To be a professional organizer, you’ll need to have a knack for the neat, tidy and organized. Good time management and interpersonal skills will be essential, as will the ability to remain cool-headed under pressure and in areas of clutter. In this post, we’ll overview the description of a professional organizer including education requirements, working knowledge needed, average salary, sample career path, working conditions, and regular duties.
If you’re interested in learning more about a career in the fast growing industry of professional organizing, be sure to check out QC Design School’s Advanced International Organizing Professional course.
The field of Professional Organizing experienced a mega boom following the introduction of shows such as Hoarders and Hoarders: Buried Alive. It’s important not to confuse the duties of a professional organizer with those of a therapist or hoarding specialist—they’re not the same. A professional organizer is someone who goes into a space and clears out the unnecessary, then creates a neat and tidy organizational system. Someone who specializes in hoarding or provides therapy to people with OCD and “hoarding” is someone who has completed medical training.
The education requirements for professional organizing are vague, and technically no formal training is needed in many areas of the world. Having a certificate of completion showing you’ve completed voluntary training in the subject, however, will help you set apart from your competition. Whether you choose to study professional organizing from home or at an in-class school is up to you. Having proof that you’ve completed training in the subject will help to land you clients and give them extra confidence in your abilities.
In order to be professional organizer, you’ll have to become an expert in the field of organization. You’ll be expected to be able to create different organizing solutions and systems for a host of spaces, ranging from closets and pantries to bedrooms and mud-rooms. Having the ability to quickly identify necessary and unnecessary objects in a room is essential. It’s recommended that you have a basic working knowledge of furniture placement, available storage solutions, and common names for closet organizers, storage boxes, bins, as well as a list of places (online or off) where these items are available.
A professional organizer’s pay is dependent on his or her experience, knowledge, and skill level. For junior professional organizers, the salary is typically somewhere between $25,232 and $39,832. After one to three years of experience, you’re more likely to be in the range of $30,701 and $61,000. Later in your career, you can expect to earn an income between $80,000 and $100,000—if not more. Having professional training in the subject and being dedicated to making your business a success will all work together to get you up to the higher range of income faster.
Sample Career Path
Below is a sample career path of someone looking to be a professional organizer:
Working as an assistant organizer or junior professional organizer, building a client list and getting experience.
Working as an intermediate professional organizer, continuing to build client list and slowly inching up the hourly rate.
Working as an experienced professional organizer, working with mainly referrals earned from your past stand-out work. Ability to charge a higher rate and earn more income with a more flexible schedule.
Owning your own successful business, perhaps with junior professional organizers working beneath you and taking on more of the smaller tasks, reserving your time for jobs needing your expertise.
A professional organizer’s working conditions are fairly self-inflicted. As an organizer, you’ll be in charge of setting your own schedule and will likely work the first few years of your career from a home office. You’ll have to be able to work in stressful conditions and may find yourself surrounded by clutter for most of your work day.
It can be a little nerve-wracking, so do your best to fight anxiety and give yourself time to cool off and unwind in the evening and over weekends!
Many people struggle with organization, particularly in their personal lives and homes. Even people who are the most organized at work can live in complete messes! Your job as an organizer is to go in and help put some order back into your clients’ lives. It might be creating a closet organizational system or it could be setting up an organizational system within an office space. Your duties will change often and will depend on the specific job at hand.