How to Become a Professional Organizer (the Next Marie Kondo)
Are you the type of person who loves to organize things and put everything in its place? If so, let’s take a look at how to become a professional organizer so you can take your skills and apply them — all while creating a lucrative LLC business for yourself!
The Growing Need for Professional Organizers
Think about all the jobs and careers being eliminated these days at the hands of technology. If it can be automated, people will eventually be removed from the equation. However, one thing that’s still irreplaceable is a professional organizer.
In fact, the profession seems to be growing — the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) saw their membership increase 6% during 2019. Until we become the Jetsons, robots won’t be doing our chores and keeping things organized for us.
The growing need for professional organizers can be seen in these statistics compiled by NAPO:
- 1 in 11 households rent a self-storage space to the tune of $1,000 a year in rent to hold their extra items.
- 23% of adults pay their bills late and incur fees because they can’t find their bills in their mess.
- We lose up to nine items each day, or 198,743 over the course of a lifetime.
- 25% of people fill their two-car garage so full they can’t park a car inside.
How to Set Up a Business as a Professional Organizer
First and foremost, you need to register your business. You can do this directly through Incfile if you haven’t filed your paperwork already. They make the process easy and seamless — you’ll be up and running in no time. Next, let’s talk about a few of the aspects you need to consider when figuring out how to become a professional organizer.
Once you have your business registered, you need to look for insurance. Yes, you need insurance when you’re a professional organizer. Look for both general liability as well as professional liability to cover all of your bases and keep you protected.
Get Certified in Professional Organization
While there are plenty of books, YouTube videos, webinars and classes, if you want to take your organizing game to the next level, you should consider getting a certification through the Board of Certified Professional Organizers (BCPO). They are considered the industry standard for professional organizers and can help you become more credible when speaking with prospects.
There are some stipulations though — you must have a high school diploma, you need to have a minimum of 1,500 hours paid experience under your belt the last three years and of course, you need to pass their BCPO certification exam.
You can also join the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. This is especially useful when working with extreme cases such as hoarders and people who keep/collect everything and never throw anything away.
Consider Your Marketing
Now that you’ve gone through the steps of how to become a professional organizer, it’s time to get to work. And in order to do work, you need clients. So, the next question becomes, “How do you market your business?”
As with any business, it’s always a smart idea to create a website and leverage social media to help build brand awareness and get your name out there. You could also do seminars and speeches where you discuss the topic of organization. This can position you as an industry expert and allow you to promote your professional organization services.
You can also go out and network at various events. Be sure to have business cards so people have a way to remember you and reach out should they want to hire you or recommend you to someone.
Meet with Your Clients for a Personal Organization Consultation
It is vital to meet with your clients in person to see their space. That means physically going to their home or location needing to be organized. Word of caution, if your client is a hoarder, be prepared to have a lot of resistance. You may even want to pass on working with such individuals as you will need a ton of patience and even some specific training on how to work with them effectively.
When you visit with a potential client, plan to be there anywhere from 30-60 minutes to thoroughly go over all of their needs and wants. This will give you plenty of time to assess their projects and strategize.
Determine if you’ll be more of a consultant to them where you go in and tell them what to do and then you leave, or if you go into the project with a plan and do everything yourself. One is more of a planner and the other is more hands-on for those clients who don’t want to do it themselves or don’t have the time.
Secure Organizational Supplies
Discussing supplies with your client is an important step.
If you have supplies that you like using, you can certainly recommend them to your clients and charge them based on what you use. You can also ask them if they have a vision for what they want and you can go out and source all the supplies. Just make sure with either option that you discuss what the budget is, so they aren’t looking at a budget of $5,000 for supplies and you come back with $10,000.
Get Paid for Your Organization Services
Lastly, how much are you going to charge for your services? This is fairly dependent on the type of clients you are going after, where you live, what type of work you will be doing and your experience. Hourly rates on average for professional organizers across the U.S. according to HomeAdvisor.com range from $55/hour to over $100/hour (and sometimes more).
What method would you prefer to get paid using? Cash, check, credit card, PayPal? You decide.
Start Your Professional Organizer Business with Incfile
Starting a business requires not just drive and skill, but also lots of legal work. Whether you decide to form your business as an LLC, S Corp or C Corp, Incfile offers a free business formation service. Incfile can help you find an available business name, prepare and file your paperwork, offer a Registered Agent, consult with you on business taxes, and more.
Incfile can be your trusted guide, helping you successfully launch and become a professional organizer.