If you are a successful organizer, love working with people and have an entrepreneurial spirit, a professional career as a professional organizer might be right for you. Professional organizers help their clients create personalized systems to tidy up their homes or offices, papers or electronic documents. They acquire the necessary skills and training and succeed in this rapidly growing field.
Method 1 of 3: Prepare to become a professional organizer
Step 1. Be someone who solves problems
Professional organizers are hired by clients to tackle organizational issues that require an outside perspective. Some projects, like decluttering a home office or making a family move easier, have a deadline while others, like working with a business to implement a new filing system, may require ongoing attention. As you prepare to become a professional organizer, think about what kind of organization you are best at and consider what services you could offer your clients.
- The spatial organization. Some professional planners are good at making clients' homes livable. They are able to look at a room and intuitively know how to best maximize the space and improve its functionality.
- The organization of systems. Professional organizers often help their clients develop a new system for organizing their budgets or files. In a professional context, the goal of the organizer is to help the company improve its productivity and profits by becoming better organized.
- The organization of planning and objectives. Professional organizers are good at seeing the big picture when their clients can't. They teach people new ways to organize their daily schedules and achieve whatever goals they may be.
Step 2. Enjoy working with people
Professional organizers are exceptionally well organized yes, but just as importantly they enjoy working with people. Professional organizers are called when their customers need help. The ability to listen carefully to people's concerns and to be genuinely involved in helping them resolve their issues is essential. Part of the job of a professional organizer is seeing that their work has actually improved the life of their client.
- Teaching or coaching is often central in the work of a professional organizer. They can rearrange a person's house, but they are also required to teach that person how to stay organized.
- Treating customers with respect and helping them feel heard are the best ways to get new recommendations. Being outgoing and leaving a lasting good impression is an important part of professional organization.
Step 3. Think like an entrepreneur
Some professional organizers work for professional organizing companies, but most are freelance, building their network through online work and on referrals from clients. They often make their way by specializing in some type of organization, such as working exclusively on organizing property or reorganizing office space for businesses. Like other small business managers, they are good at selling themselves and staying at the forefront of their field by attending conferences or training.
Method 2 of 3: Learn skills and train
Step 1. Join an association of professional organizers
Joining an association of professional organizers, such as the National Organization of Professional Organizers or the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, is a great way to learn more about the profession and start the important process of meeting and working online.
- Join organizations mailing lists to connect with thousands of other professional organizers.
- Ask lots of questions, go to assemblies and conferences, and be as active as possible in the association. Making a name for yourself will give you credibility as you advance.
- When you meet professional organizers, ask them if you can help them with their project. It's a great way to prove things to yourself and learn more about professional organization.
Step 2. Get trained
Professional organizer associations offer “in person” courses that range from introduction to professional organization to imparting organizational skills to guide you early in your career.
- Some associations offer "teleclasses" and "webinars" which are held online. These are generally more expensive than “in person” courses.
- Keep in mind that the courses offered by the organizing associations do not necessarily lead to a degree. On the other hand, they are designed to train and develop insurance.
Step 3. Consider a training program
Some companies offer training programs with courses built for the purpose of obtaining certification issued by these companies. Some are specialized in business organization, others in personal organization.
Make sure you do plenty of research before committing to any training program. These programs can be expensive and not necessarily lead to more clients or a better career. It is important to make sure that the training program you have chosen is a reputable one among other professional organizers
Method 3 of 3: Succeed
Step 1. Start organizing
Once you have taken a few lessons and feel confident, you will be an effective organizer for potential clients. Go ahead and accept a few contracts. Build your relationship with your customers and let them know that you are available to help their friends too. Remember, fostering positive relationships is key to a successful professional organization business.
Step 2. Sell yourself
When you've got some successful work under your belt, it's time to officially spread the word about your new business.
- Create a website. Nowadays, having a website is one of the best ways to attract customers. Use a concise eye-catcher, professional photos, and tasteful testimonials to showcase your work. Make sure your business contact details are visible.
- Use social networks. Create a Facebook page and a Twitter account for your business. Update them with thoughts on business organization trends and images from the conferences you've been to so you can be on top.
- Print business cards. Be sure to bring your business cards to conferences and training. Also, it won't hurt to have some on hand for a possible unforeseen professional discussion.
Step 3. Get certified
When you've been in business for a few years and are sure you want to make professional organization your profession, consider getting certified by the Board of Certified Professional Organizers (BCPO) which is recognized as the standard authority. This certification is not necessary for a successful career in professional organization, but it could give your business more credibility. To obtain this certification, you will need to meet the following conditions.
- Have at least a high school diploma or equivalent level of education.
- Have 1,500 hours of certified and paid work as a professional organizer, 250 hours that can be replaced by hours spent earning a university degree or training.
- Agree to adhere to the Code of Ethics for Professional Organizers.
- Take the BCPO certification exam.
- Professional organization can be a very flexible profession. Many people start the organization part time or as a side job.
- If you're just starting out and need to get your business up and running, consider running a few free projects for your friends. Ask them to spread the word about the great work you have done.