Have you been dying to know what professional organizers bring with them on the job?
Ok, this is the fun stuff! Organizer extraordinaire Layne Brookshire gave me a peek inside her pro organizer toolkit, and it was super inspiring. So much of our job is projecting a calm, put-together lifestyle. If you show up on the job ultra-prepared and organized, your clients will be able to feel that… And that will totally increase their confidence in you.
You don't have to have all these things to get started, however -- so don't let this list overwhelm you. (Yep, there are some affiliate links in here to save you some time checking out the "whoa, never thought of that" tools you might want to consider adding in at some point!)
Beyond the basics, these are the top 10 things I think new organizers overlook that will make you look professional and experienced to your clients (OK, these elastic Hip Huggers for keeping your jeans from slipping down while you work might actually be my number one. Keeping yourself covered while you work is definitely important for looking professional!).
Read to the end to download the complete toolkit list for pro organizers!
Ready to slay: 10 things your pro organizer toolkit needs
1. Protein bars
I know… it seems like a weird thing to put at the top of the list. But have you ever tried to be productive and calm while hangry? Not. Good. You need to be on point throughout your session, so make sure you have a good protein bar in your bag. I'm always trying new ones, so let me know your fave in the comments.
2. Sharpies… so many Sharpies
You probably already have a basic black Sharpie in your bag, but bringing an assortment of colors and sizes is helpful. Writing labels and marking boxes is so much easier if you have different sizes available. Bonus points for different colors to make your client’s labels extra pretty, especially for all of you superwoman-type organizers (Read more: What kind of pro organizer are you really?)
3. Label maker (and extra accessories)
There is nothing worse than a client watching over your shoulder as you label her pantry… only to run out of label tape or batteries. Seriously, it makes me cringe. Our job is to show that we can plan ahead and create systems that will make our clients lives easier… So you’ve got to walk the talk. It’s important to show them that we have those systems in place for ourselves (at least when we’re on the job). Be prepared with extra batteries, tape, and any other accessories your label maker needs so you can leave the session feeling confident and accomplished. Here's a label maker that's super popular if you don't have one yet.
4. Laser measuring tool
Space planning (and supplies shopping) requires precise measurements. A laser measuring tool is perfect for measuring all of those hard to reach spaces. And since so much of what we do takes place inside cabinets, pantries, and closets, this is a must. Plus, you’ll look way more pulled together than you do trying to hold a traditional measuring tape in place all by your fab self.
(P.S. Layne is our shopping queen, so I can’t recommend her video on organizing supplies for your clients highly enough! It will give you some great ideas about where to shop for you and your clients so you can always be prepared.)
5. Rotary cutter and mat
If you’re the crafty type, you may already have one of these on hand. Typically used for fabric, rotary cutters are AMAZING for cutting shelf liner perfectly to size. Plus, the mats are marked with all of the dimensions you could ever need, speeding up the entire process. Since rotary mats are usually bulky, look for a foldable option (like this pink one — so on brand).
6. Leather work gloves
Because sometimes being a pro organizer is icky, but you don’t need to wreck your manicure to get the job done. Latex gloves are fine for simple clean-up jobs indoors, but a nice pair of leather gloves will keep your hands ultra safe during tough jobs. Also, they’re super durable, so you’ll be able to use them for ages.
7. Picture hanging kit
Like I said, this advanced toolkit is all about making you look like the queen of “I already thought about that.” Bring a picture hanging kit so you can tackle simple projects like hanging photo frames or mirrors without having to make a separate trip to the store. It will make your clients happy and save you time… and that means more money in your pocket, girl! You can get a simple pre-filled hanging kit, then refill it with supplies as you run out.
8. Small command hooks
I know Layne and I are not the only ones OBSESSED with these. Command hooks are like organization magic and can instantly transform a disorganized space. You’ll save money buying them in bulk, so don’t be afraid to stock up. These come in handy on almost every job. It’s a great feeling to make progress on a client’s home before you’ve ever gone shopping for supplies.
9. Screwdriver with interchangeable tips
This is one of those things that’s easy to overlook as a new professional organizer. Inevitably, you’re going to come across things that need to be moved or assembled. And remember, your client is ...disorganized. Asking her to find where her tools are, let alone the right screwdriver, can be a nightmare. Simplify the process by getting a screwdriver with interchangeable tips so you’ll always have the right supplies without bulking up your bag. By the way, this is SUCH a good gift for a high school grad headed off to college, too. I still have mine my dad gave me forever ago -- thanks Dad! 💗
This is another one of those *you’ve got to take care of you* tips. Being a professional organizer can be a physically demanding job. All of that bending over and lifting can really wear you out. Keep Icy-Hot in your bag so that you can take care of any aches and pains on the spot. If you don’t take care of you, you can’t help your clients or grow your biz, so that is really important.
Feeling inspired? Download Layne’s complete pro organizer toolkit shopping list below. She has seriously thought of everything so you don’t have to.
Once you pack your toolkit, head over to the Pro Organizer Studio Resource Library. You’ll find a curated collection of my best digital tools for professional organizers, so you can feel as confident running your biz as you do organizing your clients’ homes. (Have something you want added to the Resource Library? Let me know, seriously! Just submit your idea at the bottom of this page and it might get added to the collection).
I want to look in your bag! Snap a pic of your professional organizer toolkit, and share it in the Facebook group. I’m soooo curious to see what essentials you bring with you.