Over 5 years ago I started my organizing business and this very blog. I really didn’t have any idea what I was doing, other than the fact that I knew how to teach people how to organize. I think that is because of my background in teaching!
Here I am, 5 years later, getting asked by a ton of people who want to start an organizing business. So I thought I would share some of the things I have learned along the way!
So You Want To Become A Professional Organizer
The very first thing I tell EVERYONE when they ask me where to start is to do your research. And not just look on social media for organizing accounts. I mean read books, join NAPO, and look on Yelp and Houzz for local organizers in the area.
I read countless books and articles about how to organize, organizing business, running a small business, etc. It pays in the long run to be well read on this topic. Some of my favorites are:
Another amazing resource is NAPO. It is the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. They are tons of articles, a Podcast, and more!! I have been a member for the past 5 years. And, because I am a member, there is an online forum that I can ask questions for other organizers who are super helpful!
Finally look on Yelp and Houzz to see if there are other organizers in the area. If there are, it may not be a bad idea to reach out and see if they are hiring! This is a great way to learn about business and see if becoming a professional organizer is right for you.
If you decide you are ready to dive in, it is crucial that you have a website! Not only does it make you look legit, but it helps people find you easily via a Google search.
My website and blog is custom designed through WordPress. I do know other organizers who have used Wix and Blogger for their sites. Just find something that you are comfortable creating and go with it.
But, I do have to warn you, please only use real pictures of projects you have done. It is a really big pet peeve of mine seeing stock photos of organized closets on newbie websites. If you are starting out, why not ask friends or family if you can organize their homes. Then take pictures to use on your website. Not only does that let your future clients see your actual work, they can easily get a taste of your personality through the pictures!
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Another question I have been asked frequently is if I think they should start a blog about organizing to go along with their organizing business. My answer is always: it depends. Do you like writing? If the answer is no, then don’t start a blog. You will be miserable trying to write for it.
If you do love writing, then why not test it out! It could be another way to reach a new audience of potential clients!
I am a huge fan of social media for business. My favorite is Instagram because it is so visual. I can easily share my pictures of projects. I treat that form of social media like my portfolio. I showcase my best work.
But because I have been doing this for so long, I can easily say that there is no magic trick to “get more followers”. Yes, this has been asked countless times. I personally don’t consider them “followers”, but more as friends. Behind each follow is an actual human being. I am honored and humbled that someone would choose to follow along with me. Remind yourself of that as you create your social media accounts. It is not a number, it is a person.
The Actual Work
Now for the actual working with clients part of being a professional organizer. I have found my niche by working with families. I understand the demands because I am a mother with two young kids. Because of that, I know how to work with my clients based on my own personal experience and what I have done for other clients in similar experiences.
But with creating beautifully organized systems in homes, you have actual work to do. This may involve carrying boxes up and down stairs. Or cleaning out a basement crawl space. You get dirty and sweaty, but that is part of the job.
I was recently asked if I charged per flight of stairs to carry things out of a home. My answer was no, that is just part of the job. There is a lot of physical demand with organizing, so if you can’t lift things or move things around, this might not be the job for you.
And I can’t forget about pricing!! So if you are new to this field, please manage your expectations with what you should be paid. When I first started out I was told by numerous organizers to charge anywhere between $20/hour to $75/hour. I tested my market with different pricing and different service offerings. I knew I found my sweet spot when I was getting more client inquires than not.
If you are priced too high with no work to back you up, then you won’t get any clients. If you charge to little, you may not be taken as seriously. Find your sweet spot for your location.
Finally I have been asked how I created what services I offer. And my answer is always I went with what clients were asking. I had a lot of clients ask for moving and unpacking help when I first started my business. Once I helped unpack them, they asked for maintenance services. So I created a package that would work with what they wanted.
I found that by creating services based on what my clients and future clients were asking, I was able to help a wider range of people. Plus I had fun creating new services!
I know I didn’t go into much depth about any one topic, so if there is something you are interested in knowing more about, please leave a comment and I can create something to help you out!! I love sharing what I learned because I feel it is important to share the wealth!!