Description of Job
• Clean up and organize the chaos and clutter of clients’ closets.
• Design closet and storage systems to make the most of available space.
There has to be a special place in heaven for the well organized. Everybody else
has to get in a messy line.
Most people are relatively careful about what they put on display in the places
visitors can see, but their private spaces behind closet doors may be disasters; or
they may be quite disposed to perfect organization but limited by available space.
A professional closet organizer uses planning, furniture, and hardware to
come to a home and convert the clutter and disarray of a closet or storage space
in the bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom into an efficient, workable area.
Your job is to organize your client’s possessions—not to pass judgment on what
you find. Unless your client specifically asks you to make recommendations on
items to be thrown out (or donated to charity), sometimes your job is to fit 12
pounds of stuff into a 10-pound box.
Take special care if you are asked to organize collectibles or other items of
great value; your agreement should limit any liability if you are asked to handle
Know the Territory
Professional organizers should spend a lot of time at hardware stores, home furnishing stores, and stores that specialize in equipment for the closet and storeroom. A great deal of information is also available online at the web sites of these
You’ll need some basic skills in assembling hardware and some commonsense understanding of the laws of physics: Put the heaviest items on lower
shelves and make certain shelves are anchored properly to studs.
The first step involves a thorough inspection of the closet or space you are
asked to organize. Take measurements and draw a schematic; a digital camera is
a good tool that allows you to study the closet when you are back home.
Determine whether any specialty equipment must be ordered: shoe, tie, or
belt organizers, jewelry storage, over-the-door pocket organizers.
Make certain the floors and walls are sturdy enough to support the weight of
a shelving system.
Determine your client’s budget. Systems can range in price from under $100
to more than $1,000, plus the cost of your time in designing the installation,
ordering it, installing it, and placing items in their new homes.
How to Get Started
Place flyers and business cards in community centers, supermarkets, and large
home supply stores. Paid ads can be placed in shopping guides and newspapers.
Ask friends, relatives, and satisfied customers to spread the word about your
The principal expenses are advertising and research trips to stores to learn about
available systems. You can create a picture album of some of your installations,
or load digital pictures onto a laptop computer to show at the initial consultation.
How Much to Charge
This job will generally be billed at an hourly rate; no two jobs will take the same
amount of time because of different conditions in the home and closet. You
should be able, though, to give the client an estimate of the amount of time the
job will require.
The initial consultation can be done for free, but the clock should start ticking as soon as you actually begin the measuring and planning of the job. Other
billable time includes the installation and finishing of the job.
The client should pay you up front for each piece of hardware as it is ordered.