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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 Organizer?
By Linda M. DePaz

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 --
A professional 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?

- Kitchens
- Living/Family Room
- Bedrooms
- Bathroom
- Office Layout
- Paper Management
- Scheduling Appointments
- Filing Systems
- Routines
- Habits
- Budgeting
- Hobbies

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 Organizer --
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 idea.

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 offer.

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 Organizer --
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 live.

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, she offers articles, links, and other resources to help people become clutter-free.

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