How to Become a Professional Organizer
*** This is a guest post by a Jen, a professional organizer.
In this post, we will go over how to become a professional organizer in detail.
First things first, what is a professional organizer?
Who is a professional organizer?
A professional organizer is akin to a magical unicorn that turns chaos and clutter into tidy, efficient spaces in homes and businesses.
Tasks can range from organizing pantries and cupboards to creating ultra-efficient filing and paper management systems.
But there’s much more to being a professional organizer than simply tidying up and organizing the chaos, it takes a certain level of compassion and a knack for coaching to truly be a successful pro organizer.
If you’re naturally organized and have a true passion for helping others live better, you may be researching how to become a professional organizer — because who doesn’t dream of getting paid to do what comes naturally to them?
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Do you have what it takes to step into a career that’s as fulfilling for you as it is your clients?
Let’s explore what being a professional organizer means and how you can go about becoming a professional organizer.
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How much can you make as a professional organizer?
Of course, if professional organizing as a career is new to you, then you need to know your efforts or decision is not wrong.
According to Payscale.com, Professional Organizers earn from $30,683 to $124,078 per year.
That’s a pretty huge difference, eh?
You need to remember that professional organizing is flexible and versatile. That means, some professional organizers work part time and some take it up full time.
Whatever it may be – you can definitely earn a full time income as a professional organizer.
Becoming a Professional Organizer: What Does it Take?
- are naturally organized
- have an eye for design,
- love helping people, and
- have the desire to use your talents to make money — perfect!
Professional organizing may be right up your alley.
But there’s more to this profession than meets the eye.
Here are some of the most important traits you’ll need to possess in order to be successful in this industry:
- Spacial organization: You should have the ability to visualize how to organize and arrange things within a certain space before you even lay your hands on it.
- Systems organization: This refers to your ability to develop systems that are effective, efficient, and maintainable by your clients.
- Compassion: You’ll be invited inside your client’s home and/or office. The relationship you have will be intimate, built on trust and compassion for your client’s situation.
- Coaching ability: There’s a reason why your clients haven’t been successful with organizing their home or office on their own.
Always remember they’re now relying on your ability to not only take them where they need to go but to coach them through it and on how to maintain it once you’re gone.
While possessing the proper personality traits and skillsets are crucial for starting your professional organizing business, keep in mind that it’s still a business and you won’t succeed on these traits alone.
In fact, it’s a very popular and upcoming business that’s gaining traction rapidly.
This means that you’ll also need to have the ability to compete with other professionals in your field if you want to succeed.
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Get Certified as professional organizer?
This is a big topic of discussion and debate, and becoming certified will boil down to your personal preference.
If you do decided to become certified, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers (BCPO) offer exams that allow you to become a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO).
It’s important that you make sure you’re serious about your decision to become a certified professional organizer (or a CPO) before you embark on the journey because the process is a bit rigorous.
Here’s what’s required:
- Complete 1,500 hours of documented, paid work within 3 years.
This is an average of 9.6 hours of documented organizing per week for 3 years.
- Apply to and take the CPO certification exam.
- Maintain your certification by paying your annual fee and applying for re-certification every three years.
Obtaining your professional certification will no doubt be a lot of work, but it’s worth your while when you’re able to provide yourself with the legitimacy, experience, and training you need to not only land clients but to provide them with the best possible service.
Decide if You Want to Choose An Area to Specialize in
At some point, you’ll want to take some time to consider if you want to specialize in any certain area of professional organizing.
For example, if creating labels, implementing storage bins, and color-coding are therapeutic to you, you may consider specializing in home organization.
On the other hand, you might have a real knack for streamlining workflows, organizing spreadsheets, and implementing paper management systems like no other.
In that case, you may consider defining yourself as an office organization professional.
There’s also a great need now more than ever for virtual organizers!
The important thing is that you take some time to consider what you truly love and feel the most passion for and start there.
This will not only help ensure that the work you’re doing is fun and exciting for you but that you’re able to differentiate yourself from the pack and assert yourself as an authority in your designated niche.
Start Putting That Business Plan Together
You can’t get by with just skills and certification.
Remember, you’ll be running a business and competing with others so it’s important that you have a plan.
Either is perfectly fine, but knowing what capacity your business fulfills will determine how to move forward with your plan for your business.
For example, if this is going to be your full-time gig, you may consider setting up a legal entity to protect yourself and your business.
On the other hand, if this will be a side hustle for you, you can probably get away with working as a freelance contractor.
Some of the other items you’ll want to consider for your business plan include:
- Defining your marketing strategy
- Determining your service rates
- Building your website
- Designing your logo and branding strategy
- Defining your ideal client
- Conducting market research to identify your ideal client’s needs and preferences
- Creating social media accounts and getting active on them
Landing Your First Clients
Once you have your business plan in place and you’re out there marketing your new business, it may take some time before you land your first big client.
In the meantime, offer your services to your friends and family or advertise special discounts or offers.
The more experience you’re able to get, the more testimonials and before and after pictures you’ll have to display as proof of your work, which will ultimately help build more trust in your brand and attract more clients.
With some patience, time, and consistency you can learn how to become a professional organizer that’s successful at organizing spaces and transforming lives in the process — all while doing the kind of work that feels natural to you and fills your soul with purpose.
Are you ready to become a professional organizer? Do you have questions? Comment below and let us know.
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