I have been asked by many followers on social media how did you become a professional organizer and can you give me tips to get started. It took me a while to go back through the years and remember the beginning of my career but here we go!
I actually started organizing without realizing it was a business because 12 years ago it was a career not many people knew about. I went to a friends house while our kids were at school and we were sitting in her kitchen and the countertops were covered with paperwork and other miscellaneous items. I asked her if she wanted help clearing the countertops and she looked at me like I was crazy or the best friend she ever had I couldn’t tell.
She said are you sure you want to do that and I think I said yes so fast that it made her laugh. In my mind, I was envisioning how that space could be used and what a difference it would make preparing meals for her family and how calming it would be to walk into a space free of clutter. We started by getting rid of items that were trash, sorted items to be filed and I could see the more we tackled the better she felt. By the time we reached the end of the counter, I lifted a stack of papers and saw a bar sink. I said I didn’t know you had a sink there and she replied yes and now I will be able to use it!
We were done by the time the kids finished school and as we were walking out the door to get the kids she said thank you and I remember the next words out of her mouth like it was yesterday you should do this as a job. I replied they have jobs doing this? She said I don’t know but you should look into it your good at it. You have to remember this was 12 years ago and we had computers but not like they do now and there was no social media so I began to research the prospects on my own.
These are the steps I took to get where I am today. It may not work for everyone but this is what worked for me.
1. Help friends and family get organized so you can make sure it is a fit for you before you invest time and money. In my opinion, you either have a passion for organizing or you don’t there is generally not a middle road. As an experienced organizer, I can say it is the most rewarding job but it also is a lot of hard work. Many think it is glamorous but it can be a very emotional experience for clients. As an organizer, you wear many different hats. You not only help purge clutter but you are a therapist, a motivator and a confidant.
2. If you realize its something you want to do the next step is to join NAPO. The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals will give you information and tools to get started in the business. You can take classes, join groups and learn the trade from other experienced organizers.
3. Choose a name for your company and have a business plan. If you want people to see you as a legitimate business you have to make yourself legitimate. That includes insurance, banking, a website and physical help for larger jobs. Although I did not have social media back then it is something that is important in today’s world and needs to be a part of your business.
4. Be patient. It takes time to become successful at any job and being an organizer is no different. When you have a job that takes you into peoples homes you have to build your reputation. Word of mouth has been everything in my business.
5. My last bit of advice is to be yourself! I know in the social media world it’s easy to see what others are doing. Don’t focus on them and feel like you are not measuring up be yourself and do what you are best at.
Did I cover it all? I hope so but if not feel free to comment and l will be happy to answer any questions. Like any other job do what you love and love what you do!
I can’t thank you enough! I just sold my high end retail store that I owned for 18 years and am now , launching my own organizing business. For 18 years I filled my clients closets, and now I’m going to organize them. I am 47 and starting over. I am a little scared, but mostly excited. I have joined NAPO and am trying to take the classes, but not sure I need them? My next items I need to figure out are organizing resources, and becoming an affiliate with them? Also what’s the best way to keep track of clients, there work, and billing them? Do you recommend a pos software, or an app to keep track of that? Finally, I I can return the favor by helping you out in any way with all my resources in my retail background, I’m an open book!
Thank you Rebecca! There are so many resources available regarding billing and how to keep track of client information. Everyone runs their business differently so you need to find what works best for you. I think NAPO is the best resource for what you are looking to find. Best of luck on your new journey!