How to Start Home Organizing Business
A recent poll revealed that over half of the US population feels overwhelmed by the clutter in their home, and a quarter of all Americans have admitted to having a problem with a messy house. And that statement is not just about the look and feel of an untidy space. Living in a disorganized environment can negatively impact your mental and physical health, as well as your relationships and social interactions.
Assisting someone to reorganize their place will help make it look neat and more spacious and benefit a person’s lifestyle and well-being as well. So if you are solution-oriented, a good communicator, and excellent at tidying spaces, read on to find out what it takes to start a professional home organizing service.
As a professional home organizer, you have expertise in controlling clutter and restoring order and functionality in a client’s home. You will implement space solutions that suit your customers’ needs and lifestyles.
Your services may include the following:
- Hands-on and in-home help and virtual declutter services
- Communicating with the client to understand their lifestyle and their short-term needs
- Developing long-term organization plans for your client
- Offer complete, wrap-around services for hoarders
- Organizing and cleaning individual rooms, closets, garages, spaces, or buildings
- Optimizing available spaces and finding appropriate storage solutions
- Organizing and labeling items
- Dispose of unwanted or excess items (disposal, recycling, donations)
Professional home organizing businesses have been a popular service for some time, even before Marie Kondo arrived on our home screens. This is a female-dominated industry – according to Zippia, almost 80% of all professional home organizers are women. It is also an industry that is steadily growing. According to Statista, the value of the home organization market was just over $6 billion in 2005 and has since grown to over $11 billion in 2021. Growth was especially noticeable for virtual consultation services in the last few years.
We are increasingly time-poor, and we tend to build bigger homes – two factors that will see professional home organizers becoming even more sought after. Between now and 2025, the professional organizing industry is expected to expand at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 4%. Taking on a franchise such as Bee Organized or Neat Method remains a very popular option for many as they come with a tried and tested business model and allow you to tap into a comprehensive network of professional organizers.
Your target market is anybody who wants help decluttering a space or an entire home. Some people are just on the lookout for more efficient wardrobe solutions; others may be overwhelmed with having accumulated too much ‘stuff’ to the point where it impacts how they live.
Decide what services you want to offer and where your expertise and passion lie. Then, a thorough market analysis will reveal what your competition is doing and where the gaps are.
Checklist for Starting a Home Organizing Business
Organizing your life can be difficult, but starting a successful professional organizing business doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and knowledge, you can make sure your business is successful from the beginning.
A great way to begin this journey and stay on track is to run through our checklist to make sure you have completed the relevant items to get your business started.
Step 1: Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan for a home organizing business (or any business for that matter) is vital for long-term success. The business plan serves a few different roles and while most people focus on a business plan to get the funding they need to get started, it can do so much more.
For starters, it helps you to think through the strategy and objectives of your concept. The plan can also serve as your roadmap, providing direction on where to go and what resources you need to reach your destination. Having this step-by-step roadmap can help you save time and money while confidently getting your business off the ground.
Related: How to write a business plan
Step 2: Name the Business
Naming a new home organizing business can be a difficult task for some, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you get stuck, put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and imagine what would stand out to them. Think about how you want your business to be perceived and choose words that people will identify with that also reflect your values. You can also consider puns or plays on words, as well as try acronyms to capture the essence of your brand.
Additionally, you want to make sure that the business name is easy enough for someone to spell and is legally available to use.
Related: Tips on naming a business
Step 3: Form a Business Entity
A business entity (also referred to as a business structure) refers to how a business is legally organized to operate. There are four primary business structures to choose from, which include the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Each type of entity has its own pros and cons, such as liability exposure, costs, and administrative requirements.
When deciding on which business entity is best for a home organizing business, it normally comes down to the sole proprietorship and Limited Liability Company.
A partnership opens the owners up to unnecessary personal liability because if a partner does something to get the business sued, or runs off with cash from the business, the other partners are personally liable to repay.
The corporation can be a good choice to minimize liability risk because it separates the business assets from the owner’s assets. If the corporation is sued or certain business debts can’t be paid back, the owners aren’t personally responsible to repay them. The downside to the corporation is that it is more complicated than all the other entities and requires more administration than the LLC. If you plan on raising a lot of investment though, the corporation is usually the better choice.
That leaves the sole proprietorship and LLC.
The sole proprietorship is the least expensive and easiest entity to start which is appealing. The downside is that the owner is personally liable should anything happen to the business, which is an important consideration. The LLC offers the ability to operate as a sole proprietorship with the liability protection of a corporation. Depending on the state, the cost to form an LLC runs from $40 – $500, which is pretty inexpensive for protecting the owners from business-related lawsuits and certain debts.
Related: Guide to forming your LLC
Forming an LLC sounds complicated and expensive, but using an entity formation service guides you through the process so you know it was done right.
