In the world of professional organizing, what are you supposed to charge clients for your services? If you’re brand-new to the industry, this is a question you probably don’t know (or don’t feel confident about). That’s okay! Today, we’re going to break down how to charge as a professional organizer so you can find that happy medium between too much and too little!
We’ll also cover topics such as what factors to consider when setting prices and how to deal with price objections from clients. Plus, we’ll even reveal some key ways to increase your earning potential.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Not yet a certified professional organizer? Here’s how you can become one in as little as 3 short months and in as little as 7 steps!
How Much Do Professional Organizers Charge?
This is the first question many people ask when they’re thinking about becoming professional organizers. After all, how much can you realistically earn in this industry? It’s tough to give a definite answer because there are so many variables to consider (which we’ll get into shortly). However, most professional organizers charge by the hour.
The average hourly rate for a professional organizer is $50-$80 per hour, but this number will differ based on your experience level, geographical location, and the type of services you’re providing. For example, if you live in New York City, you can charge on the higher end of that spectrum because the cost of living is higher. If you have several years of experience under your belt, you can also charge on the higher end.
Charging By Hour vs. By Session vs. Flat Rate
There are three ways you can charge clients:
- By the hour
- By session
- A flat rate for the entire project
Over the course of a professional organizing project, you may wind up having multiple sessions with your client. In this case, you might decide that it’d be best to break down your service fees into sessions.
If you do choose to charge by session, you’ll need to decide how many sessions you think the project will require. From there, you can come up with a per-session price. For example, let’s say you believe the project will take a total of five sessions. You could charge $500 for the entire project ($100 per session).
On the other hand, you may want to charge a flat rate fee for the entire project as a whole. A flat rate fee is a set fee that you charge for a specific service, regardless of how long it takes you to complete it. For example, if you have a client who wants you to declutter their entire home, you could charge them a flat rate fee of $500.
Advantages Of a Per Hour Structure
The main advantage of charging by the hour is that it’s easier to calculate how much you should charge. After all, you simply multiply your hourly rate by the number of hours you think the job will take. For example, if you charge $75 per hour and you think the job will take you 15 hours to complete, your total fee would be $75 x 15, or $1,125.
If you’re leaning towards charging by the hour but still aren’t 100% convinced, this article by Intervals examines 7 of the most popular benefits of this particular pricing structure!
Advantages of a Per Session Structure
The main advantage of charging by session is that you can break up the project into manageable chunks for both you and your client. This can be especially beneficial if your client is working with a tight budget or if the project itself is rather large in scope.
It also allows you to get a better sense of how much time each task will take you to complete. This way, you can more accurately estimate how many sessions the project will require and, as a result, come up with a fair per-session price.
This article on LinkedIn does a great job of breaking down the benefits of charging by session – as well as how to go about doing this properly!
Advantages Of a Flat Rate Structure
The main advantage of charging a flat rate is that it’s easier for clients to budget for your services. With an hourly rate, clients never know how much they’re going to end up paying because it all depends on how long the job takes. With a flat rate, however, they know exactly how much they need to budget for.
It’s also worth noting that some clients are more comfortable with a flat rate because they feel like they’re getting a better deal. After all, if you charge $75 per hour and the job only takes you 12 hours to complete, they’re essentially getting a discount.
This blog post by Publication Coach does a great job of further explaining why, for some freelancers and small businesses, flat rate pricing just makes more sense. So, if you’re leaning more towards this method of service pricing, we definitely recommend giving it a read!
Which Structure Should YOU Use?
The answer to this question depends on your preferences and your clients’ needs. If you’re just starting out, we recommend charging by the hour or by the session. We recommend this because it’s easier to calculate how much you should charge and it’s less risky. Once you get a few projects under your belt, you’ll have a much better idea of how long certain projects will take you in total.
As such, if you’d prefer at that time, you can start charging flat rate fees.
Ultimately, though, the best way to decide is to ask your clients what they’re looking for. Some clients will want you to charge by the hour or per session so they only have to pay for the time you actually spend working. Other clients will prefer a flat rate so they can budget more easily.
