We’ve gathered some of the most common questions that we get asked and assembled the answers for you. If there is something that isn’t covered here, just email us and we would be happy to answer your questions.
Becoming an Organizer
A professional organizer provides information, products and assistance to help individuals and businesses organize to meet their needs. Organizing professionals guide, encourage and educate their clients about the basic principles of organizing by offering support, focus and direction.
Professional organizers come from every background imaginable. In addition to basic administrative and business skills as well as organizational skills, there are several traits and qualities that are required. A professional organizer needs to be:
- A people person – To communicate easily with all types of people.
- Non-judgmental – To provide the client with a safe environment.
- A good listener – To really hear the client’s goals.
- Intuitive – To pick up on what is not being said.
- A creative problem solver – To create the right solution for the client’s challenge.
- Flexible – To understand that one size does not fit all.
- Collaborative – To engage the client in the process so that they have ownership.
- Nurturing – To help clients learn new ways of doing things.
- Committed – To continually upgrade skills, providing value to the client.
- Ethical and Honest – To treat clients in fair, professional manner.
There are countless benefits to pursuing a career as a professional organizer, but these are the ones we hear time and time again:
- Flexibility – Professional organizers are able to set their own hours, and you can easily start your business on a part-time basis.
- Satisfaction – Organizers get strong professional and personal satisfaction from helping people streamline and simplify their lives and reduce stress.
- Freedom – Owning your own business means you are no longer chained to a nine-to-five office scenario.
If you are considering a career as a professional organizer, we highly recommend you to take the teleclass “Should I Become A Professional Organizer?” This course will answer all your questions about the field of professional organizing. You should check the Events page frequently as we continually update our calendar.
POC is also an excellent resource for referrals to professional organizers who provide mentoring and/or coaching for those who wish to become a professional organizer. Also see our regional and local chapters to get info about the individual chapters.
While there are no official credentials to become a professional organizer, you need to have a good understanding of what an organizer does, have a thorough knowledge of organizing products and services and, of course, excellent organizational skills.
At the present time there is no certification program offered by POC or other non-profit professional organizing association in Canada. However, POC offers a Training Program for Professional Organizers. The POC Trained Professional Organizer program is a training program, not an accreditation program, and as such does not entitle the organizer to use words such as certified, endorsed, authorized, accredited, or qualified Professional Organizer in their marketing material, or the initials TPO following their name. There are a number of private training programs available that are not currently endorsed by any professional association.
Most organizers explain to prospective clients what training they have taken (if any), what membership(s) they have with various industry associations, such as POC, and that they are guided by the association’s code of ethics. Professional organizers interested in working with the chronically disorganized may wish to join the Institute for Challenging Disorganization and also work toward their specialized certification.
You can also find certification through The Board of Certified Professional Organizers to obtain the world-wide recognized CPO certification.
As well as POC for Canadian organizers, there are other associations you may be interested in. We recommend that any new professional organizer consider the following organizations that are dedicated to promoting and supporting our industry.
POC has put together an extensive list of resources that covers provincial resources, networking opportunities, suggested reading and government programs. POC offers courses to assist you in building your business. Visit our Business Start-Up Resource section. Also, check with your local Chamber of Commerce for local initiatives.
While networking is one part of getting clients, you will need a marketing plan to determine your target audience and ways to reach them. Successful strategies include speaking at events, writing articles for local newspapers, advertising on your vehicle, getting involved within community organizations, and creating a website.
That’s entirely up to you. However, it is highly recommended to have a document that covers basic terms, ensures clarity and lends credibility to your services. Consider what a contract does:
- It lays out all of your business policies (including pricing, cancellations, the purchase of supplies, etc.)
- It ensures that there is no confusion between you and the client
- It educates clients about how you work
- It adds to your professionalism
- It protects both parties equally
Carrying insurance adds to your credibility and protects you from financial jeopardy. The POC Business Insurance Program provides comprehensive business coverage and is a benefit that is available to POC members only. Your level of coverage will depend on what type of services you offer (residential organizing vs. corporate organizing) and of course the premium that you want to pay.
The Association and Membership
Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) is a registered, national association representing professional organizers across the country. The association was officially registered in 2000 and currently represents more than 600 members in fourteen chapters across Canada.
Our mission is:
To develop professional organizing through creating awareness of the industry amongst the public and to provide our members with support by giving them the access to the tools, training, and resources to build their own businesses.
Our one goal is to provide an environment in which professional organizers can flourish and exceed their business goals. POC promotes networking, the sharing of ideas, and encourages referrals.
POC gives you the opportunity to connect with other organizers and build a support network. In addition, we also provide a number of educational initiatives and business building opportunities to keep you at the top of your game. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Keep on top of trends and industry news through our newsletter, POC Talk
- Connect with local organizers at free monthly chapter meetings – network, share ideas and support each other!
