Following are a few of the questions we're often asked by those interested in starting their own organizing business. The industry is growing rapidly. If running an organizing business is for you, now is the time to begin!
How do I find out more about becoming a Professional Organizer?
Organization isn't just about rearranging things for aesthetics. If you believe you have the skills, background and education to become a Professional Organizer, the best place to start is with the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). Here you will find a wealth of information related to the field of professional organizing including membership in the organization.
You will also want to:
Are there classes I can take to learn how to be a Professional Organizer?
Yes. NAPO regularly offers webinars for new organizers on how to start your own organizing business, and more advanced webinars for experienced organizers. Some sessions are live, and some are on-demand so that you can take them at your convenience. Visit NAPO University for more information.
Additionally, educational tele-classes on helping individuals challenged by chronic disorganization are offered by the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), formerly known as the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD).
The NAPO Annual Conference is also an excellent learning opportunity, with educational sessions and lots of networking with organizers from all over the country, and all over the world!
How much do I charge for my services as a Professional Organizer?
The best way to determine a fee for your clients is to understand what professional organizers in the Austin area are charging for similar services. Please note that NAPO members are prohibited from discussion of actual fees in order to avoid the suggestion of “price fixing” within the industry.
Many organizers charge by the hour, with a la carte selections, others offer bundled services as a package. When deciding what to charge, use this simple formula:
The typical experienced full-time organizing professional bills about 15 out of 20 working days a month, or 1,440 hours a year (15 days x 12 months x 8 hours a day). It is important to note that you will put in many non-billable hours doing your own administrative and marketing work.
The result will be the amount you should charge per hour. Eventually, you’ll probably be able to raise your rates as you gain more experience. Think carefully about what your time is worth and be careful not to "under charge" clients. You're changing lives!
What kind of education and experience does a Professional Organizer have?
Many professional organizers have a college degree and prior work experience in various fields. Some come from a corporate background, or have experience in event planning, end of life planning, time management, productivity, or process improvement.
Look at past jobs you’ve held and determine what organizing skills you used in order to perform the required job duties. These are the same skills needed when organizing professionally.
NAPO provides an excellent breakdown of skills/abilities typically exhibited in Professional Organizers: NAPO - Our Profession.
Continuing education is provided through the annual conference, regional seminars and chapter programs. Some veteran organizers offer customized training programs.
NAPO also provides a certification for professional organizers. Visit The Board Of Certification For Professional Organizers (BCPO) for more information.
How do I get hands-on experience as a Professional Organizer?
Don’t clients want an experienced organizer?
Gain experience by organizing for your neighbors, friends and family.
Try a variety of projects (e.g. office, garage, paper management, children’s rooms, closets, etc.) to see what you enjoy most and determine what your organizing niche might be.
In exchange for your services, ask your friends and family to give you feedback about what they liked about the experience and what you might do differently. You might even want to ask them to write you a letter of recommendation.
What are the costs to start my business as a Professional Organizer?
Some initial set up costs may include:
You may also need to invest in basic office equipment and furniture.
Now - how do I start my Professional Organizing business?