One of the questions I get asked most often is how I got started in the organizing business. So let’s back up so I can share a bit with you about why I have such a deep level of appreciation for the benefits of being organized.
I have always been naturally organized and inclined towards routine and processes. I had a fairly chaotic childhood, and organizing became a coping mechanism, enabling me to maintain some stability through it all. Compared to most kids my age, I was organized, tidy, and neat. My room was impeccable, my outfits were put together with precision, and my school papers were perfectly organized and turned in on time. I was super put together . . . on the outside.
But on the inside, I felt like a total mess. The same was true of my physical space. While every exterior surface was as neat as could be, I could barely open my drawers because they were stuffed to the brim with junk. The older I got, the more I realized that my material possessions weighed me down. I wanted to feel lighter and freer. As I got stronger mentally, I naturally started to shed my attachment to my belongings. It became a wonderfully powerful cycle – the more I got rid of the better I felt, and the better I felt the less material belongings I wanted to hold on to. Now every drawer you open in my house is streamlined and organized. I love the feeling I have walking into my calm, organized, stable home every day. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy beautiful objects and luxurious clothes and my sweatpants. But I love what I own (with a few exceptions).
Ok, so that is how I got started organizing. But how did I get into the business? Eight years ago, a few months after I had my son, I realized that returning to my full time job with the long hours and weekend travel was not feasible. So I started taking some classes through NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers). I loved everything I was learning, but I didn’t feel ready to start the business. So I started a consulting practice instead that was in the same line of work I had just left.
Six years, a move out of state, and another child later, I finally felt ready. I did tons of research in three areas: running a business, running an organizing business, and how to be an effective organizer.
All of that research made me feel like I could do it. I still didn’t really feel like I knew exactly what I was doing, but I felt like I had enough knowledge to try. Over the years, I had taken on a few clients as a favor for friends, so I did have a little experience under my belt. I knew it was a big risk. I knew that I may run into unforeseeable roadblocks that may shut the whole thing down. But, I was READY to try. I was going to give it 100%. And if it failed, it failed. Big deal. I could always just start again.
So, I came up with a name, registered my LLC, opened a business bank account, and took care of a million other little (and not so little) tasks behind the scenes. Now I just needed to launch this thing. Just before the holidays in 2017, I decided to put on a free organizing challenge on Facebook that coming January. I did it, and it worked! It got my name out there and slowly started creating some buzz around Boston. At the time, I was not active on Instagram, but I slowly found some amazing organizers to follow and develop relationships with. The organizing community was (and is!) so incredibly supportive and soon I felt like I had a the most wonderful community of colleagues around the country.
Shortly after that, I took on my first few clients, and was determined to go above and beyond to ensure client satisfaction. One client referral led to another . . . my Instagram following grew . . . and the rest, as they say, is history. Now, a year into the business, I am proud to report that I’m earning more money than I had planned, I have more clients than I can personally take on and I’m expanding my team. And I’m so proud of myself, which is something I haven’t said in quite some time!
If you are considering starting an organizing business, please know that organizing is only one small piece of the puzzle. There is an entire business you have to run behind the scenes, even if (actually, especially if) you are the only employee. It is certainly not glamorous all the time. But it is so incredibly rewarding. The impact I have on clients’ lives is a bigger benefit than any financial compensation. It was more than worth the risk to take the plunge. If you are thinking about it . . . I say go for it!
Do you have any questions for me? Leave them in the comments below.