Behind the scenes of the Australian professional organising industry

I have been a professional organiser for 5 years after 20+ years as an executive assistant and office administrator. Creating my own business has been extremely challenging. However, the journey has been so much more enjoyable thanks to the support of my professional organising colleagues. In light of this I’d like to share a bit from behind the scenes of the Australian professional organising industry. An industry you may not know much about.

The industry is not that new

You may have only heard about the profession of home organising in recent years, however, many of my colleagues have been working in the professional organising industry in Australia for many years. Some of them more than 15 years.

There once was an Australasian Association of Professional Organisers (AAPO). Unfortunately, it recently folded after 10 years due to the “red tape” of being an association. Thankfully many of my organising colleagues still get together monthly to share knowledge and comradery in Melbourne. I love this tribe!

We love to share work

The professional organising industry is a very supportive , friendly and enjoyable industry to be a part of.

Many of us refer jobs to each other if it’s outside of our speciality or niche or out side our geographical area.

We specialise in different things

Personally, my business, Space and Time specialises in helping working mothers live easier, far less stressful lives through simple, easy to implement organising systems to clear the clutter – both mentally and physically.

There are many other specialised areas of professional organising. Here are some other niches:

  • Downsizing
  • Concierge services
  • Hoarding tendencies
  • Chronic disorganisation
  • Productivity coaching
  • Photo organising
  • Student study techniques
  • and much more.

It’s simple to set up your own professional organising business, but it’s not easy

It’s relatively easy to set up your own business as a professional organiser but as with any small business but it’s challenging work. There’s no one to tell you what to do, it takes time to build up a client base and nothing seems to happen as quickly as you want it to.

Want to know more about running your own professional organising business? Here is a blog I wrote on 10 things I wish I knew before starting my professional organising business.

Let’s get organised thanks to @stilclassics via upsplash

Hiring a professional organiser is not just for unorganised people

Many of my clients are working mums and they are highly organised people. They are busy executives that want to tweak the systems they have in place to make life simpler and more fun at home for them and their families.

I work with these mums to make conscious choices with what they spend their time doing, what they can outsource to others inside or outside the home.

My clients enjoy less stress and overwhelm when priorities are set and systems are in place to support a simpler life.

The work is not always pretty

Not all the work we do is Pinterest worthy. Grubby garages or even a pantry overhaul isn’t the sort of thing that looks pretty on Pinterest. The Space and Time philosophy is to create practical systems and processes for people and it doesn’t have to look perfectly pretty. Having said that I have worked in some beautiful homes and created some amazing results.

Before and after shots don’t always tell the full story

Although this point is probably more about the media’s portrayal of getting organised, I’m sad to say that sometimes before and after photos are a bit of a ruse. Many photos are staged for magazine articles or pinterest or Instagram. Some after photos are taken before all the stuff is put back on the shelves. Other “after” results would not be practical (have you seen some of those walk-in-pantries with shelves 4 metres in the air!).

Many improvements can be made to a home or a space that don’t really show up on the before and after shots. Big results are achieved in the process of going through each item, seeing what you’ve got, checking that you’re still using it and returning things to their permanent homes.

Next steps

The Australian professional organising industry is growing by the day. It is supportive, friendly and a joy to be a part of. I’m not sure if I would have made it to 5 years in business without the support of my colleagues.

I’d love to hear from you if you are interested in becoming a professional organiser or would like hands on help at home now that you know a little more about my business, what we do as professional organisers and the industry. Reach out to me at

Who is Julie Cliff, Professional Organiser

Space and Time is a Melbourne based business helping working Mums create an ecosystem at home that supports the family. Space and time clients find that organising coaching helps them get everything done, and give them more time for spontaneity, enjoyment and relaxation