Written by
Matt Frentheway
Written on
June 11, 2022

How to Start a Home and Garage Organizing Business + Top Franchises

How many people do you know who use their garage for catchall storage?

Have you visited people who have their belongings stacked on the floor or piled in the corners of rooms?

The Business Opportunity

Garage and home organizing businesses help people lose what they don’t need, and fit more of what they do need, into their garage. Intelligent storage solutions can turn an ordinary garage into a beautiful space for exercise, vehicle repair, hobbies, or even entertaining.

Home organization businesses can restore order to homes. Whether you start a new business or open an organizing franchise, your business can focus on garages, kitchens, offices, and any other space in a home… or all of the above.

Once appropriate storage is installed, and organizing systems implemented, homeowners can enjoy their homes to the fullest with:

  • joyful environments for spending time with family
  • energizing rooms for focusing on work
  • peaceful spaces for hobbies and recreation

The Organizing Industry Market Size

In 2015, the US had a $8.5 billion home organization industry. In 2022, the industry is projected to reach $12.7 billion by 2023!

Discretionary spending for the home has increased since 2020, even as consumer spending has declined in other categories. It’s easy to see why: As housing prices soar, many homeowners aim to get more functional space out of their current home rather than buying a new house. In addition, as many homeowners become remote workers, the home is becoming more central to our lives.

Today, almost everyone can see the benefits of a clean, aesthetic, multi-functional home environment in ways many couldn’t prior to Marie Kondo’s show in 2019 and the work-from-home transition in 2020.

The Typical Client for a Home Organizing Business

There’s great news here! Home organizing clients tend to be busy professionals who are used to handing off work to specialists, and who have little interest in micromanaging.

Many clients want their houses to be more organized. Sometimes people don’t know how to organize, they don’t have the time, or it’s just not a task they enjoy. In most cases, well-off clients would much rather pay a reliable company to organize their home so they can focus their time on work and other activities.

Advantages to Running a Home Organizing Businesses

Run properly, garage and home organizing businesses can have high gross margins, low inventory, and consistent cash flow.

After an initial consultation, clients often buy more than they initially expected so that they can organize as many spaces as they can. Customers who have a great experience might return for more organization services, or refer friends and family who notice their home updates.

The home and garage organization industry is just now going mainstream. Even before Marie Kondo’s Netflix show launched in 2019, most people assumed they had to organize their home themselves, and many didn’t even realize there was a system they could use to make their home more livable, spacious and joyful.

Because this is a young industry, the market isn’t yet saturated. In many geographic areas, there is still higher demand than supply of quality, well-reviewed organizing services.

Who should start a home organizing business?

Typically a home and garage organizing business owner either:

  • Plans to hire contractors and employees, and manage their team personally
  • Plans to hire employees and a project manager, and plans to focus on developing other aspects of their business
  • Plans to do all the work independently.

Regardless of which role you choose, you should enjoy managing marketing and communicating with customers by phone or email. If you also plan to provide organizing services personally, you should additionally be a person who gets satisfaction from the process of organizing.

While an organizing business can allow for flexible work hours, it’s critical that you or your employees be reliable at finishing jobs on time and showing up when you tell clients you will show up.

This job is rewarding! Many customers are delighted when they see 3D mockups of storage solutions in their space, and even more delighted when they see how your company has transformed their physical home.

18 Steps to Start Your Home Organizing Business

Starting a business from scratch is a lot of work, especially if it’s the first business you’re going to run independently.

Here are the vital steps you’ll need to complete to start a company that organizes people’s homes and garages.

1. Learn from the pros in your area.

Research the professional organizing industry in your local market. Run a Google search for “professional organizer [your city name]”, click on the businesses that come up, see what customers are saying about them, read their websites, and save their ads when they invariably start targeting you on Facebook and other social media.

Here’s my best tip for research: Book a consultation with the top-rated organizer in your area, and hire them to do at least a small job for you in your home. You’ll learn a lot from observing the top-rated pro in your area! Just don’t mention that you’re thinking of starting a professional organizing business yourself; you’re not obligated to share that.

2. Immerse yourself in the home organizing field.

Read organizing books. Follow the top home organizing blogs. If you can, take classes like the courses offered by NAPO University on professional organizing. (NAPO stands for the National Association of Productive Organizing Professionals.)

If you’re new to running your own business, check out SBA.gov’s resource on the 10 steps to starting a business.

Check out HubSpot’s free marketing courses. As time allows, start reading the 25 essential leadership books. (If you’re short on time, you can get book summaries from Summary.com or YouTube.)

While learning is immensely helpful, each day make progress on the other steps to starting your home organization. Otherwise, you can easily put off your goals until you “know everything” you need to know. (It’s never possible to know everything you need to know!)

