As a professional organizer and instructor to new colleagues pursuing professional organizing as a career, one of the things I get asked the most is “how do I get started as a personal organizer?”.
However, while becoming a professional organizer is an increasingly popular career choice, like any other professional activity, it is not for everyone. To help you identify if this is a path worth considering for yourself, I’ll be sharing with you some important considerations about becoming a professional organizer and running a successful organizing business. Let’s take a look.
What is a professional organizer?
A professional organizer is a person who works with clients to design systems and processes by which they can learn organizational skills that will help them improve their quality of life. A professional organizer can also serve as an educator, teaching people the importance of organization as well as how it can improve all areas of their lives.
Do I have the right personality to be a professional organizer?
Traits of a professional organizer include being a people person, someone who likes to help others, and who has a true love of organization. An organizer loves to see how their services help transforms people’s lives for the better.
Working with clients can be very intimate because they are opening up their home and/or office and life to you. They are trusting you to help them improve their skills and live a better life.
If you are the type of person who wants “a place for everything, and everything in its place,” that is a good start in terms of organizational skills. You should also consider training or at the very least, reading books on the subject so you can develop a template, or process, for working with any new client.
If you’re not sure this is the right career choice for you, start by looking around your own home. Is it as well organized as it could be? Another option to test the waters is to offer to do a free project for a friend, neighbor, or family member and see how that goes. If you both get a lot out of the experience, it sounds like you are on the right track.
Do you have what it takes to run your own small business?
Before you get too excited, remember that being a professional organizer is not simply about organizing others. You need to be able to run a business and this can actually become the most time consuming and challenging part of your business.
As a professional organizer and small business owner, you need to understand what it takes to:
- Market your business in order to get clients
- Budget your time to work with your clients efficiently
- Track your expenses and billable hours
- Invoice your clients and chase up unpaid invoices
- Do basic accounting
- Run your own website or blog
- And more.
If you have a small budget, you will need to do all these things yourself. As you grow, you will be able to afford to outsource some of these tasks so you can concentrate on what you love best and what brings revenue to your business, organizing.
You must also be able to maintain a work-life balance and ensure your family is all on the same page about you starting your own small business.
How can you learn more or become qualified as a professional organizer?
The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) offers a range of professional organizing courses and a yearly national conference. Once you become a member of NAPO, you can join a local chapter and get to meet others in your profession, register for classes with great member prices, and more.
I look forward to your comments and questions below on how to become a professional organizer.
Join The Organizing Hive
Weekly posts to help you build and grow your professional organizing business.