Opin­ions expressed by Entre­pre­neur con­trib­u­tors are their own.

Start­up Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be oper­at­ed from home.
Part Time: Can be oper­at­ed part-time.
Fran­chis­es Avail­able?

Online Oper­a­tion?


Is your house or apart­ment a les­son in orga­nized chaos? Are your files and old news­pa­pers papers piled to the ceil­ing? Cloth­ing spilling out from your bed­room draw­ers, block­ing your path? Can you nev­er, ever find what you’re look­ing for with­out an exten­sive search? Then you may need a pro­fes­sion­al orga­niz­er. This entre­pre­neur­ial cat­e­go­ry is so new it doesn’t even have an entry on the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics web­site. But orga­niz­ers’ clients swear by them, engag­ing them to note only restore order to their homes but also to help ensure a move goes smooth­ly: Orga­niz­ers can help their clients pin­point which unnec­es­sary or redun­dant pos­ses­sions should be sold, dis­card­ed or hauled off to Good­will. Anoth­er rea­son to call a pro­fes­sion­al orga­niz­er? Home stag­ing in prepa­ra­tion for a sale. In terms of income, orga­niz­ers usu­al­ly work by the hour. Cost fac­tors include the com­pa­ny itself and where the client lives. But, accord­ing to CostHelper.com, per project rates for a sin­gle room can range from $200 to $375. And Angie’s List clients report pay­ing $1,500 to $5,000 for a major home orga­ni­za­tion project.


What kind of mon­ey can you expect to make?

“Income varies accord­ing to expe­ri­ence, hourly rate and num­ber of hours worked. We are pro­hib­it­ed from dis­cussing fees in our pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tion” — Anna Lieber, President/CEO, Orga­nized Space Works (A divi­sion of Lieber Brew­ster Design, Inc.), New York, NY

What are the start­up costs? 

“To start a pro­fes­sion­al orga­niz­ing busi­ness, one needs at least a DBA (“Doing Busi­ness As”), busi­ness license, avail­able at a min­i­mal cost. Many orga­niz­ers have an LLC or have incor­po­rat­ed their com­pa­nies, requir­ing an attor­ney.  Busi­ness insur­ance, which includes lia­bil­i­ty, is impor­tant, as well as accu­rate finan­cial record keep­ing. I have a book­keep­er who tracks my busi­ness and per­son­al finances in com­put­er pro­grams, as well as an accoun­tant who files my tax­es. In addi­tion, there are fees when you join pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions such as NAPO, the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Orga­niz­ing and Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Pro­fes­sion­als for train­ing and net­work­ing” — Anna Lieber

What kind of expe­ri­ence do you need to have?

“One needs basic busi­ness knowl­edge, resilience and peo­ple skills. Many orga­niz­ers are well versed, if this is a sec­ond career. For spe­cial train­ing, I attend week­ly sem­i­nars giv­en by the Insti­tute for Chal­leng­ing Dis­or­ga­ni­za­tion, for cer­ti­fi­ca­tions. These have helped me to work with spe­cial pop­u­la­tions like those with ADHD, chron­ic dis­or­ga­ni­za­tion and hoard­ing dis­or­der.” — Anna Lieber

What’s the most impor­tant thing to know about this busi­ness?

“This is a busi­ness where you’re work­ing inti­mate­ly with clients in their pri­vate domains, their homes and offices. We can be in their finances or their under­wear draw­ers. Trust and ethics are para­mount. In these close rela­tion­ships, emo­tions can run high. The things we own, and work chal­lenges, often engen­der dif­fi­cult feel­ings, where sen­si­tiv­i­ty and a non-judg­ing atti­tude is required of the pro­fes­sion­al orga­niz­er” — Anna Lieber

The Market

Your clients can be home­own­ers and apart­ment dwellers who are tired of liv­ing with clut­ter and los­ing time look­ing for things that should be under their noses. Your best bets for attract­ing clients are plac­ing ads in your local paper and writ­ing arti­cles for local pub­li­ca­tions. Give talks to wom­en’s groups, place ads offer­ing dis­counts in coupon mail­ers, and donate a free makeover to a local char­i­ty in exchange for pub­lic­i­ty.

Needed Equipment

All you real­ly need to get start­ed is that cre­ative­ly orga­nized brain and a plan­ning book, although as you grow you’ll want to invest in a com­put­er, a print­er, a fax machine and all the usu­al soft­ware.


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