been downsizing . I got offered jobs by the estate agent, the garden designer and new housing company . I declined them as I'm a sahm but it's actually a great idea for a business .

almondblossom Thu 03-Apr-14 10:16:44

Bonsoir Tutoring is a hell of a lot easier (more repetitive) than the type of work the OP is suggesting.

You clearly have no idea.

Motivating a reluctant teen, preparing an hour's work in advance, keeping it interesting, working towards exams- oh and don't forget the degree and PGCE required before you can start.

almondblossom Thu 03-Apr-14 10:18:39

Bonsoir I hope you are qualified to teach a dyslexic child?

If not then you ought not to be doing it- it's VERY different from just sitting down and teaching a 'bit of spelling'.

I am qualified and have been tutoring dyslexics for 16 years.

wordfactory Thu 03-Apr-14 10:37:54

bonsoir lives in France. Since the majority of educationalists there don't really recognise dyslexia as needing special help, she's already streets ahead of most of 'em.

JaneinReading Thu 03-Apr-14 11:16:34

These services have been around for years and those with the money probably find them useful. We are all quite tidy and organised so don't need it. I suspect the big issue is that some people are just uninterested in a tidy organised home and will always put that last so as soon as their expensive declutterer has been in they don't continue the wonderful filing system she's set up for them - they just continue as before with total mess and chaos (the worst ones are "hoarders" - obviously not everyone is that bad). It might be that some kind of consideration of why the mess got there in the first place might help too along with having someone to sort out the mess on one occasion or perhaps having someone permanent to do it would help. Some cleaners tidy as well as clean although usually would not file.

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