Professional Organizers – who are they?

Professional Organizers (PO’s) are a group of enthusiastic and often very caring people that want to help you with the effectiveness and the efficiency in your life and living spaces. They can help in a range of different ways; clearing clutter, organizing spaces, creating habits, systems and routines to teach you how to be and stay more organized.

Who uses the services of a PO?

Allot of people feel overwhelmed by life, their surroundings reflect this. Added to this is the fact that Organizing is a skill that most of us haven’t been taught. In the industry we often talk about people that are ‘born’ organized and those that are not. The difference is that for allot of people it just doesn’t come natural to be organized.
Our clientele is very diverse, ranging from mothers with young children to small business owners and people that are downsizing or are moving. No client and situation is the same!

Everyone can be organized!

Professional Organizers help people in a variety of ways to get more organized. It could be helping the overwhelmed stay at-home-mum with household tasks, or creating a system for the paperwork of a small business owner.
Most PO’s have studied, practised and worked in a range of different settings and will be able to create a system that organizes you at a perfect level for your situation and needs.

Letting go of items – Decluttering!

Most of the popular TV shows hone in one 1 aspect of the work an Organizer does and this is decluttering. There is no doubt that allot of us could really let go of some of our possessions that do not serve us anymore, but this is not an easy thing to do. Pretty much every item in our house carries an emotional attachment (I like this, I don’t like this, so and so gave this to me). This is one of the reasons why organizing and decluttering is so hard.

An Organizer generally speaking does more than just declutter. They specialises in the process to remove but also reorganize items. This to create better, cleaner, easier and more liberating ways to work and run our lives.

The Industry of Professional Organizers

There is no doubt that this is a growth industry worldwide. At the moment, the industry is the largest in America and Canada. It is estimated that there are over 5000 PO's in the US alone. Organizers come from a variety of fields and with different specialities.

Some specialize in 1 area like:
• Paperwork
• Decluttering
• Organizing the car
• Organizing wardrobes
• Helping mothers with young children
• Helping small business people

With allot of Organizers you will find they have a passion to both help people and to organize which means they will do a variety of jobs depending on their clients’ needs.

Education and accreditation for PO’s

At the time of writing there are a range of good sources like eBooks, online courses and coaching opportunities for aspiring Professional Organizers to get their business established. There is however no 1 set course, exam and set of competencies for the industry as yet. All these offers are made by industry experts in private enterprises. Which in turn means the quality of their material can vary greatly (as do books and tips in general in this industry).

A fantastic first step to become more ‘professional’ as a PO, is to become a member of one of the Professional Organizer Associations. These Associations run on a non-for-profit basis and are great networks and resource hubs.

Here are a number of these associations;
NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) it is strongly based in the US
POC (Professional Organizers in Canada)
AAPO (Austral-Asia Professional Organisers) – I belong to this one being Aussie and all that ;-)

Average Fee structure

The fee depends on the PO’s experience, clientele, specialization and geographic location. Some Organizers charge by the hour, others by project. It is hard to have a standard fee structure as each situation is very unique; what is clutter for one person could be an easy task for an organizer. Or a simple task can turn out time quite consuming (think paperwork). As a guide you can expect to pay between $50,- to $150,- per hour.

Side Note: A challenge I came across in creating an international website is that I happen to have a profession and field of expertise which is spelled differently across the English speaking countries. See here my explanation about organizing the organised word on this website ;-)

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