How to become a professional organizer & earn more money
Put your organizing and decluttering skills to good use!Find organizing jobs
- Types of work you can do as a professional organizer
- 5 Steps to become a professional organizer
- Find work that you love
Work when you want, doing whatever you want
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If you enjoy decluttering and packing away stuff or figuring out the best way to organize your tasks and documents, you may want to try your hand at making money by organizing professionally.
Professional organizers find efficient, time-saving solutions for clients who deal with anything from limited space, too much clutter, poor workflows, or all of the above. Think: working smarter, not harder. If you’ve got a passion for fixing up spaces this way, you can make a job out of organizing.
Types of work you can do as a professional organizer
There are many ways to make money as a professional organizer. The clients you’ll work with may need help with their homes, workspaces, and events. Here are some examples of the work you may do:
Organizing physical documents
Creating storage solutions
Packing and unpacking items
Lifestyle coaching, e.g., minimalism
Optimizing business workflows
Speaking engagement, e.g., public speeches
Organizational training, e.g., organizational skills
Paper and filing management
Budgeting and financial planning
As a professional home organizer, you can work directly with your clients. Here, you can organize your clients’ personal spaces, be it in their closets, kitchens, or home offices.
Pantry and closet space organization
Space management for home downsizing
Moving and relocation management — for packing and settling in
Designing workflows for home offices
Digital file organizing
Do you enjoy a more social setting for organizing? You could also look into organizing different events. You can provide the following services:
Event communication and coordination
Organizing isn’t just about cleaning up physical clutter! If you live in a big city, there will be full-time positions open for professional organizers. The work you’ll do can vary for each business’s needs. Here are some examples of work you can explore:
Designing optimal workflows for businesses
Admin work, e.g., physical and digital file organization
Creating storage solutions
Lifestyle coaching, e.g., minimalism
Ready to make a bigger commitment to take on projects full-time with yourself as the boss? Start an organizing consultancy so you can build even more experience and get bigger projects. You can choose the range of services you can offer as well.
This will mean that you’ll need to register your business. Learn how in the next section!
5 Steps to become a professional organizer
There’s no set path to becoming a professional organizer. It pays to be armed with the knowledge you need to know before investing in the job. Here are some key things you’ll need to know before getting started.
1. Secure your toolkit and work equipment
A professional organizer’s toolkit will differ depending on your area of expertise and your client’s needs. To kick things off, here’s a list of essential tools all organizers should have when starting.
Standard writing supplies like pens and papers
Office supplies such as clipboards, staplers, and scissors
Labels or label makers
Adhesives like tape and glue and adhesive removers
Disinfectants for cleaning surfaces
Tools for basic installation like pliers, screwdrivers, hammers
Personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, masks, and protective clothing
2. Find experience
You don’t need to be a professional right away. Find a client who needs your help and build your knowledge in problem-solving. Every organizer will have a unique situation they’ll need to figure out as they go along.
The best place to start is with friends who need assistance. You can then start networking from there.
3. Build a portfolio
Documenting their work is a step others might overlook. Having a portfolio ready will help you land more clients. Curate all your organizational work online through a website or social media. Both are easy to whip out to potential customers and are great for exposure, too!
4. Get a credential as a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO)
Set yourself apart and get a certification. This gives you an edge with credibility, the capacity to offer more complex services, and ultimately charge an even higher rate for your expertise.
Here are some requirements you’ll need to note:
A minimum of a high school diploma or GED to start a course
Take an online course with the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO)
Sign and adhere to the BCPO Code of Ethics for Certified Professional Organizers
Get at least 1,500 hours of paid work experience in the last 5 years
Take and pass the CPO exam
An important note about getting certification is maintaining your title. There are additional steps you’ll need to take:
Pay the annual maintenance fee of $100
Apply for recertification every 3 years
Choose between taking 45 hours of continuing education or retaking the CPO exam
5. Register your business
When you’re confident in navigating the waters of the profession, you can register your business.
Register for a Trademark
Get a business license for your city, county, and state
Acquire a Tax ID
Find work that you love
Being a professional organizer can be quite a rewarding job. You can empower others with a more simplified method of sorting different things. You also don’t need a certification right off the bat. If you’re ready to try your hand at organizing professionally, you can become a Tasker to build your client base and do work you know you’ll enjoy.
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Frequently asked questions
Freelance professional organizers are usually paid by the hour, while full-timers get periodic paychecks from their company.
Depending on your state, you can earn anywhere from $90 to $135 per hour. This can also change depending on the type of service needed.
You must be ready with everything you need before accepting a job as a professional organizer. Here’s a quick checklist:
Identify the type of organizing you thrive best in
You can opt to take Professional Organiser Training before finding a job
Gather the equipment you know you’ll need
Set aside petty cash if you need more materials for your service
Connect with clients who need your services
The demand for professional organizers has indeed gone up for many reasons. One is the recent popularity of the KonMari method, and another is the sudden need for a functional home office due to the rise of remote work setups. Rest assured, you’ll be able to find work fit for you.
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