3. Connect with other professionals who can guide you.

You can join a networking organization like your local Chamber of Commerce.

Look for a few mentors, coaches or business consultants you can rely on for advice. Try to connect with at least 3 trusted advisors. Make sure they have different areas of expertise and that they don’t all work for the same company. This way, you can get critical advice and feedback from a variety of perspectives.

You can find free mentors from your local SCORE chapter and SBDC office. Should you choose to explore starting an organization franchise, I can also help you as a trusted advisor.

A good but sometimes expensive shortcut is to work with an experienced coach in the industry. Geralin Thomas and Jen Obermeier are well-known coaches for professional organizers. They could be valuable resources if you’re looking to start an organizing business.

4. Research your local market.

Learn about your target market and what they’re looking to achieve.

This will help you choose a service to focus on that matches the needs of people in your geographic area. It will also help you advertise more effectively, since you’ll be able to better target your ideal customers.

Go beyond basic demographics like age, gender, and income. Find out what your target customers read, their occupations, their favorite foods, whether they have kids, and their religious and political views.

You can use this information to choose where to advertise, and how to craft your advertisements.

5. Choose a niche.

Even within the organization space, there are a number of options for specialization. Will you focus on garages, kitchens, or closets? Will you make custom storage shelves, slatwalls, or cabinetry?

Apply your market research to your decisions about what services and products you’ll offer.

Most organizing businesses should offer a limited selection of popular services before expanding their services. On the other hand, if you start your business and have trouble finding customers, you’ll probably want to start doing custom work until you determine what services people most often need in your area.

6. Establish your business name.

Determine a business name and tagline based on your niche. To come up with ideas, check out TRUiC’s professional organizing business name generator. You can also review TRUiC’s guide on naming your business.

Check that some short variation of your business name is available as a website domain on Google Domains. Also check with your Secretary of State to confirm that your business name is available within your state, and that it’s not trademarked.

Sometimes your business name will already be taken, so it helps to be flexible.

7. Cover yourself legally.

Decide on your entity type. (LLC and S-Corp are popular for different reasons.) Then register your business with your Secretary of State or the appropriate government agency for your location.

Speak with your accountant about tax considerations. Your accountant can help you plan to meet your tax obligations, and help you fill out any tax related paperwork.

You can see if your state requires any licenses on the US Small Business Administration website. If you have any questions, the SBA has a directory for local assistance. If you prefer, you can ask your attorney, or ask your accountant to refer you to an attorney who serves small businesses.

Your accountant can guide you in completing your SS-4 form and obtaining an EIN (Employee Identification Number).

Usually you will also want to purchase business insurance like liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, or umbrella insurance. Your accountant can advise you on an appropriate insurance strategy to protect your business.

8. Start a business bank account.

Create a business bank account so you can keep business activities separate from your personal finances. Open a business debit card and possibly a business credit card.

You can build credit for your business that you might need later by using a credit card or opening a net-30 account. With a net-30 account, you simply spend as you normally would, your expenses are charged instead of debited, then you pay off your balance every 30 days.

Set up a merchant account like PayPal so you can accept debit and credit cards online.

Depending on how you decide to run your business, you may also choose to buy checks and deposit slips.

9. Organize your workspace.

You’ll need basic business equipment: a desk, phone, computer, and a headset with a microphone.

Next, create a professional email signature and voicemail message. Mail Signatures has a free signature template you can use to get started.

So that you never lose records in the event of computer loss or theft, set up automatic cloud storage using Dropbox or Google Drive.

You’ll also need to make sure you or your employees have any necessary equipment as well as transportation vehicles to carry equipment to job sites.

10. Register online profiles.

The most visible profile for a service provider is a Google Business Profile. This is the local business listing that appears at the top of a Google search when someone types in a query like “organizer” or “organization company”. Study the profiles that other businesses have created in your area to learn best practices.

You may decide to also create a Tik-Tok, Instagram or Facebook profile. Keep in mind, it’s better to focus on building a following on just one social media platform rather than dividing your attention. As your company grows, you may decide to take on a second platform.

11. Write a business plan.

It’s helpful to know where your business is going. What kind of business do you want to create? If you were to sell your garage storage or home organizing business, what functions would need to run on autopilot so that your business works without you?

The E-Myth Revisited will help you think through the functions your business needs, and conceptualize how you can automate business processes.

NerdWallet has a great guide on writing a business plan. Intuit offers more details and a free business plan template.

12. Set your pricing.

Estimate your business costs and develop a budget for running your company. Your company must generate more revenue than your costs, so it’s helpful to know your costs upfront.

