Beyond NAPO & POC: Resources to help you start and grow your organizing business

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Beyond NAPO & POC: Resources to help you start and grow your organizing business

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.

International Associations

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:

Explore the various websites to learn more about the organizing profession and the specific educational opportunities and other benefits offered by each association.

Specialty Organizations

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:

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:

For more comprehensive training, consider:

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

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Avatar Seana Turner on January 27, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Excellent resource round-up, Janet. I think most projects are easier when we surround ourselves with people who have more knowledge than we do. It’s also a safe place to ask questions, laugh, and find encouragement.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 27, 2015 at 11:44 am

      Absolutely – and the Internet has made it so much easier to surround ourselves with such people! Even if you live in a remote community, or all the experts are on the other side of the world, you can still connect with them.

  2. Avatar Jill Robson on January 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Great list of resources Janet, I can’t wait for the next blog.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 28, 2015 at 9:01 am

      So many possibilities, so little time…

  3. Julie Bestry Julie Bestry on January 27, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Great list of resources, Janet. Because of my role on the BCPO Board of Directors, I know most of the IFPOA-type member organizations, but ANPOP, BooND and POAA are new to me.

    I’d also add the American Association of Daily Money Managers (ADDMM) for those inclined to become financial organizers.

  4. Avatar Anne Blumer on January 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I appreciate you including the Institute for Professional Organizers in your line-up of resources to start a professional organizer business. Our Fast-track Method Training Program is quite comprehensive with its four layer training approach, including earning the Master Professional Organizer® designation.
    Thank you!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 28, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      I love that you offer all those layers, giving lots of opportunity for further learning after the initial course.

  5. Avatar Anne on January 30, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Nice Post! I love it when an author gives complete information. This is a treasure trove!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on January 30, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Thank you, Anne! Some of this information has been posted on my site previously, but I thought it was time to put it together in one spot.

  6. Avatar Kim on February 2, 2015 at 5:33 am

    Wow!! There are so many great resources out there. Who knew? And years ago this profession was non existent. There is so much to learn and yes sometimes it feels like so little time. We are so lucky to have this info so readily available if we so chose. Thanks Janet

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on February 2, 2015 at 7:36 am

      Kim, when I entered the industry in 2002 and I told others I was a professional organizer, I usually had to explain what that meant. Now it’s a household word!

      It’s the same with virtual assistants. I find that more and more people understand what we do.

      I’ve also found it’s better not to focus on the title, but on the results we can achieve for our clients. Not only is it more likely to pique someone’s interest, but it’s so much clearer, because we don’t all do the same things. People think that because I’m a VA, I’ll book their appointments, but I don’t do that. And when I specialized in office organizing, if I told someone I was a professional organizer, they’d automatically think I would come in and organize their closet. Educating the public is a big part of our jobs as service providers!

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