Becoming a Professional Organizer — FAQs

1. I've always been organized. Does this mean I will make a good Organizer?

While being organized yourself is a definite asset, simply doing what works for you may not work for a client. Critical skills that a Professional Organizer must have are the ability to create customized organizing solutions for each client and to communicate clearly the steps necessary to implement them.

2. What are the qualifications necessary or requirements for becoming a Professional Organizer?

Organizing is still an unregulated industry, and therefore, there are no strictly defined requirements or qualifications.

However, there are skill sets that time and experience have shown you must have in order to be successful. For example, running a business and communicating effectively with potentially complex clients require skills that do not always overlap with "putting things in order."

We suggest that you look at past jobs you've held and determine what organizing skills you used in order to perform the required job duties. These are the same skills needed when organizing professionally. If you're not familiar with the details of running a business, you might want to look into general business courses as well.

Becoming a Professional Organizer can be viewed as an important journey of personal and professional growth, and for the most part, experience will be your guide as you evolve professionally.

BCPO, The Board of Certification for Professional Organizers, in association with NAPO, offers Certification for Professional Organizers. BCPO’s mission is to advance the credibility and ethical standards of the professional organizing industry through credentialing. A Certified Professional Organizer® exemplifies the evolution of professional standards in the organizing and productivity industry.

3. How can I hone my organizing skills?

We suggest that you join NAPO and NAPO-NY, go to NAPO-NY chapter meetings and seminars, and attend the annual NAPO conference. In addition, seminars and workshops are offered by veteran organizers and national education companies.

While at present there is no degree program available for organizing, education is provided through NAPO's annual conference and telephone classes, and New York chapter programs and Professional Development Seminars. In addition, educational teleconferences are frequently sponsored by NAPO and the ICD (Institute for Challenging Disorganization, formerly NSGCD).

Some veteran organizers offer customized training programs.

4. What do clients expect from a Professional Organizer?

Clients expect a Professional Organizer to be competent, to be honest, to be responsible, and to stand behind their work. Perhaps most importantly, they expect an Organizer to maintain confidentiality as emphasized in the NAPO-NY Code of Ethics. It is important for Professional Organizers to discuss expectations with their clients and clearly define the services they can provide.

5. What kind of organizing specialties are there?

Professional Organizers have a vast array of services and skills they can provide. Organizing areas include business and residential organizing, paper and electronic information management, event planning, relocation assistance, and more. Some Organizers are generalists while others specialize in specific areas.

6. Can I work with a Professional Organizer as an intern, apprentice, or freelance?

NAPO-NY members may choose to be included on the Freelancers List. While the Freelancers List informs NAPO-NY members that you are interested in working as a freelancer, it does not guarantee that you will become a freelancer. Many newer organizers find freelancing opportunities with more veteran members while networking at chapter events and from online chapter communications.

NAPO-NY provides this listing as a membership benefit and is not involved with any financial or business arrangements between organizers and freelancers.

7. What will NAPO-NY do for me?

Membership in NAPO-NY offers you educational development and the opportunity to exchange ideas and information with other Organizers, as well as inclusion in the proprietary NAPO-NY client-referral system. See the member benefits section of this site for more details.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of being a NAPO-NY member is the camaraderie and support that members find among like-minded professionals.

8. When and where is the next NAPO-NY meeting and can non-members attend?

Details about NAPO-NY meetings and activities are linked from the Events List. Details for each meeting will include whether or not it is open to guests.

For NAPO-NY chapter meetings, you don't need to RSVP in advance. There is a $25 guest fee at the door ($15 for NAPO members who are not a member of NAPO-NY) or you can pay in advance.