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How to Become a Professional Organizer From Someone Who’s Done It

Are you one of those people who has a knack for organizing? Do you enjoy coming up with systems to keep your home running smoothly?

Maybe you’ve been eyeing your co-worker’s cluttered desk. You keep thinking to yourself, “If only they would let me organize it for them.” Or maybe you can’t help but notice all the ways your friend’s home could be more efficient.

If you have a knack for organization and a desire to help others, then a career as a professional organizer might be perfect for you! 

how to become a professional organizer

This fascinating and growing industry offers opportunities to work with clients of all ages and backgrounds. As an organizer, you get to help them declutter, set up efficient systems, and achieve their goals.

If you’re interested in becoming a professional organizer, there are a few things you should know. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a professional organizer.

Pros of Being a Professional Organizer

There are many pros to being a professional organizer that make the hard work worth it. Below is a list of pros to add to your list.

  • Be your own boss
  • Set your own hours
  • Set your own rates
  • Help others in need
  • See the results of your work each day
  • Work in a growing industry
  • Low start-up costs

Types of Skills Needed to Become a Professional Organizer

To be a successful, professional organizer, there are certain skills you will need to learn.

You can learn many of the skills through on-the-job experience, but certain personalities may suit this career path better than others. 

Organization Skills

To identify issues in a client’s home, you’ll need standard home organizational skills. 

You should be able to come up with systems to declutter and keep your client’s home organized. This includes being able to come up with storage solutions, sort items into categories, and create a system for organizing them.

Problem-Solving Skills

Much of an organizing session is solving a problem in each area you organize. Thinking on your feet and coming up with creative solutions for a variety of organizing problems is advantageous, as every job is unique.

Empathy

Many of the clients you work with may feel embarrassed or anxious about working with a professional organizer. Empathy can go a long way when working with clients. It’s important to be able to understand where they are coming from and how best to help them.

Attention to Detail

Organizing and working with clients is all about attention to detail. If you can stay focused and notice the little things, you’ll help your clients achieve their organizing goals.

Communication Skills

Communication skills truly help. 

You need to be able to clearly explain your organizing process and manage your clients’ expectations. Communicating effectively with your clients helps facilitate projects in their homes and in selling your services.

Ability to Wear Many Hats

If you want to become a professional organizer, you need to be comfortable working in a variety of areas. You may find yourself doing everything from marketing and advertising to bookkeeping, organizing, sales, and more.

Do I Need Certification or Training?

To become a professional organizer, you don’t need any special certification or training, but it can help you build credibility and attract clients. 

You can take advantage of free training courses, Youtube videos, webinars, websites, and books to gain the skills you need to become a professional organizer.

There are many ways to get certified, but one of the most common is through the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). To become a NAPO member, you must meet certain requirements, including having at least two years of professional organizing experience and completing an exam. 

Once you’re a member, you can use the NAPO logo on your website and marketing materials to show potential clients that you’re a credible source of information and services. Plus, NAPO will offer you access to resources, discounts, and networking opportunities to help you grow your business.

Is Insurance Needed?

Most professional organizers will need to obtain liability insurance. Liability insurance can help protect you in the event that something goes wrong while working on a client’s home. 

Research multiple insurance companies to ensure that you find the coverage that best fits your needs and budget.

Here are three insurance companies that offer coverage for professional organizers:

Gaining Clientele

Generating new leads and clientele is an essential part of becoming a professional organizer and running your business. You’ll need to actively market your services and create relationships with potential clients. 

Here are ways to gain clientele:

Family & Friends

Reaching out to family and friends is a great way to start your organizing business. In fact, this was the very first step we took in starting our organizing business. 

Working for family and friends allows you to hone your craft and get honest feedback on your work.

Business Cards & Flyers

Purchasing business cards and flyers is an inexpensive way to build credibility for your business and help get your name out there. We used flyers and door hangers to get some of our first clients, and we pass out business cards to everyone we speak with.

