Beyond NAPO & POC: Resources to help you start and grow your organizing business
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In last week’s post, How to start a professional organizing business, I explained why new organizers should get involved with National Association for Professional Organizers (NAPO) or Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) right from the start.
Already done that? Not quite ready to take that step? Don’t feel an American or Canadian association is a good fit for you? Read on, because you’re sure to find some resources in today’s post that are right for where you are today, professionally and geographically.
If you’re outside North America, you’re welcome to join the NAPO Virtual Chapter and/or POC Cyber Chapter, but if you’re lucky, there may actually be a professional organizer association in your region that could meet your needs:
- Associação Nacional dos Profissionais de Organização e Produtividade (ANPOP Brasil)
- Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers UK (apdo-uk)
- Association of Russian-speaking Professional Organizers (ARPO)
- Associazione Professional Organizers Italia (APOI)
- Büroorganisation Büroordnung Netzwerk Deutschland (BooND)
- Institute of Professional Organisers International (IOPO)
- Japanese Association of Life Organizers (JALO)
- Nederlandse Beroepsvereniging van Professional Organizers (NBPO)
- Swiss Association of Professional Organizers (Swiss-APO)
Explore the various websites to learn more about the organizing profession and the specific educational opportunities and other benefits offered by each association.
In a small community, you might need to be a generalist in order to keep your appointment calendar filled. However, if there are a lot of organizers in your area, choosing a specialty may help you to stand out from your competition.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with members of the following organizations:
- Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO)
- Institute of Challenging Disorganization (ICD)
- International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP)
- International Furnishings & Design Association (IFDA)
- National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM)
- Real Estate Staging Association (RESA)
If your interests lean in a different direction, try entering some relevant keywords in Google along with the word “association” – you might be surprised at what comes up!
Private Training: Live Classes
Training is also offered by private businesses. A live Become a Professional Organizer class I attended in 2002 gave me the confidence I needed to launch my business. I don’t personally know many people who run this type of program, but Anne Blumer offers an excellent one through the Institute for Professional Organizers in Portland, Oregon.
I’m sure there are lots more out there, so again Google should point you in the right direction if you enter “professional organizer training xxx” (replace xxx with a city near you). Always do your due diligence before investing in any program by asking other members of your association for feedback. If you haven’t joined an association yet, look for industry-related groups on LinkedIn or Facebook where you can network with other organizers online.
Self-Study and Online Courses
If you prefer to learn from the comfort of your own home, you still have lots of options!
For the smallest investment, try one or more of the following books:
- Ultimate Guide for Professional Organizers by Maria Gracia
- Mastering the Business of Organizing: The Professional Organizer Survival Guide to Launch, Manage, and Grow a Profitable Business by Anne Blumer > Read my review of the original edition, Get Rich Organizing
- FabJob Guide to Become a Professional Organizer
For more comprehensive training, consider:
- Coach Approach for Organizers
- eSMMART Senior Move Management Training
- Clear & SIMPLE’s Professional Organizer Training Program
I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s out there, so you’ll likely want to do your own research on this as well. Keep in mind that teleclasses, webinars, and self-study materials are also available through NAPO and POC as well as the specialty and international organizations listed earlier in this post.
I’ll be back next week with my top tips for running a successful organizing business. You won’t want to miss it!
Image © bst2012 / depositphotos
Post last updated October 2019