Becoming An Organiser
If you have natural organisational skills and a desire to help others then there is a strong possibility that becoming a professional organiser is the right choice for you. It can be useful to speak with a Career Advisor or similar to ascertain if it’s a career option for you that will keep you satisfied.
Alternatively, you could look at the AAPO Find an Organiser page to find a member who offers training packages. They may be able to help you discover if professional organsing is what you want to do. Some of these training courses provide work experience, so you can get a feel for the work involved.
If you’ve decided you’d like to become a professional organiser, the first thing to decide is, will you work for yourself (and start your own business) or will you work for someone else?
Starting your own business is a big step and requires you to work in many areas outside of the organising space (eg: marketing, finance, networking, administration, the list goes on. All of this will all be a part of your work day). We’d recommend researching what’s involved in running your own business so you’re fully aware of what your work day would look like.
Regardless of whether you work for yourself or someone else, you could do some official training to get you started. Some AAPO members are accredited trainers, coaches and mentors and they can be found via the Find an Organiser section which includes a full list of our members.
You may also benefit by becoming a member of AAPO and similar international organisations like ICD and NAPO. Membership of AAPO can provide you with relevant local industry knowledge, support, guidance and training opportunities.
The skills and qualities of a professional organiser are broad and can include:
- Be a good listener - to ensure the client feels heard.
- Be non-judgemental - to provide the client with safe environment
- Be creative - to ensure that we provide the right solution for the client's challenge
- Be flexible - to understand that one size does not fit all
- Be intuitive - to ensure we listen for what is not being said
- Be committed - to ensure we provide value for the client
- Be collaborative - to ensure we engage the client in the process so that they have ownership
- Possess basic administrative and business skills.
Yes you can. Many of our members work on a part-time basis. It's an industry offering great flexibility in the number of hours and days worked.
No you don’t, but it’s a great idea!. Being a member of AAPO brings you many added benefits like (a community to ask questions and share ideas, member discounts on products, services and the conference, resources and tools to help you in your job). Being a member of AAPO also helps promote the industry and allows AAPO to provide resources and support to all members alike.
You may also consider joining The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) or The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). These organisations offer great printed materials, teleclasses and exceptional training resources, and discounts on their conferences.
At the present time there is no certification program offered in Australia or New Zealand, but it is something current members have expressed interest in developing. It is hoped that such a program will be developed within the coming years. There are private training programs available but they are not endorsed by any professional association.
Those already working as a POs in Australia and New Zealand come from diverse backgrounds. Their training (formal or otherwise) may be in many different fields and from many different sources.
Once you are a member of AAPO we do offer an accrediation process.
Your client expects you to be competent in your area of specialty, to be honest yet non-judgemental, to be committed and willing to stand behind your work and most importantly to maintain a level of confidentiality. We strongly suggest that you discuss with your client their expectation so that the client is fully aware of what you can and cannot do for them. Knowing how to organise is one thing, knowing how to consult - that is to teach, structure your time with a client for the best results, make an assessment and deliver a result - is another.
Each organiser has their own unique skillset and focus. Some assist small business, corporations or government, others assist individuals in their home. Some of the areas our Members’ in work are:
- Hands-on decluttering and organising – wardrobes, kitchens, children’s rooms, sheds just to name a few….
- Time management
- Paper management and filing systems
- Business process improvement solutions and efficiency
- Space planning and Feng Shui
- Event planning
- Errand running and/or Personal shopping
- Financial management
- Packing/moving/downsizing or relocating
- Information and records management
- Training/Seminars/Public Speaking
- Computers and data management
- Home offices, corporate offices
- Assisting students in study and time management
Some professional organisers are very specific in the types of organising they offer, others offer a wide array of organising services. Also, some organisers may sell products to support their work. Others have written books. Lastly, some work at a local level, others work nationally or internationally.
As you can see, the options are endless!
That depends on several factors including the amount of time you're prepared to invest, whether you start your business on a part-time or full-time basis, and who will be your target market.
Business statistics indicate that it can take somewhere between two and five years to build the average small business.
If you believe in yourself, your ability and you are prepared to work hard (like any small business) then the answer is yes. Having said that, the majority of PO's in Australasia operate part-time and have another stream of income, which AAPO recommends.
More and more busy people and businesses are recognising the value of streamlining and simplifying their lives as life becomes more and more hectic. We probably don't need to tell you - being organised saves time, money and avoids lots of stress!
Finding An Organiser
AAPO encourages Professional Organisers to become members and actively participate in the programs we offer. Through these programs, AAPO is establishing standards and by hiring an Accredited Professional Organiser, the public can be confident these standards have been met or exceeded.
There are three levels of Accreditation – Member, Accomplished and Expert. Accreditation supports clients in making the choice of who to work with, and also provides a professional development path for our members. For further details of the three levels, see the Accreditation overview table.
Each organiser has their own style of working with clients and can offer a unique set of skills, experience and methods.
Take the time to find the right organiser for you.
If you feel comfortable and at ease, this will offer you the best chance of achieving effective and positive results.
Your organiser should give you flexible and personalised assistance, and be able to adapt tools and techniques to fit your individual needs.
Be sure to ask about their experience and expertise and view their Facebook page and website to give you more details and information about how working with them.
A good organiser is there to support and assist you, will not be judgmental, critical or overly pushy, and will treat you with respect and compassion.
Your organiser should offer you complete confidentiality. Organising is a personal process, and you can expect your consultant to hold all information you share as confidential.
Your organiser should fully inform you of the costs (which vary from one consultant to another).
There are many variables involved in an organising project, so it can be difficult for an organiser to quote for an entire job. Even so, you can expect fees to be openly and honestly represented and for your organiser to be upfront about any factors that will affect costs.
Each situation is different and therefore it is hard to give you an exact answer. We can say that a good organiser will educate you during the process. They want you to have the skills to stay organised well after the hands-on work is completed.
It is great that you are considering becoming a member of AAPO and we look forward to having you on board.
This FAQ is to explain the membership process just in case it gets a little confusing to work through.
These are the steps you need to take:
- You need to sign up as a user of the website first - click here.
- Follow the prompts in the email you receive to set up your password to your account.
- Join up and select your membership type and then follow the process to add your membership fee to the Cart at the top of the page.
- Pay for your membership through the Cart by checking out.
- You then need to login to your MyPortal at the top of the page.
- Complete the Personal Info detail followed by the Membership Declaration.
- At this point your membership will be formally approved so you will gain access to all member related pages of the website.
- On Approval which could take up to a few days, you will be emailed a welcome letter confirming your membership to AAPO.
- In your Member Portal you should then also complete and ensure all your personal information is correct.
- Once again in your Member Portal please also complete your Bio which will allow your details to be displayed in the Find an Organiser directory and also you can complete a practice location too.
- Feel free to have a good look around the site to see further information available for members.
Welcome to AAPO and should you have any difficulties during this process please get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org