Website

Having an online presence will make it easy for potential clients to find you. 

A website is a great way to further showcase your services and credentials as a professional organizer. You can use website builders such as Squarespace and WordPress to create a professional website without the need for coding knowledge.

Utilizing Google SEO/PPC

Where is the first place you look when you need a service?

Nowadays, many homeowners find professional organizers online using search engines such as Google. Utilizing a search engine like Google can make a vast difference in the number of leads and the clientele you receive. 

In fact, this is where we received roughly 80% of our new clients. We focused on making the best listing possible and built many reviews.

Google allows you to create free and paid placements, which can be shown on the top of search engine results pages.

Create a Free Google Business Listing

Advertise With Google Ads

Social Media

Social media is a popular marketing choice for many organizers. 

From Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, you can reach a wide variety of potential clients. You can use social media to post pictures and videos of your work, share tips and tricks, and build relationships with followers. You can also use social media to promote your services and website.

Working With Other Professional Organizers

Networking with other professional organizers is an effective way to share ideas, learn how to better market yourself, and collaborate on projects. There are many organizations, such as NAPO, that offer opportunities to connect with other organizers.

Conducting Consultations

Offering a free consultation is a great way to gain a potential client’s trust and showcase your credibility. 

Even if they do not hire right away, you’ll be in the back of their mind for when they’re ready.

Taking Payment

Taking payment is an often overlooked yet critical aspect in growing your business. It is important to be prepared with how you will take payment from clients. We recommend using a credit card processor such as Square.

Other options to take payment include:

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Venmo
  • Zelle
  • Cash App
  • Paypal
  • Other credit card processors

Deciding when to take payment will vary from one organizer to another. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you would like to take payment from your clients. 

Many organizers take 50% of the project total upfront. Others require 100% of the project total up front. Some professional organizers also charge a cancellation fee if the project is canceled.

Bringing Organizing Supplies

To provide the best professional organizing services, you must have the necessary supplies. Consider purchasing a tape measure, labeling supplies, supply bins, and other organizing materials. 

Having a variety of supplies on hand will help you provide the best service for your clients and appear credible when you arrive at their homes.

What to Charge?

Pricing across the industry ranges quite a bit. Some organizers charge by the hour, and others charge by the project. Pricing ranges between $50-$100/hr to upwards of $125-$500/hr, depending on experience and skill.

If you are just getting started, it may benefit you to offer free or discounted rates to gain experience. This allows you to get before and after photos and reviews of your very first projects. 

Plus, if you do these free or discounted jobs with excellence, the 5-star reviews you’ll get will pay you back with future business.

Buying & Using Products for Clients

Many professional organizers choose to purchase and use products for their clients. Boxes, bins, labels, and other organizational supplies are common examples. 

Many organizers will purchase products for a client’s project ahead of time and get reimbursed for the total once the project is complete.

Deciding where to purchase products will ultimately depend on your client’s product budget. However, there are many product choices out there for all budgets. Our favorites include:

  • Amazon
  • Target
  • The Home Depot
  • Lowes
  • The Container Store
  • mDesign
  • The Home Edit
  • NeatMethod

These are just a few of the many product choices available to you. With some research and testing, you will find product brands that work best for you and your clients.

You Can Do This!

Becoming a professional organizer takes time, energy, and dedication. But with the right resources and guidance, you can become a successful professional organizer. Take it from someone who has done it.

Final Thoughts

A career as a professional organizer can be extremely rewarding—both financially and emotionally. If you have a passion for organization and enjoy helping others, then it might be time to start your own organizing business! By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful, professional organizer in no time.

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Aaron Traub

Aaron Traub

Aaron Traub is an entrepreneur and co-owner of My Professional Organizer. Born in Dallas, TX, Aaron went to the University of Loyola New Orleans and graduated with a bachelor's degree in business marketing.

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