$175/hour, free insults

I just signed a contract with a new client. I’m $110/hour + I have to charge sales tax on my services – DON’T get me started on how angry that makes me. I’ve earned the right to charge every penny of that $110/hour: I’m licensed, bonded and insured; I take continuing education classes constantly; I listen to my clients’ feedback every time I’m given it. I’ve been fired a few times, a teaching moment every time.

My new client told me she’d interviewed another candidate. $175/hr. My competitor walked into the bedroom and tossed off a remark about the “mess.” Saw a coffee stain under a table and called it out as dog pee. WHAT??????? I absolutely call out dog pee – when I’m watching the dog pee it.


I have no idea who my “rival” was. No idea if she belongs to my professional society, no idea what her background is, no idea why she wants to work in this industry, nothing. I know I’d like to have a conversation with her.


About Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Virtual Professional Organizer®


  1. MB on July 9, 2024 at 2:57 pm

    There ARE organizers who insult their clients. I’ve had to make more than one of them leave the apartment (mine) or the house (sharing with Mom, caring for her during the pandemic).

    Sometimes they’re as openly insulting as the one you reference. Sometimes they’re a touch more subtle — like the woman who said to me “You work hard; I’m actually surprised.” Um, excuse me — what??

    I think NAPO is doing a much better job of training professional organizers — up front, before they get into a client’s space — to do better. Some people, potential clients, are neurodivergent, and we know a lot more about the multiplicity of conditions that can cover than we used to (I think). Some people have mobility challenges related to osteoarthritic conditions or autoimmune conditions (or both) — and some of THOSE conditions had been dismissed by doctors as equally callous as those previous organizers.

    As I said – the industry is improving on that front to a certain degree.

    We still have a ways to go.

    • Lauren Williams on July 9, 2024 at 6:02 pm

      Dishearteningly, NAPO can’t weed out all the bad actors either. I had a colleague, I’ll never name him/her/them, who went out of business during the pandemic and I was quite pleased by that. That person had a boulder on the shoulder about “No one tells me how to run my business” which meant a client couldn’t make an innocent remark about something as simple as “Hey, I read a book that I found helpful. Do you know it?” without the colleague bristling. Anybody with any common sense, courtesy and curiosity ought to answer “Tell me more.” I’ve learned about a bunch of great stuff that way. It’s just like any other profession that way, our motives, personalities, innate and trained skills vary widely. But the best of us try very hard to be our best selves.

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