Some popular LLC formation services include:
IncFile - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!
IncAuthority - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent the first year!
ZenBusiness - $49 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!
Step 4: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
While there aren’t specific licenses for a home organizing business, there are general licenses and permits that may be needed.
Every state is different, but in general, you want to look for a sales tax permit, especially if you will be selling organizational products, though some states tax services as well. In addition, many cities and some states require all businesses to obtain a business license, and if you have employees an Employer Identification Number may be needed.
Step 5: Find Financing
The cost to start a home organization business is typically very low, if funding is needed to start, it can be challenging to get a bank loan.
Banks will normally require a credit score of 650 or above and the owners invest 15%-25% of the total start up cost.
Step 6: Open a Business Bank Account
Keeping your small business and personal finances in separate bank accounts is important to track the income and expenses of your business and identify trends.
Many banks offer free business checking accounts, so be sure to find a cost-effective option for your business.
Step 7: Get your Marketing Plan in Place
Getting the word out about a new business can be a struggle as there are so many opportunities, but often a limited budget.
Over the long term, word-of-mouth marketing will likely be the most powerful market channel, though it can take years to build the clientele that will refer clients to you. One way to help facilitate this channel is to provide a referral bonus to your existing clients if they refer a friend.
Additionally, study what competitors, both locally and from those far away, are doing to market their own businesses and “borrow” the things you think will work in your business. A few of these will likely include creating a website with detailed information on what you offer and feedback from a few happy customers. Also, being active on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Yelp, and others to highlight reviews of your professional organizing service, and handing out business cards and brochures at the Chamber of Commerce and other networking events is a common way to get your name in the community.
When you have a strategy in place, be sure to give it some time as marketing can take a bit of time before it’s effective.
Step 8: Get Business Insurance
When starting your home organizing business, it’s important to consider the types of insurance you will need in order to protect yourself, your business, and your clients.
While the various types of insurance coverage will depend on the specific risks and exposures of your business, some types of insurance commonly recommended for a home organizing business include general liability and professional liability insurance.
General liability protects against claims arising from bodily injury or property damage caused by your operations or negligence, while professional liability offers protection against a mistake or poor work. Also, if you are using a personal vehicle for business purposes, you will want to review your personal auto insurance policy to see if it covers an accident while being used in the business.
Common Questions When Starting a Home Organization Business
How much does it cost to start a home organizing business?
This industry enjoys a relatively low barrier to entry. It is labor-intensive but does not necessarily need an extensive start-up budget. Depending on what services you decide to offer, you may like to invest in a van that can transport both your cleaning equipment and unwanted or surplus items.
One of your most significant budget items is website development and investing in a solid marketing strategy and social media presence. In addition, ensure you have obtained relevant licences and insurance coverage and invest in ongoing professional development.
These points make running your own home organization company a great starter business for someone just starting as an owner-operator.
How profitable is a home organizing business?
Income varies significantly and depends on the services you offer and your location. Understanding supply and demand and the correct pricing will be crucial to the success of your business. For example, full-time work as a professional home organizer can be very lucrative and pay up to $55 an hour.
Are there grants to start a home organizing business?
It’s extremely rare to find a grant to start a home organizing business. If you search for business grants, you will come across a lot of scams and misinformation. Occasionally an organization will offer grants to start a business, however, be skeptical and don’t provide any sensitive personal information or pay money to get more information.
Legitimate federal grants can be found at Grants.gov, and you can check on your state’s economic development office to see if they have any grants available.
What skills are needed to run a home organizing business?
Communication and interpersonal skills. The line between a cluttered home and one simply displaying treasured mementos is different for everybody. What is a treasure to us does not mean anything to someone else. Improving the functionality and flow of a client’s home and conquering clutter will require excellent listening skills and discreet communication. Remember that this can be stressful conversation for your clients.
Organizational and Cleaning skills. As a professional organizer, you will be helping your clients achieve order, function, and clarity and, ideally, make their lives more productive and less stressful. To achieve this, you need to have a knack for maximizing spaces, understand the practical flow of a space and know what is available to achieve the desired outcome. In addition, you must enjoy being neat and tidy.
We always recommend getting an appropriate certification from a professional organization, such as the Certified Professional Organizer from the National Association of Productivity and Organization Professionals, and connecting with relevant associations. It will allow you to stay on top of trends and industry regulations and will also be useful to assure your clients that they are in the hands of an expert.
Effective decluttering can be a real life changer for some people. At the very least, it helps busy people with time management. In any case, you will make a positive difference in someone’s life.
Suppose neat and tidy is your thing, and you’re looking for an opportunity to be your own boss that allows for flexible hours and doesn’t come with the burden of enormous start-up costs. In that case, you should seriously consider becoming a professional home organizer.