How do I find out more about becoming a professional organizer?
How do I start a Professional Organizing Business?
When starting any small business it’s always a good idea to contact your local Small Business Administration. The City of Austin also has a great resource in its Small Business Development Program.
Attend a NAPO-Austin chapter meeting and speak to seasoned organizers.
Take classes, read books and search the websites of existing NAPO members to see what they have to say.
What are the initial set-up costs to start my organizing business?
Some of the initial set up costs include:
- Educational materials and workshops,
You may also need to invest in basic office equipment and furniture.
What kind of education and experience do professional organizers 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 professional 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.
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 teleclasses 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!
Don’t clients want an experienced organizer?
How do I get hands-on experience?
Start organizing for your neighbors, friends and family. Try a variety of different 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.
How much do I charge for my services?
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.
Most organizers charge by the hour. When deciding what to charge, use this simple formula:
The typical full-time 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.
Why join NAPO/NAPO Austin?
Joining NAPO National and your local chapter allows you to network and exchange ideas with other local organizers. Membership also adds to your credibility as a professional in this field. Your business will be listed on our Find An Organizer page, along with our members from all over Central Texas.
Getting involved in a volunteer position with NAPO/NAPO Austin is also a great way to invest in your profession and contribute your skills and abilities to the programs/initiatives of the organization.
We offer several types of membership:
Provisional and Professional Organizer Members (for Professional Organizers). Please note that in order to become a Provisional or Professional Organizer member of NAPO-Austin, you must first be a member of the national organization, NAPO. Join NAPO at www.napo.net.
Associate Members are businesses and charities supportive of the professional organizing field, but who do not offer organizing services to the public. Associate Members are not required to be members of NAPO National and can join NAPO-Austin at any time.
Please see the NAPO-Austin Join Us page for more member levels and benefits of membership.
What happens at NAPO Austin meetings?
Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of the month from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mimi's Cafe located in the Arbor Walk shopping center at 10515 N Mopac, Austin, TX 78759. Look for us in one of the two side party rooms.
Guests are welcome to attend up to three meetings a year, at a fee of $25.00 per meeting to be paid at the door. Individual food and beverage order is optional and at individual attendee expense.
Our monthly chapter meetings provide networking and educational opportunities for our members in addition to conducting chapter business. You are welcome to ask questions about NAPO with the Membership Director or any Chapter Officer, especially during the networking periods at the beginning and end of the meeting.
Chapter members are friendly and generally willing to answer general questions as well. Please feel free to participate in the question/answer period of our program if you wish.
We also hold more casual coffee gatherings each month, if you cannot make it to the meetings.