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How to Become a Professional Organizer [In 6 Easy Steps]

If creating order from chaos scratches an itch in your brain, professional organizing might be the right job for you.

Professional organizers make money helping people live cleaner and less stressful lives while having a blast organizing every pile of clutter to perfection.

We’ll explore everything you need to know about how to become a professional organizer. From the basic steps and associated costs to the time it takes to establish yourself in the field, we’ve got you covered.

An Overview of Professional Organizers: A Primer

Professional organizers are experts in bringing order and efficiency to people’s lives by decluttering and organizing their spaces, whether it’s for work or home.

They work with individuals, families, and businesses to create streamlined environments that are easy on the eyes.

Different professional organizers can specialize in certain types, such as organizing closets, kitchens, or offices.

They can also offer additional services like virtual organization, workshops, or consulting, which can further boost their income and clientele.

As you become an established organizer with over 1,500 hours of paid work, you can aim to become a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO). Becoming a CPO is a big deal in the world of professional organizations and opens up a lot of doors.

You can also get paid to give advice to different individuals, families, and groups.

How Much Do Professional Organizers Make?

Entry-level professional organizers might earn around $30-50 per hour, while seasoned professionals with established businesses can make upwards of $100 per hour.

Some also charge per project, charging between $150 and $1,500 for a whole room or area.

What You’ll Need to Become a Professional Organizer [& Associated Costs]

To become a professional organizer, you’ll need a combination of tools, education, and personal aptitude.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to get started:

1. Education

Formal education isn’t mandatory, but enrolling in training programs gives new professional organizers credibility and great contacts.

In-depth programs can cost $1,000-2,000, while simple online courses available on platforms such as Udemy and Skillshare go for as little as $10.

2. Business Setup

Setting up a professional organization requires business licenses and sometimes zoning permits. Look into the regulations in your area to find out the details.

Insurance is also important in dealing with property damage or personal injury. Some specialized insurances cover professional errors.

3. Tools and Supplies

Professional organizers need a toolkit of go-to organizing supplies such as storage bins, labels, filing systems, and cleaning products. These can often be paid for by the client, but it’s best to have them on hand.

Some software tools, such as accounting or client-management programs, are also helpful. This can cost $50-200 a month.

4. Marketing and Advertising

If this is a side hustle, new organizers need minimal marketing efforts and rely on personal referrals.

If the plan is to switch careers, though, you’ll need to invest in a website, brand identity, ads, flyers, and business cards. This will start at $300 for a modest start.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Professional Organizer?

The resources you choose to go with will determine startup cost. Some people choose to start with no expenses other than licensure, which is often less than $100 and takes a day or two.

Others opt for training programs, marketing tools, and organization supplies and spend anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for initial setup costs.

The deciding factor for how much it’ll cost to get started is how big you’d like the business to be.

Is it Hard to Become a Professional Organizer?

Getting started as a professional organizer is challenging; even people with a natural ability to organize and declutter still need to learn how to navigate the lives of their clients.

Organizers are also expected to coach clients to maintain the system they come up with.

You’ll also need to be comfortable managing a business in a relatively competitive field. Most large cities have some start professional organizing businesses you may compete against.

Alternatively, you can join them to gain experience with lower risks and workload.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Professional Organizer?

The time it takes to become a professional organizer can vary depending on your commitment, learning pace, and the quality of service you aim to provide.

Start by offering services to friends and family to get referrals can get you up and running within weeks.

If the purpose is to offer a level of service that stands up to the competition, it’ll take no less than six months to learn different methods, practice with real-life projects, and develop a process.

How to Become a Professional Organizer in 6 Simple Steps

These are the six main steps necessary to become an established professional organizer:

Step 1: Assess Your Skills and Niche

The first step to building a great business is assessing the areas where you shine. Take some time to evaluate your organizational skills and where they are most effective.

Here are some of the questions you can use to reflect on your skills:

  • Are your skills better suited for home or professional environments?
  • Are there any specific areas you excel at, such as digital organization or scheduling systems?
  • What’s your ultimate goal as a professional organizer? Is providing a stress-free environment? Boosting productivity? Organizing spaces to accommodate multiple people?
  • Can you teach home or business owners how to develop their organizational processes empathetically?