Next, define your pricing structure. In 2022, most professional organizers charge $55/hour. Professional garage organization services usually start around $2,000 per install, running from $2,500 to $5,000 with high-end installs coming in well over $10,000. There are a lot of variables, so get familiar with how others in the industry are pricing their organizing services.

Helena Alkhas wrote a useful blog post on her website, A Personal Organizer, to help organizing business owners calculate expenses, select the number of hours they plan to work, and calculate what they need to charge to earn the profit they desire.

13. Set up business agreements and software.

So that you can begin taking orders, you’ll want to:

  • write a client service agreement (refer to your attorney)
  • write a subcontractor agreement or employee agreement (refer to your attorney)
  • establish your billing policies (refer to your accountant)
  • set up accounting software and an invoicing system (refer to your accountant)

14. Create your marketing materials.

A marketing-oriented website with a good UX (user experience) will help you present your business professionally so you can win more jobs. Ideally, you’ll want to set aside around $1,000 so that you can hire a copywriter to work with you on the text for your website and $4,000 for a web designer and developer to build your final website.

Here’s a checklist of essential marketing tasks. If you’re going to hire a web designer, it’s helpful to hire before getting started on these tasks so that they can be involved in each of the following steps.

  1. First, buy a domain for your company (“yourcompany.com”), and a domain name for your name (“FirstNameLastName.com”).
  2. Set up website hosting. SiteGround is a top-rated website host that many developers personally recommend. Avoid cheap shared hosting plans like those offered by HostGator, GoDaddy and Bluehost.
  3. Set up a Google Workspace account for your primary email address. This typically costs $6/month. You might choose to base your email address on your name, like this: FirstName@CompanyName.com.
  4. Ask your developer to point the domain of your name to the domain of your company website. This way if anyone types in “YourName.com” they will arrive at your website.
  5. Ask your best photographer friend to take your headshot. You can also take a headshot using portrait mode on your phone to simulate a blurry background.
  6. If you have the budget, you can hire a professional photographer. This will typically cost $300-500. Discuss with your web designer what types of photos would be helpful for your website, then convey their instructions to your photographer. You can send your photographer a few reference websites for similar businesses to help her envision what types of shots could suit your company. Finally, discuss a location and a shot list for the pictures you’d like your photographer to capture.
  7. Hire a logo designer. Make sure you purchase the “vector” version of your final logo, so that other designers can easily resize and modify it. If your budget allows, a brand guidelines document will help your web designer and any future designers maintain a consistent aesthetic on all your marketing materials.
  8. Write a professional biography for yourself – usually 3 or 4 paragraphs conveying your title, how you help people, your experience, how you began in this industry, and your commitment to excellent results or customer service.
  9. Design and print a set of business cards. You can hire a couple designers on Fiverr and choose the best design. A designer can provide printing, or you can upload your favorite card design to VistaPrint. Business card designers often offer to design letterhead and envelopes. If you plan to send physical mail, you can buy this add-on, though it’s rarely necessary given the digital tools that now dominate business activities.
  10. Work with a copywriter to plan out the text for your website. You can find web copywriters on UpWork or other copywriting freelance websites.
  11. Work with your web designer or developer to plan out the visuals for your website. You should hire a skilled developer with at least 5 quality websites in their portfolio. On UpWork, look for the Top Rated Talent badge to help you choose a reliable freelancer.
  12. Set up your consultation booking process. Calendly and mHelpDesk are useful booking tools you can integrate on your website.
  13. Write a call-to-action to guide people to book a consultation. You’ll also need to write and automate a series of follow-up emails that will go out to customers at each stage of their buying journey – when they book an appointment, after their appointment, when you send them a bill, when you request an online review, etc.
  14. Register business social media profiles on popular networks like LinkedIn, YouTube and Yelp, even if you don’t plan to use them immediately. Save all passwords for any service related to your business on LastPass or another secure cloud solution.

Marketing is what causes a lot of home organizing businesses to fail, so it’s key that you either have extensive marketing experience, dedicate time to learning, or hire the right people to help you.

15. Announce that you’re open!

Tell your friends, family and network that you are open for business.

Many home and garage organization businesses don’t require a physical retail space, so mainly you’ll want to network online, run Google Ads, and do online marketing. Today the most effective online marketing tactics include Tik-Tok videos, YouTube videos, Instagram stories, and in-depth 1,500+ word blog posts. Test different types of marketing, and then create a content calendar to help you regularly publish the type of content that you get the best results with.

Make sure you end each marketing material with a call-to-action to either follow you online, fill out an assessment request form, or book a consultation.

A physical retail space may eventually be useful to show off products, styles and finishes. But typically this will be a better investment once you’ve established a market presence in your area.