- Learn from chapter meeting guest speakers how to grow your business.
- Membership allows for trade discounts by retailers and industry suppliers.
- Get special members only rates for the Annual Conference.
- Access to business insurance specifically tailored for Professional Organizers.
- Attract new clients through a listing in POC’s “Find an Organizer” directory.
- Promote your business through POC’s Annual Conference.
- Establish credibility with a professional affiliation.
Not a member yet? What are you waiting for? Fill out the online Application Form.
Membership in POC costs $260.00 per year, with a one-time administrative fee of $50.00. If you do not renew your membership, your name will be automatically removed from the Find an Organizer directory.
If this happened, perhaps a credit card number was given incorrectly (missing a number or transposed numbers) and we were not able to put through your application. Contact us and we will do our best to get the membership processed. Please note we only accept payment by credit card.
Typically, applications are processed the moment we receive membership payment. Your certificate and new member kit will take approximately two to three weeks to arrive. Your name badge will take four to six weeks to arrive. Upon joining, you will receive an email that provides details on how to access all the benefits and services that POC offers.
New members to POC are required to complete two specific classes prior to inclusion on the Find an Organizer directory. These two classes are:
- POC 101: Introduction to Professional Organizing and POC Code of Ethics
- POC 109: Safety Issues and Procedures
Once you have completed these courses, our system will automatically add your profile to the Find an Organizer Directory (usually within 24 hours). You may verify the POC courses you have taken by logging into the Members Only section of the website and viewing your profile.
If you took these courses before joining POC, please contact us so that we may find your records in our database and add this information to your profile.
Yes, organizers without a company or website are always welcome to join. Simply fill in the Join POC application form on our website. Leave the company name field and website field blank and when you are ready, you can log into the Members Only section and update your profile at any time.
A member should choose the chapter in the same territory as the member’s address that is listed on their POC membership. If a member resides within one chapter’s territory, but will be more likely to attend meetings of another chapter, then the member may elect to join that chapter instead. If a member’s address is outside of a chapter territory, the member should choose the chapter closest to them. Members can belong to only one chapter at a time, however the option is available to switch chapters upon request. If the member resides outside of any chapter territory and/or the closest chapter meeting is too difficult to get to due to distance, they may elect to join the POC Cyber Chapter. Learn more about POC Chapters.
You may attend chapter meetings as soon as your membership application has been processed. We recommend that you take a copy of your membership receipt to your first chapter meeting in case the chapter executive has not yet received a copy of your receipt. You may also check out a chapter meeting prior to joining POC. All chapters welcome guests, free of charge, or with only a small guest fee.
You may attend classes at any time and as soon as your membership application has been processed you will receive our special member rate. Login to the POC website with your member log-in information before signing up to automatically receive your membership discount.
Log into the Members Only section of the website and look in the right-hand column under “Member Profile”. If you click on that you will see everything that is displayed on the membership directory. Now click on the grey box “Update Member Listing” and you can edit any information in your profile, change your password, select your service areas and geographic regions served.
In your member profile, click on the “privacy” boxes so that your telephone number and e-mail address will not be displayed on the Find an Organizer directory. If you do not select any service areas or geographical areas you will not be located on any of the searches. Remember to login and update your profile when you are ready to accept clients.
If you type in your username you may request a new password and it will be sent to the e-mail address in your profile. If the e-mail address is “dead” please contact us again with a valid e-mail address so you may receive a new password. Once you order a new password the old password will automatically become invalid. Please note: Administrators have no access to member passwords. Passwords are generated automatically by the system.
If you login to the system and you are looped directly back to the login page, please disable your firewall and try logging in again. Remember to enable your firewall once you have finished your session on the POC website.
POC only has individual memberships at the moment. The majority of our members run their businesses with one or two people. Sometime in the future we may consider a membership for businesses that would allow a company with several employees to be members at only one price.
If you wish to become a POC Associate member, please contact us.
POC sends out a monthly newsletter, POC Talk. As soon as your membership application is processed your e-mail address is automatically added to our mailing list. If you are not receiving POC Talk, please verify your spam filters and add the domain @organizersincanada.com to your safe-senders list. You may need to speak to your Internet service provider to ensure that e-mails from POC are not marked as spam. Please note that we cannot add non-members to our mailing list.
POC committees, Chapter Executives and the National Board are always looking for volunteers. Contact any National Director or Chapter Executive.
The National logo is available for download on the POC website in the Members Only section. Please make sure you read the Logo Use Guidelines before using the logo and provide a copy of the guidelines to your printing professional if they will be preparing your marketing materials.
We have many resources available to our members. Please see the “Downloads” page on the Members Only section. Check back frequently because we are continually updating our resources.
As POC is a virtual association, our website serves as the information source for both the public and for our membership. To help members and potential members find the information they are looking for easily and quickly, POC has produced a series of YouTube tutorials. These videos will aid in locating key information and links.