Now let’s move on to some of the factors you should consider when setting your own prices…
How To Charge Clients For Professional Organizing Services: Factors to Consider
There are a few key things you need to take into account when determining how much to charge for your professional organizing services. Here are some of the main ones:
Your Experience Level
Are you a seasoned pro or are you just starting out? Your experience level will play a big role in how much you can charge. If you’re new to the industry, it’s likely that you won’t be able to charge as much as someone who has been doing this for years.
Do you have any relevant qualifications? If so, this will give you more bargaining power when it comes to setting your rates. For example, if you’re certified as an Advanced International Organizing Professional (AIOP) by QC Design School, you’ll be able to charge more than someone who doesn’t have any reputable certification/designation on their resume.
The Complexity of the Project
Is the project simple or is it more complex? If it’s the latter, you’ll be able to charge more because it will likely take you longer to complete.
Are you organizing a home or an office? If it’s an office, is it local or out of town? The location of the project will also play a role in how much you can charge. This is because, if you’re organizing a home, you can likely do it in one day. If you’re organizing an office, however, it will likely take multiple days.
Not to mention, if the project is out of town, you’ll also have to factor in travel expenses. In particular, you’ll want to charge your client enough that you don’t wind up losing profits over the cost of gas, lodging, etc.
Your Geographical Location
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you live in a big city, you can charge more than someone who lives in a small town. The reason being, the cost of living is usually higher in big cities. Therefore, your time is worth more!
The Number of People Involved
Are you working alone or will you have a team with you? If you’re working alone, you can charge less because you won’t have to pay anyone else. If you’re working with a team, you’ll have to factor in their wages when setting your rates.
How To Charge as a Professional Organizer: Knowing The Industry Standard
Now that we’ve gone over some of the key factors you need to take into account, let’s talk about what the industry standard is.
As a general rule of thumb, most professional organizers charge – on a broad scale – between $25 and $75 per hour. By individual session, most organizers charge between $50 and $200 per session. And for flat rate fees, most charge between $200 and $500 per project.
Obviously, keep in mind that this can vary depending on your geographical location and the complexity of the project. For example, if you live in a small town and are organizing a simple home office, you may only charge $25 per hour (or per session). Whereas, if you live in a big city and are organizing an entire home, you may charge closer to $75 per hour or per session.
When it comes to flat rate fees, the same general rule applies. If you’re organizing a small space, you may only charge $200. If you’re organizing a larger home or office, you may charge closer to $500.
Of course, these are just estimates. You can – and should – charge more or less depending on the individual project.
How To Find Out The Industry Standard Where You Live
If you’re not sure what the industry standard is where you live, there are a few ways to find out.
The first way is to ask around! Talk to other professional organizers in your area and see what they charge. In turn, this will give you a good idea of what the going rate is in your town or city.
Another way to find out is to look online! There are a number of websites that allow you to search for professional organizers in your area. Once you find some, take a look at their business websites and see what their rates are.
And lastly, you can always contact a local professional organizing company and ask them what their rates are. Keep in mind, however, that the rates you’re quoted may be higher than what the average professional organizer charges. This is because companies usually have to factor in their overhead costs (e.g. office space, equipment, etc.).
Charging Too Much vs. Too Little
Now that you know how to charge as a professional organizer, let’s talk about charging too much or too little.
Charging too much is usually not an issue. After all, if you’re providing a good service at a fair price, most people will be happy to pay you what you’re worth.
The only time you may run into trouble is if you’re charging significantly more than the industry standard. In this case, you may have a hard time finding clients because they’ll think you’re overpriced.
On the other hand, charging too little can be an issue because it can make you seem inexperienced or unprofessional. If you charge too little, people may not take you seriously and may not be willing to pay for your services.
The bottom line is, you should always charge what you’re worth. If you do, you’ll attract the right clients who are willing and able to pay you what you deserve!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should you charge for a minimum number of hours?
A: This is ultimately up to YOU! Some professional organizers require clients to commit to certain minimum number of hours (e.g. 3 hours) – regardless of whether they’re charging by hour or by session.
One perk of doing this is that it guarantees you’ll be paid for your time. The downside, however, is that it may deter some clients from using your services.
Q: Should you charge for the initial client consultation?
A: Again, this is up to YOU! Some professional organizers do charge for initial consultations while others don’t. If you decide to charge, you can either charge by the hour or by the session.
