This has been a very popular article on FreelanceMom for some time now. Linda DePaz runs a successful business as a Professional Organizer and wants to help you learn to do the same.
What is a
Professional organizing is a relatively new line
of work but the call for help is loud and clear! I know that
when I started organizing, people would ask me what I do. I
said, "I help people get organized!" What was the first thing
I heard? "I need you!" In fact, within the first week of open
enrollment for my online class, "Learn to Be Clutter-Free", in
2002, 22 people enrolled in the course!
What, though, does a professional organizer do?
What are the requirements to becoming a professional
organizer? What is involved in actually becoming an organizer?
What does being an organizer offer?
-- Duties of an Organizer --
organizer is someone who helps people get organized in one or
more aspects of someone's life. They can either be specialized
in one area or help in a variety of areas. What areas can an
organizer help people or businesses with?
- Living/Family Room
- Paper Management
- Scheduling Appointments
This is by no means a complete list of what an
organizer provides for others.
It is up to the individual organizer as to how
they are going to provide the services. Some organizers enjoy
doing hand's on organizing - actually going into homes and
offices of people who need help. Others provide services by
means of consulting or coaching by in person, by phone, or
online. Some organizers offer workshops, seminars, and
speaking engagements. This is one of the many beauties of this
profession - you can tailor it to what you want to do.
-- Requirements of an
What about the requirements to becoming
an organizer? At this point there are no strict requirements
to becoming an organizer. The National Association of
Professional Organizers (NAPO) is working on a certification
program at this point in time. NAPO is the professional
organization for organizers. It provides information on the
latest tools for organizing as well as a referral program.
Members of NAPO are required to live up to strict rules of
conduct. Joining NAPO isn't a requirement, but it is a good
If you are an organizer, you really should have
the knowledge of how to organize. Does an organizer need to be
organized themselves? Not necessarily. BUT if you are an
organizer and you aren't organized, you don't have the
freeness of speech that you would have if you lived what you
encouraged others to do.
-- Establishing an
Organizing Business --
Is it difficult to start a
professional organizing business? Not at all! All you really
need to start is knowledge, people skills, and a way to let
other people know that you are there. Of course, you can also
invest in more tools, like a computer and the internet to
offer what you have to people through the internet You may
also want to invest in good quality business cards so that
people know that you are serious about what you have to
This type of business is something that you have
to build up over time - so usually, you don't want to quit
your current job so as to start it up and get established. You
also want to give yourself time to see if this is what you
really want to do.
-- Advantages of Being an
Although you may not make a lot of
money getting started, there are so many benefits to this
profession that make up for it. The thank-you's and the sense
of satisfaction is the real pay-off. (Since I started my
business, I have never received an e-mail from someone
claiming that I didn't help them at all.)
Of course, you can't live off of gratification
and appreciation. Eventually there is money to be had. Most
organizers ask from $35 - $50 per hour. Some even charge
hundreds of dollars per hour - depending on where you
How many careers at home can offer all of
these benefits? Personally, I am happy and grateful I stumbled
across this profession.
Linda M. DePaz is a professional organizer,
organizing consultant, and online instructor. After over 10
years of experience in helping friends and family get
organized, she established Be Clutter-Free. Eventually, she
created an interactive online class, "Learn to Be
Clutter-Free". Just recently, she created another online
class, "Learn to Be a Professional Organizer" to
guide people in starting their own organization business.
Through her web site at http://www.BeClutter-Free.com, she offers
articles, links, and other resources to help people become
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