There are natural-born tidiers, and then there are those among us who live for helping friends and family get organized. That is Marie Kondo’s story. Her career began at 19 when she found she had a knack for organizing friends’ dorm rooms. Now, Marie travels the world, teaching people how to organize their homes and fill their lives with joy.
And you could, too.
If you’ve ever considered whether you’d be a good candidate for getting certified as a home organizer, this is the article for you. We spoke with three KonMari Consultants (all graduates of our professional organizer certification program) about finding their way into the profession and, ultimately, launching their own businesses.
What made you certain you wanted to become a professional organizer?
Pia: At first, I wasn’t certain at all! I started off as a lawyer and practiced for seventeen years. I left law because it didn’t feel fulfilling to me, and in fact, never had. Once I gave myself the space and time to think about my next step, I realized I had no idea what to do next!
I’ve always been organized, so I considered traditional home organizing, but when I explored, I realized that it didn’t speak to me because it felt as though something was missing. I decided to watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. Within the first 10 minutes, I knew that was what I wanted to do. The way Marie connected intentionality, lifestyle, and joy with the physical things in your home spoke to me deeply. I told my friends I was starting an organizing business that day. To which they all said: That’s so you. I wish they told me that before I went to law school!
Kathryn: Tidying, organizing, and fine-tuning the workflow of my environment is something I have always enjoyed (even as a child), and it comes naturally. I considered my ability more of a “quirk” than a superpower, so the moment I learned that professional organizing was a real thing, it was suddenly so clear what I was meant to do!
Katrina: Early on in the KonMari Method, when I was tidying my physical items, I began to understand that this process is so much more the making things look tidy on the surface; KonMari is all about effective decision-making, building confidence in the choices you make and continuing to find ways to express joy and enhance wellbeing in your life. The process was transformative.
After I had gone through all of the items in my home, I began questioning if other areas of my life sparked joy, like my daily habits, my friendships and even my career as a teacher. KonMari gave me the confidence to leave a job that was leaving me feeling drained and overwhelmed and opened my eyes to a whole new world of organizing possibilities! As soon as I started to support my friends, family and members of my local community, teaching them the KonMari philosophy and supporting them in creating a joyful, organized home, I realized that they were experiencing the profound benefits too. When I realized I could have such a positive impact in helping others, I knew this was the direction my career was heading into.
“Nothing brings me more joy than the privilege to walk beside someone as they embark on their own unique tidying journey and experience life-changing results. ”
If someone is considering a new career as a professional organizer, where would you recommend they start?
Kathryn: Start by becoming a client yourself. I encourage you to take yourself through the KonMari Method® from start to finish as outlined in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. This will equip you in gaining a solid understanding of the process, experience transformation in your own life, and help you determine if this work is well-suited for you. By embarking on your own tidying journey, you’ll acquire the empathy necessary for guiding a client through the method.
Katrina: You have to love working with people — you need to be kind, considerate and genuinely interested in how you can best support someone in how to create a more joyful life. Organizing isn’t just about the physical items, it’s about leading someone through a complete and comprehensive mindset shift. Before and after aesthetics are wonderful, but they’re just the starting point.
An organizer needs to teach, nurture and guide their clients through the journey, as well as help them to overcome the barriers of letting go of items that no longer serve them. Leading someone through KonMari is a type of therapy, so a KonMari Consultant and professional organizer needs to be a good listener, and have a good level of awareness of when it’s best to offer advice, and when it’s an opportunity for a client to come to conclusions independently.
You also need to be highly adaptable — every client is different, and you will need to tailor your teaching according to the needs of the client as an individual. Read as many decluttering and organizing books as you can, and once you’ve finished with those, combine this learning with books and content on effective habit change and enhancing well-being. Never stop refining the methodology, techniques and systems you teach your clients.
Pia: Here’s my list:
1. Make sure it’s something that you absolutely love and that it feels like you. Does home organizing spark joy? Are you excited to go into people’s homes? Do you get a thrill from letting things go? Don’t be like me with law!
2. Explore the field. Listen to some podcast episodes. Chat with some pros already working as organizers. There are so many of us listed on KonMari.com. Find out more about what the real work is like. It’s vastly different from organizing your own space.
3. Consider whether you are a solid communicator. Organizing, especially the KonMari Method, isn’t just about the stuff. It’s important to know how to show empathy and how to hold space when a client is deciding whether an item that brings up difficult emotions sparks joy. You also need to be comfortable allowing them to come to their own conclusions. Unlike other services, KonMari consultants do not tell clients what to discard — we help them develop their own decision-making skills with an eye toward what sparks joy.
4. How are you with unexpected challenges? Organizing isn’t always straightforward. As an organizer, you are often faced with complicated storage or a client who springs a surprise on you. Consider how easily you snap back when things don’t go as expected. Clients need someone who will stay grounded. Once you start removing things from closets and cabinets, the space will look worse for a while than before you arrived!
“I love being my own boss, and being fully in control of the direction I want my business to flourish in. I’ve already been so grateful to experience a range of opportunities in my KonMari organizing business, and I’m very much looking forward to what is yet to come!”
What’s your favorite thing about your career as a professional organizer?
Pia: When clients tell me they are dancing in their kitchen the day after we complete their review of kitchen komono. How I’ve added years to their marriage because their husband now has space under the bathroom sink. How they learned that the career they are in is not for them from joy-checking their books and seeing that none of them relate to their current profession. It’s the results, the joy and the ease that the KonMari Method brings to their lives.
Kathryn: I love a good transformation! And I’m not talking about before and after photos. In this work, I get to witness transformation in my clients’ lives. Nothing brings me more joy than the privilege to walk beside someone as they embark on their own unique tidying journey and experience life-changing results.
On a personal level, I love that I’ve been able to build a business that integrates well with my life, allowing me to serve others through my work while still keeping my own house in order by prioritizing my family.
Katrina: The work/life balance it provides. As a business owner, I’m able to set my own hours and working schedule, ensuring that I protect the precious time I need to be present with my family. I love being my own boss, and being fully in control of the direction I want my business to flourish in. I’ve already been so grateful to experience a range of opportunities in my KonMari organizing business, and I’m very much looking forward to what is yet to come!