Free Resources for Professional Organizers

 Photo by  William White

Photo by William White

As I launched my professional organizing business last year, I set out to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible, from my fellow organizers — without spending all of my new business income on forms, coaching, and other services aimed at new P.O.s. What an open, generous, and supportive community it has turned out to be!

Here are some of my top FREE resources for current and prospective P.O.’s looking to connect with and learn from each other and our more established colleagues: how we manage and market our businesses, what we've done right and wrong along the way, and how we help clients get and stay organized.

Enjoy! I'll update this list as I discover more great resources for and about our industry, so please send me your suggestions!


A to B Podcast

A practical organizing podcast with a sense of humor hosted by Autumn, a San Diego area P.O., and Bethany, a teacher. Features many interviews with industry experts.

Podcast (on iTunes)

Show Notes

NAPO - the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals

The industry-leading professional association for organizers, with approximately 3,500 members nationally. Non-members can access free content including their Getting Started Guide and a just-launched podcast aimed at helping P.O.s grow our businesses.

Getting Started Guide



Professional organizer, author and coach Geralin Thomas' website offers a treasure trove of free checklists and helpful, business-oriented blog posts for new P.O.s.


Blog (Professional Organizer Training)

Pro Organizer Studio

Jen Kilbourne Obermeier and Layne Parker Brookshire manage this business and design resource specifically for professional organizers. Invaluable!

Website (sign up to access the Free Course and Resource Library)

YouTube Channel

Facebook Group

Professional Organizers Think Tank

There are over 7,000 members in this very active FB group. Ask any question and receive the wisdom of the crowd!

Facebook Group

Take Note: Getting Things Done


Do you take notes? I rarely did. In school, I found it a distraction. I couldn’t engage as well with what my teachers were saying if I was too busy writing. Even as a film producer, I mostly relied on my memory and my email inbox to serve as reminders. This worked fine…except when it didn’t.

As I completed my professional organizing curriculum over the summer, I learned about a time management method called GETTING THINGS DONE (GTD) created by productivity consultant David Allen. Allen’s strategies include detailed systems for recording things, whether on paper or digitally, to get them off your mind. Only then can you focus completely on the task at hand.

According to GTD, unrecorded thoughts are like open browser windows. As you open more and more windows, your browser performs less and less efficiently. The same is true of your mind. If you are mentally reminding and re-reminding yourself to send out those client materials, buy more paper towels, RSVP to your cousin’s wedding – you’re wasting brainpower that could be directed at your most important goals. 

Whatever that nagging thought is, record it on a to-do list, schedule it on your calendar, tell your smartphone to remind you at a relevant time. You’ll discover that you magically “closed” the browser window. The thought will stop popping up at inconvenient moments when you need to be concentrating on something else.

Note-taking didn’t come naturally to me, but over the past few months I’ve made a real effort to record and write things down. It has made a noticeable difference in my time management, helping me track a long list of items to accomplish as I build my business. I hope it does the same and more for you!


The Heart of Organizing podcast

I recently listened to all 25 episodes of THE HEART OF ORGANIZING, a podcast by the veteran San Francisco Bay Area professional organizer Andy Hartman of Clutter Free Services. Andy produced the series in 2009-2011 but it remains just as relevant and inspirational today.

Before beginning an organizing project, he encourages listeners to devote serious thought to exactly what they want to achieve and crucially, why. Only once you've determined what is important to you can you select and arrange your possessions to support those values.

He breaks down organizing projects into three "S's" -- simplify, sort, and store. To put it briefly:

  • Simplify. Getting rid of things that are obsolete, broken, not being used, accessible online, redundant with other possessions, or have low value for you (do not support what is important in your life or uplift you.)
  • Sort. Determining categories with whatever level of specificity works for you, and putting like with like. When categories overlap, choose one and cross-reference.
  • Store. Assigning each category a home and if necessary, a container. The stuff you use most often should be most accessible, the size of category should match the size of the space, and ideally the home should match the function (where you use something).

The first two steps, simplifying and sorting, can be done in either order or simultaneously. If you have difficulty simplifying, Andy recommends that you sort first to see what you have and where you have redundancies. And simplifying does not have to mean discarding. Andy offers a helpful episode and corresponding webpage with Resources for donating, selling, and re-cycling.  

If you need motivation to get started, check out his episode on "The Hidden Costs of Stuff." Consider the costs of losing things among the clutter and buying duplicates of what you already own; of late fees and damaged credit score for late bills; of off-site storage of unused belongings and of transporting them when you move. Things deteriorate from non-use. How much does it cost to maintain your things free from dust and pests? Is disorganization impacting your quality of life? Are you serving your stuff, instead of your stuff serving you? 

Marie Kondo's magical folding method

After reading Marie Kondo's mega-bestseller THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP, I couldn't wait to try out her unique folding method.

She recommends folding garments in thirds vertically and horizontally so that they stand up in a drawer or other container like files, instead of in stacks which press wrinkles into clothes. Kondo's method looks beautiful and has the added benefit of making all of your items visible at once so that you can:

  • incorporate more of your items into regular rotation instead of picking from the top of a stack
  • more easily see redundancy or gaps in what you own
  • not waste time sorting through a stack for a particular item

The incredible part is that it takes up less space. I had a hard time believing this until I re-folded the contents of my dresser and ended up with an entire empty drawer

It's been a few weeks since my conversion to Kondo's method. Folding clean laundry takes a few extra minutes as I'm still getting accustomed to it. Even if I don't get much faster, I'd have to say it's worth it for wrinkle-free clothes, extra drawer space, and being able to see all my items standing neatly in a row. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

  Image courtesy of  @letsjustorderapizza

Image courtesy of @letsjustorderapizza