Trained Professional Organizer Program

The basic education credit program is comprised of a series of classes taught by experienced POC members. In most cases, classes are delivered over the phone, though some are taught “live” at our annual Conference. Courses cover residential and business organizing, safety, basic marketing, assessments, working with children and seniors, as well as many other topics.

Currently, the program consists of the following courses:

Core Classes

E-101 - Introduction to Professional Organizing and POC Code of Ethics

This course gives a broad overview of the organizing industry, the history of POC and our Code of Conduct & Ethics. It defines the profession of organizing and discusses an organizing system / process used by many successful organizers.

Find out what traits are common in successful Professional Organizers. Learn how to make the most of your first year in business. Examine the reality of a typical week in the organizing business, looking at corporate, business and residential settings. Potential areas of specialization, strategic alliances and general business practices of Professional Organizers are also addressed.

E-102 - The Assessment

Learn how to take a potential client from initial contact, through an intake interview, to an organizing session utilizing various assessment tools. Discussion also includes:

  • how to sell what the client wants, needs and expects
  • estimating how long a project will take to complete
  • establishing timelines to achieve short-term and long-term goals
  • scheduling implementation and maintenance for long lasting results

E-103 - Fees and Billings

This class covers issues that each Professional Organizer will wish to examine when establishing business practices around billing, taxes and working with others. Samples of various financial and business forms are included. Discussion includes how to:

  • establish fees and a menu of services
  • weigh the pros and cons of quoting by the hour versus by the project
  • charge for travel time, products and subcontractors
  • bundle services and create packaged offers

E-104 - Basic Residential Organizing

Gain credibility and confidence in your residential organizing skills.

  • Family dynamics and accumulation cycles
  • The philosophy of letting go
  • Factors influencing organizing styles
  • Motivational techniques for working with families
  • Space and storage suggestions
  • Maintenance techniques

E-105 - Marketing and PR for Organizers

Organizing is a hot topic. In this session you will learn the marketing, branding and publicity basics to help you build the buzz for your business

  • Creating your marketing message, explaining who you are and what you do using clear feature/benefit statements
  • Profiling the market you wish to target
  • Generating leads: where to find clients and how to keep them
  • How to be perceived as an expert professional in the organizing field

E-106 - Organizing Tools

Learn the essential components of a Professional Organizer's tool kit. This class looks at a variety of tools that organizers use in their work with clients including: safety equipment, organizing systems, storage solutions, time management products and business forms. Discuss the pros and cons of various products and how to choose appropriate tools for specific projects.

E-107 - Basic Office Organizing

Past experience has shown that the office is the last place that business owners have time to "get together". They are so busy working on the day-to-day running of their business, that there is never enough time to "get organized".

E-108 - Working with the Chronically Disorganized

Some clients do not respond to traditional organizing techniques. Recognizing Chronically Disorganized clients is crucial as conventional approaches often do not work for them.

This class provides an overview of the basic characteristics and possible factors leading to Chronic Disorganization (CD).

Non-traditional strategies and resources that recognize the complex inter-related issues of our CD clients will be discussed.

This class will also help the Professional Organizer (PO) to decide if he / she wants to work with CD clients. It is important to recognize that a PO who wants to work with the chronically disorganized will need to undertake significant study and research, well beyond the scope of this overview.

E-109 - Safety Issues and Procedures

Establishing personal safety practices is important for you and your business. This session covers a variety of health and safety issues facing organizers, including:

  • safety equipment and precautions
  • the dangers of toxic substances such as asbestos and mould
  • how to handle both pests and pets

E-111 - Starting an Organizing Business - Boundaries and Business Practices

Topics covered will include defining your business concept, developing a business plan, basic business practices, budgeting, legal considerations, defining your boundaries around your client time, personal life and your business model, establishing business practices that reflect your values and personal integrity.

Specialty Classes

Residential

E-201 - Working with Seniors

A look at downsizing issues, bereavement and hoarding as they apply to the senior market. Discussion includes how to diplomatically communicate with seniors and their extended families. Take away a clear understanding of how to pace and price the organizing project to suit the lifestyle of your senior.

E-202 - Working with Children

Organizing for children requires a unique set of skills. This class gives a broad overview of the numerous considerations required when formulating organizing plans that involve children. The course highlights the age, family dynamics, safety and environmental factors that affect organizing strategies pertaining to children.

E-203 - Room-by-Room Organizing

In this class, we will be looking at several key rooms in the home (bedrooms, bathrooms, living / family rooms and dining rooms) identifying specific problem areas and corresponding solutions. A number of approaches and tips for tackling organization problems will be discussed for each room.

E-204 - Family Management

Working with families is rewarding and challenging. Explore family dynamics through the family life cycle and its many wonderful variations. Discuss how family expectations are created, and why differing expectations can cause friction for the organizer and the client. We will look at the main areas of organizational crisis in the family – paper work, time management and clutter.

E-205 - Closet and Pantry Organizing

Organizing solutions for a closet or pantry are based on many factors. This course focuses on how to start the organizing process and how to incorporate the things required for efficiency. Learn how to:

  • evaluate each individual situation
  • develop a plan of action
  • prioritize and utilize new techniques
  • plan for easy retrieval

Office/Corporate

E-211 - Filing Systems

Whether you offer residential, home office or corporate organizing services, a solid understanding of filing systems - for both paper and electronic documents - is essential. We will discuss systems, solutions and techniques (for the home and office) for managing and retrieving information in the most efficient manner.

E-212 - Time Management

Effectively managing one's time and priorities is the key to getting and staying organized. Of the numerous time management systems on the market, how do you determine the best solution for your client? Class discussion includes time management basics and an overview of the organizing tools and training programs available in today’s marketplace.

E-220 - Setting Up a Home Office

People often say organization can wait because they think other, more important things have to be done first. When organization waits, success often waits too. If you organize yourself and your workspace from the beginning and you budget the time to keep it organized, your home-based business has a greater chance of succeeding. Your personal stress and frustration will also be reduced. As you get bigger, you get busier, so NOW is the time to organize.

Classes are offered on a rotating basis. Some courses may be suggested as prerequisites to others.