Focus on your strongest suits and expand on them. This will lay a solid foundation for your new business.

Generalist pro organizers compete with anyone in the field, while specialized organizers can attract the right clientele by focusing their marketing efforts.

Step 2: Take a Deep Dive Into Your Niche

Once you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to research everything about it. Identify your ideal customers and their needs, the challenges specific to your niche, and your competitors so you can tailor your services accordingly.

Look for courses or online resources that cover relevant organization techniques. Investing in education will give you a competitive edge and help you deliver exceptional service that advances your business.

Step 3: Set Up Your Business

Now that the core function of your business is crystal clear, it’s time to take care of the paperwork.

You’ll need a good name to register. There are loads of resources online on how to choose a business name and check if it’s available.

Register your business and obtain necessary licenses and permits.

Develop a clear pricing structure for your services per hour or project, create contracts or agreements, and consider getting liability insurance to protect yourself and your clients.

Having an organized system for scheduling, client management, and accounting is crucial. A disorganized process doesn’t send a great message to potential clients.

Step 4: Market Your Services and Build a Client Base

Promoting your services will be half the job at the beginning to build a strong client base.

Create a professional website that showcases your expertise, services, and testimonials from satisfied clients.

Establish a strong social media presence by sharing organization tips, before-and-after transformations, and engaging with followers and potential clients.

Don’t forget to focus your brand communication on the niche you chose and the specific kind of clients that need it.

Network with local businesses, join professional organizing associations and participate in community events to establish valuable connections.

Step 5: Refine Your Methodology

Once clients start rolling in, it’s important to reflect on every organizing job you get. Take note of what went well and what didn’t, what took the most amount of time, and the tasks you enjoyed or disliked.

This enables you to hone your organizational skills and develop effective techniques that will go a long way.

Stay updated with the latest trends and best practices in the industry. Experiment with different organization methods and systems to find what works best for different types of spaces and clients.

That way, you’ll meet the evolving needs of your clients while making more money.

Step 6: Expand and Grow

After a while, there will be a somewhat consistent stream of clients. This is when you can take further steps to advance in your career.

One possible route is to get certified. The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) offers one of the most recognized certifications in the world.

Becoming a certified professional organizer is not necessary, but it gives you much more credibility since this certification is reserved for seasoned pro organizers.

This will also help you further your career to, for instance, become a consultant.

Alternatively, you can offer classes to people in your area to be their own organizers. Most POs learn with time that the organization process can be straightforward, but the client often needs to make major life changes to keep them up.

Learning to navigate that professionally and empathetically can change lives.

Reasons to Consider Becoming a Professional Organizer

Still on the fence about whether you should embark on the journey of becoming a pro-organizer?

Here are some of the biggest reasons organizers do what they do:

  • Good pay: Working as a PO pays well, especially in major cities. It also doesn’t require higher education or any other type for that matter, making it a lot more accessible than jobs that earn you the same yearly income.
  • Make a Positive Impact: Helping people transform their living or working spaces can have a profound impact on both your and your client’s overall well-being.
  • It’s a Great Side Hustle: Since it pays well and doesn’t need specific education, it’s a great job for those who have a knack for it and only want supplementary income.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need Certification to Become a Professional Organizer?

You don’t necessarily need certification to become a professional organizer, but it can enhance your credibility and open up more opportunities.

What’s the Minimum Education for Professional Organizers?

There’s no minimum education to work as a professional organizer, but the CPO exam requires a high school diploma.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

If becoming a professional organizer isn’t for you, check out these other similar options:

Wrapping Up

Being a professional organizer can be deeply rewarding; the amount of satisfaction you get from turning a hot mess into a well-organized haven is only topped by the transformative change it has on your clients’ lives.

With the right skills, training, and dedication, you can transform your passion for organization into a thriving business.

What did you think? Let us know in the comments. And do you know someone who would thrive as a professional organizer? Send them this guide!

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