Keep in mind, though, that as a newcomer to the industry, providing complimentary consultations could be an excellent way to attract clientele and build up your roster!
Q: How do you bill clients?
A: There are a few different ways you can bill clients…
- By the hour: This is probably the most common way for professional organizers to bill their clients. If you charge by the hour, simply keep track of the time you spend working and bill your client accordingly.
- By the session: If you prefer, you can also charge by the session instead of by the hour. To do this, simply determine how long each session will last (e.g. 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.) and charge a flat rate for each session.
- By the project: Finally, you can also choose to charge by the project instead of by the hour or by the session. This is often the case for one-time organizing jobs (e.g. decluttering a garage). To determine your project rate, simply estimate how long the job will take and charge accordingly.
Q: How should you create your invoices if you have no experience in this area?
A: If you have no experience in creating invoices, don’t worry! There are plenty of online resources and templates that can help you get started. Simply search for “invoice template” online and you’ll find everything you need to create professional-looking invoices for your clients!
Furthermore, you can also hire an accountant or bookkeeper to help you with this task. This is especially helpful if you’re running a professional organizing business and need assistance with other aspects of bookkeeping and financial management.
Of course, if you’d prefer to do this yourself, there are all sorts of awesome accounting software available – such as Quickbooks, Xero, and Freshbooks – that can make the process much easier!
Q: How often should you send invoices to clients?
A: Generally speaking, you should invoice your clients on a monthly basis. This gives you a chance to track your income and expenses, and it also allows your clients to budget accordingly.
If you’re working on a one-time project, however, you may decide to invoice your client upon completion of the job. This is often the case for decluttering jobs, home staging projects, etc.
Q: What information should you include on your invoices?
A: At a minimum, your invoices should include the following information:
- Your name and contact information
- Your client’s name and contact information
- A description of the services you provided
- The dates on which you provided these services
- The amount you’re charging for these services
- Your payment terms (e.g. “Due upon receipt”, “Net 30”, etc.)
- Your bank account details (if you’re accepting direct bank transfers)
Q: Should you give discounts to your clients?
A: While it’s ultimately up to YOU whether or not to offer discounts, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you do decide to go this route.
First and foremost, be sure to set your pricing accordingly. If you’re planning on giving discounts, make sure your regular rates are high enough to account for these reductions.
Second, be strategic about when and how you offer discounts. For example, you might choose to offer a discount for referrals, or for clients who sign up for multiple sessions.
And last but not least, don’t be afraid to say “no” if a client asks for a discount that you’re not comfortable with! Remember, you’re running a business – and as such, you should always put your own needs first.
Q: What should you do if a client objects to the price you’ve quoted them?
A: If a client objects to the price you’ve quoted them, don’t be afraid to stand your ground! Remember, you know the value of your services… And if a client isn’t willing to pay what you’re worth, they’re simply not worth your time.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should be inflexible with your pricing. If a client is genuinely struggling to afford your services, you might consider offering a payment plan or reduced rate.
But at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you should always charge what you’re worth – regardless of what anyone else says! If you have to miss out on a potential client because they refuse to accept your prices, don’t worry, there will be plenty of clients in the future who will be happy to pay you what you’re worth.
Q: How can you increase your earnings potential?
A: If you’re looking to increase your earnings potential, there are a few things you can do.
First, consider increasing your rates. If you’ve been in business for a while and have built up a solid client base, it’s perfectly acceptable to start charging more for your services.
Second, think about adding new services to your repertoire. If you’re only offering decluttering services, for example, why not add home staging or interior decorating to your list of offerings?
And last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals! If you have a satisfied client, there’s a good chance they’ll be more than happy to recommend your services to their friends and family.
Pro Tip: Check out all of the other online certification courses QC Design School offers to see just how many additional services you can add to your business in as little as 12 short weeks!
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to charging for your professional organizing services. But as long as you’re clear about your pricing and confident in the value of your services, you’ll be sure to find clients who are happy to pay you what you’re worth!
If you have any questions about how to charge for your professional organizing services, or if you’re interested in learning more about QC’s Design School, feel free to contact us at anytime! We’d be more than happy to chat with you about all things design.
Thanks for reading!