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Do you remember your mother making you clean and organize your room every few days during your childhood? You grew up with an amazing skill set. Are you aware that you already know how to become a personal organizer?

There are personal organizer courses available due to the levels of professionalism in any industry for which certifications are awarded. We’ll discuss these later on. 

What you need right now is to know how to become a certified professional organizer.

What Is A Professional Organizer?

To organize means to bring order to something, i.e. a closet, the garage, the shed in the backyard, and anything else that needs order. How to become a personal organizer embraces disorder, finding ways to make space as well as getting the belongings assembled in an organized fashion.

infographic What Does A Professional Organizer Do how to become a personal organizer

What Does A Professional Organizer Do?

Organizing someone’s home is not just a physical project, it’s an emotional one. You’re there to tell people to throw out bits and mementos of their lives and loves. You’ll need your sympathy and compromising skills.


Your clients will need to know how to remain organized over both the short and the long term. They’ll need to have a written plan for remaining organized after you’re gone.

Storage space

Next, you’ll need to identify storage within the house, office, or other space you’re organizing.


You and the client will go through everything in order to decide which items to donate, recycle, or toss. Be gentle: this is your client’s life you’re asking her to toss.

Storage bins and labels

Dollar stores are great for finding clear plastic bins for storage, labels in the office supply aisle, as well as Sharpies for labeling. Stack the bins in spaces you and your client designated.

How To Become A Personal Organizer Step-By-Step

Of course, you love organizing, or you wouldn’t be here. However, you have to love the people with whom you’re working. They’re reaching out to you for help from a place of frustration and helplessness. If you can’t meet this with sympathy and caring, then you can’t help your clients. How to become a personal organizer includes:

1. Education

Education how to become a personal organizer

We stated above that this profession didn’t require much education. In most cases, just a high school diploma is good enough. You might want to complete some certification courses, though, to put a more professional face on it.

CPO Certification

The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals offers certification for organizers with 1,500 hours of paid professional organizing work in the past five years. You must stick to a strict code of ethics. You must pass a written exam of 125 multiple-choice questions.

The professional organizer certification cost is $450 for the exam given during February. Membership in NAPO is $275 annually. This is optional, of course, but such memberships are a vital part of professional organizer certification cost of doing business.

NAPO University

NAPO offers on-demand classes you can buy and watch at any time your schedule permits. The courses cover everything from ethics to organizing skills to starting a business. The classes cost $180 for members and $280 for those not members.

Conferences And Training Programs

Look around your city notices to find how to become a personal organizer conferences. Many organizers offer training programs, some of which are KonMari Consultants and Institute for Professional Organizers.

2. Advertise

Advertise professional organizer certification cost

Knowing how to become a certified professional organizer is useless if potential clients can’t find you. While word of mouth is still the best advertising out there, most people seek help on Google. So hire a good website designer (you can find one relatively cheaply on Fiverr) to put an attractive face on your business.

Social Media

More business today is conducted online than in a brick-and-mortar store. Social media has replaced print and spoken media as the premier advertising space. Make up a Facebook business page for your professional organizer business. Post on it and on your personal page several times a day, because someone who’s working might miss a single post. Post pictures of your work on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


Video might have killed the radio star, but it makes the business person’s day. Even if it’s only a two-minute “hi, there, I’m (name) and I have a professional organizing business” kind of thing, it will be seen faster than text will. You can do it on your phone, upload it to your business and personal pages, and make yourself a YouTube channel. Trust us, you’ll be seen and fast.

Freebies And Giveaways

Nothing brings in business better than freebies and gifts. Hit up your friends and family with a freebie in return for spreading the word. Offer the first ten new customers a free gift for using your services such as hanging organizers for closets.

3. Solve A Problem

Solve A Problem certified professional organizer salary

Now that people know you’re an educated business person, they need to know what’s in it for them if they use your services. Every product or service should solve a problem.

The three types of organization are space, systems, and goals. Whether it’s an office seeking better productivity or a homeowner requiring more space, your job is to intuit how to fulfill their needs. In an office, it could be a better filing system. In a home, it could be decluttering the whole structure to give the family more space.

4. The Business Side Of It

The Business Side Of It how to become a personal organizer

You’ll need to register your business, use a bookkeeper and an accountant. You’ll also need business insurance. As you’re enlisting this help, keep in mind that you’ll need a five-year business plan. These things will cost you, but not as much as not making it without the necessary business tools.

5. Define Yourself

Define Yourself how to become a certified professional organizer

Decide what type of professional organizer you will be. Will you help seniors streamline their homes for safety? Will you work strictly with offices? Other types of organizers work with:

  • Staging homes
  • Unpacking after a move
  • Hoarders
  • Productivity and time management
  • Home organization
infographic Skill Necessary to Professional Organizers how to become a personal organizer

Skill Necessary To Professional Organizers

How to become a personal organizer obviously includes organizational skills, but some of the other skills you’ll need are:


An office drowning under paper files could use an update to the cloud. A homeowner with no space to place incoming stuff would appreciate an organizer giving him the space he needs. Identify the problem and give the client several methods of solving it.


It’s spotting the tiny details the homeowner or office manager missed that will set you apart and make you sought after.


Any homeowner can buy bins for storage, but the professional organizer using creativity to store the bins wins the day.


The communications give and take between professional and client better establishes the need, the answer, and the goals of the client.


Sometimes what a client truly needs is someone to listen. Communications are a must, but if you can hear what isn’t being said, then you’re amazing.

Do I Need Insurance?

Do I Need Insurance how to become a certified professional organizer

When you offer a product or service to other people, you are vulnerable. To make sure you’re covered in every single aspect of your business, get insurance:

General liability

You could be accused of property damage or bodily harm to other people.

Auto liability

You own a professional business, but you drive your personal car to get to it. Your auto insurance agency needs to know this, so you’ll be covered on business trips.

Professional errors and omissions liability

You might advise a client to donate or recycle something later valued at a great amount of money. A client could also sue you because they don’t like your work after it’s done. You’ll need insurance to cover this.

Business insurance

Lots of organizers run their businesses from home. Homeowner policies don’t cover this.

Care, custody, and control

 In short, property damage coverage, because you handle clients’ belongings.

How Much Can I Make?

How Much Can I Make how to become a personal organizer

As of March of 2022, the professional organizer salary was thus:

  • $20 per hour
  • $818 per week
  • $3,547 per month
  • $42,570 per year

A certified professional organizer salary is different due to the certification and the 1,500 hours of experience. Those hours are reflected in the salary:

  • $58 per hour
  • $10,202 per month
  • $122,425 per year

How Do Home Organizers Get Clients?

How Do Home Organizers Get Clients how to become a personal organizer

Here are a few ways:


If you’re too shy to do it one on one, then do it via video.

Social media

Hit social media hard, because that’s where the people are.


Become a keynote speaker in your niche. Get referrals from senior homes, small business owners, entrepreneurs, or a meeting of people who are downsizing, to whom you pass on your knowledge.

Existing clients

If existing clients give you referrals that actually sign up, then give them a discount on their next session with you or a free hour the next time they need you.

Final Thoughts

How to become a personal organizer isn’t only about organizational skills. It’s about sympathy, communications, and problem-solving. It’s about getting your business out there on Facebook and YouTube. It’s about setting up that business legally. Now, get out there and organize!

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