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If using your knack for organizing and creating efficient spaces to make money has crossed your mind, you may be considering a career as a professional organizer.
Professional organizing seems to have popped up overnight thanks to shows like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, however, this is an industry that’s been around for years. As our lives get busier and our to-do lists continue to grow, this is an industry that is highly in demand at the moment, making this the ideal time to learn how to become a professional organizer.
Do you have the skills it takes? What are the steps to take now to set your new venture up for success? Let’s explore.
Should You Become a Professional Organizer?
Although the industry is booming right now, being a professional organizer isn’t the right choice for everyone. From the personality traits required to the business savvy needed, it’s important that you understand the landscape of the industry before you get started with your own business.
Being an organizing professional is more than just having a special talent for finding a tidy place for everything, although that’s obviously a vital piece of the puzzle, too. You may be suited for this profession if you:
- Are obsessed with all things organization
- Have a deep-rooted passion for helping others live their best life
- Are compassionate and able to make connections with others easily
- Have a desire to run your own business on your own terms
- Want to pursue a career that’s aligned with your unique passions and skillsets
Pros and Cons of Starting Your Own Pro Organizing Business
As with starting any new business, there are always pros and cons and it’s important that you’re aware of them before making your decision. Here are the pros and cons of starting a pro organizing business:
- Very low barrier to entry, overhead is low.
- There is no official training or certification required.
- For the organizationally inclined, it’s an extension of your natural talents that you’ve already spent a lifetime exemplifying.
- Starting a portfolio and gaining testimonials for social proof is easy to do by completing tasks for family and friends.
- There’s a dedicated association, NAPO (National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals), that offers tons of resources and professional certification opportunities.
- You can easily expand your services, specialize in certain niches, and even offer retainer services.
- There are plenty of opportunities to add additional income streams like speaking events, training, ebooks, and organizational materials.
- It can be difficult to differentiate yourself from other organizers without specializing in a particular area of the business.
- You may have to perform some rather unglamorous tasks such as cleaning up after particularly messy clients.
- You need to possess people skills that translate across a variety of personalities.
- Large projects may require you to use subcontractors which can cut into your profit.
- Obtaining professional certification takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication.
Should You Become A CPO (Certified Professional Organizer)?
If you enjoy clearing the clutter and helping to transform the lives of others using your natural talents and abilities, starting your own professional organizing business might be a great career path to begin pursuing right now. And if you’re not particularly experienced in organizing, your first instinct may be to hit the books and go back to school.
As we mentioned, you don’t necessarily need to be certified to start your business, however, there are many benefits to obtaining certification. By pursuing professional organizer certification you can position yourself as an industry expert that has the knowledge, skills, and education to back it up.
You’ll not only gain trust and authority, but you’ll also be subjected to many hours, 1,500 to be exact, of documented organizing. In addition to the 1,500 hours of documented, paid work, you’ll also be required to pass the CPO (Certified Professional Organizer) exam and maintain your certification by paying a fee and applying for re-certification every 3 years.
What You Really Need to Get Started
If you’re looking to get your business going sooner rather than later, here’s what you need to become a professional organizer and start attracting your ideal clients:
- A business plan that includes an outline of your services, pricing, areas of specialty, and goals.
- A marketing plan that includes the creation of a website, a professional logo and brand, social media accounts, and the development of promotional materials.
- A system for creating a professional portfolio of before and after pictures and obtaining customer testimonials.
- A passion for serving others, helping them to transform not only their space but their lives, too.
Get Out There and Start Learning and Promoting Your Business
The best way to take your professional organizing business to the next level is to learn as much as you can about the industry, get as much experience as possible, and learn from those who are further ahead than you.
There are a ton of resources out there for pro organizers, from NAPO and ICD conferences to seeking professional coaching from another organizer — the possibilities for continued education and networking are endless!
The more time and energy you dedicate to your business and finding ways to attract your ideal client, the more readily those clients will find you and become your customers. It’s only a matter of time before your hard work pays off and you’re doing what you love while providing an invaluable service for those in need.
About the Author
Jen Obermeier is the entrepreneur behind Pro Organizer Studio. She has helped thousands of students around the world grow their own successful professional organizing businesses by coaching them through her unique Inspired Organizer ® program.
You can also find her on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest.
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