How to become a professional organizer today? What are the things you need to get started?
If you have a knack for turning cluttered and messy areas in your home into a fully organized and functional space, you are fortunate enough to have the skill set that most people wished for. Organizing spaces can be therapeutic, but not all have the time to do this, so hiring professional organizers has become very common today.
The thing is, there is a lot more to becoming a professional organizer than putting the same things in one place, adding labels, and folding clothes. Being a full-time organizer takes a lot of handwork and effort too. But if you feel like you can help people, you can work and turn your skillset to the next level. Read below this simple yet elaborated piece on how to become a professional organizer.
What is a professional organizer?
In an article published in nytimes.com, Sharon Lowenheim, a certified professional organizer, defined it as “a person who can help you organize any of the physical and digital spaces in your life — a closet, a kitchen, or the aforementioned home office. She (and it’s almost always a she) will offer support for decision-making, facilitate actions around the removal of unwanted belongings, and set up systems, from shelving to labels, that help her clients establish order and clarity.”
For someone who has a strong interest in organizing things, this may sound like a very good full-time professional career. However, it is not always easy to start your decluttering business because you also need to be certified, just like any other professional job.
A professional organizer is also a project manager, time manager, cleaner, personal shopper, and organizing coach. If you are working as a professional organizer, you must be ready to teach your clients basic organizing skills to also take on easy projects on their own, without your help. You must also help them with a more tidy mindset that includes not buying things that are unnecessary and can make clutters?
Skills you need as a professional organizer.
Working as a professional organizer does not always mean that you have to focus on just being good at organizing. There are a lot of other skills you have to work on, especially when dealing with clients.
1. You should have a welcoming attitude.
When working on organizing a home, you may find many personal items important to your clients. You should be discreet about it, welcome their suggestions on what they want to do about those, and have an adaptable attitude. Not all clients are the same, so your methods will change as well, depending on your clients. It would be best if you embraced this mindset first.
2. You should be open to suggestions from clients.
You think you know better, but when you open that drawer or closet to organize, sometimes, it is not just about your preference, but your client’s as well. Most of the things piled up at their home for an extended period have sentimental values, and it could be hard to let go of those. You have to work together and be open to suggestions to come up with the best organizing ideas where you can achieve both wins. Remember that the goal is to coach your clients but make them happy and satisfied at the same time.
3. You should know how to organize your time.
You might be so good at organizing, but you may find it hard to organize your time to attend to all their needs when you have multiple clients. You should know how to multi-task but, at the same time, have proper time management so you won’t get confused. When your business is growing, your job will be more demanding, and you must learn how to manage it.
4. You should know how to handle an emotional situation.
You may encounter clients that can be pretty much sentimental, especially when letting go of things they treasured for years. Remember that Mari Kondo principle where you need only to keep things that “spark joy”? What if they feel that those things still spark joy? You must train and practice for the right words to say when faced with an emotional situation.
Getting to the business of home decluttering
How much does a professional organizer make per hour? How does a professional organizer get clients? These are probably two of the questions you would often ask when thinking about working full-time as a professional organizer.
According to ziprecruiter.com, a professional organizer makes an average of $20 per hour or $42,570 per year in the United States. This can be a bit lower when you start, but if you are organizing your passion, then the figures look good. But before you start, you also need to have a checklist to narrow down your goals and focus on the things you want your career to achieve in the future. You may want to consider the steps below.
1. Figure out what time of organizer you want to be.
Do you want to focus on organizing homes and helping customers update their spaces? Do you want to focus on specific areas like the closet, garage, or pantry? Is your focus more on the interior? How about fixing clutters and helping clients throw away old items that can take up space? When you know your focus, you can start honing your skillset more and improving on the areas you lack.
2. Enroll in training programs for certification.
At present, there is not licensing program for professional organizers. Still, those who want to take on professional organizer jobs can review the National Association for Professional Organizer courses, consider joining to become a member, and get certified professionally by them. This can potentially increase your credentials.
3. Make good use of social media.
One of the best ways to showcase your talent and skills is to post them on social media. You may start by helping friends first and taking photos of your organizing projects with them. You may also share other spaces that you wonderfully worked on and start posting them with added tips on the caption. You may work on hashtags and add a call to action. You may even start by doing a giveaway with a prize of giving a part of your service for free. This way, you can reach more people and get engagement. This is also an excellent way to find clients.
4. Accept small projects.
You may start by accepting small yet fun projects for your friends and family. Usually, there were the ones who are good at spreading positive feedback by mouth. They can boast of your service to other friends who may also want to consider your services. If you are just starting, remember not to think of fees, don’t much. Learn to enjoy the process along the way.
5. Work on your brand.
While highlighting the things you do on social media, you can also start working on your brand. Are you good at putting things aesthetically together? How about knowing where to get the best acrylic containers and boxes? Your clients should know one thing you are best at, and you may focus on it as your marketing brand.
6. Work on your marketing plan.
When you know your brand, you can start working with your marketing plan. What are the ways you can promote your service? What promos can you offer to new clients? Can you provide free webinars or short videos on the net that others can learn from and at the same time promote your services?
7. Always ask for testimonials.
Sharing testimonials is an excellent way to promote your business. Positive feedback means you are doing good in your craft and that your clients trust you. Make it a habit to get testimonials for satisfied clients and listen to constructive criticisms as well, if there are any
Pros and Cons of being a professional organizer
Now that you know the basics of becoming a professional organizer, it’s time to weigh in some pros and cons.
- No official licensing needed
- Low starting capital as you only need to invest in your professional training.
- It is considered a passion project.
- A lot of resources available
- You can branch out and create other income-generating sources like being an organization coach and accepting speaking or webinar engagements.
- It can be challenging to market yourself at the beginning.
- You have to build your portfolio slowly
- You have to be comfortable in handling a messy situation.
- You will be the one to do anything from shopping to organizing.
- It is easy to get overwhelmed with what your clients want.
Looking at the things listed above, it is evident that the pros outweigh the cons. You just have to be patient in building your brand and portfolio and focus on what you do best. In time, you can establish yourself as a professional organizer.