16. Document your work.

Always document each job you complete by taking before and after pictures. Keep these pictures backed up to your phone’s cloud (usually iCloud or Google Photos), or upload them to your company’s cloud using the mobile app for Google Drive or Dropbox.

You can use before-and-after pictures in your Google Business Profile, social media posts, case studies, website updates, brochures, postcards and more.

17. Continue learning from other organizing businesses.

Keeping up on the latest trends, best practices, and opportunities can be a full-time job. Take time to read blogs and watch videos from other organizing business experts.

Get inspiration from national brands like the ones we’ll discuss below.

Finally, continue to watch what other organizing businesses in your community are doing. This way, you can make sure you’re always differentiating with at least a few competitive advantages.

18. Hire a team to automate more of your business.

Most business owners want to create a business that “makes money while you sleep.”

In the beginning, you might wear a half dozen hats: visionary, executive decision maker, marketing specialist, sales team, project manager, customer service team, bookkeeper….

Over time, you’ll want to hire people to fill these roles. You can start by hiring people to handle tasks you’re least capable of or that you find the most burdensome. Often these are the same! Of course, your first hires are likely to also wear more than one hat, just like you.

Aim to keep going until you automate everything in your business. A great book on this topic is Built to Sell by John Warrillow. Some founders like to retain their roles as visionary or CEO, but even these are roles you may eventually want to fill with talented employees. This will make your business more profitable, passive, and sellable.

In 2022, professional organizers receive a median pay of $25/hour. This means you can find quality workers at affordable prices. You’ll add value to your business through your products, customer service, and other factors that will set your business apart from solopreneur businesses.

Should You Franchise a Home Organizing Business?

Whether you decide to open a franchise location or not, you can learn a lot from franchises!

If you decide to open a franchise location, it’s important to learn about each relevant franchise opportunity. This way, you can choose the franchise that makes the most sense for your goals, your finances, and the customers in your geographic area. (Helping people choose franchises is actually my specialty!)

Even if you decide to start a unique, non-franchise business, studying franchises will help you learn industry best practices faster than almost anything else besides owning one.

Advantages to Starting a Home Organizing Franchise

Franchises offer a number of advantages over the traditional process of developing your own business concept (the process we discussed above). These advantages include:

  • A proven business model
  • A unique product line with stylish designs and finishes
  • Lifetime product warranties
  • Low or flat royalty fees
  • Low or no inventory to store
  • Turn-key marketing solutions
  • National brand advertising
  • Comprehensive employee training
  • Business support centers
  • A customer relationship management system (CRM)
  • Proprietary design software that wows customers and ensures higher satisfaction with finished installs
  • Best practices from years of fine-tuning
  • Quick start times (In some cases, you can start a franchise in less than 30 days.)
  • Huge product selections encompassing solutions for garages, closest, pantries, laundry rooms, bedrooms, and more
  • Ongoing support to help you expand your business and maximize your potential

Not every franchise offers all of these benefits. During a free consultation, I can show you franchises that check all the right boxes, and that fit with your lifestyle goals.

Top Home and Garage Organizing Franchises

There are several high-performing franchises in the home and garage organization space. Each serves different customer needs and budgets.

Before we discuss, please note:

My service is free. But in order for me to help you, please do not fill out any contact info on these home organizing franchises or other websites. Doing so will prohibit me from helping you determine which franchise matches up for you. If you’d like to meet with me, you’re welcome to book a free consultation on my calendar.

With that out of the way, let’s discuss the top home organization franchises!

Tailored Living

Tailored Living provides clients with a free on-site consultation. The consultation ends with a full design for an organization system that meets the client’s unique needs in each space of their home. Tailored Living has been featured in Extreme Makeover. The franchise maintains quality by extensively training new franchisees during an 11-day program.

ShelfGenie

ShelfGenie also gives customers a free consultation. This franchise specializes in custom, pull-out shelves that glide out of cabinets, pantries, bathrooms and garages. ShelfGenie manufactures all shelves in Alabama based on measurements franchisees take on-site.

GarageExperts

GarageExperts turns garages into spaces where people want to spend more time. Clients can choose from 140 styles of epoxy flooring, each durable and easy to clean. The company also installs slatwall and custom cabinetry.

Closet Factory

Closet Factory starts with a free consultation to introduce customers to the franchise’s huge selection of materials and finishes. Franchisees receive six weeks of training to ensure they can uphold the company’s exacting standards.

Closets by Design

Closets by Design has systems for every type of closet including home offices, laundry rooms, media centers, and more. Customers move from a free consultation to a professional, custom installation. New franchisees receive four weeks of training.

‍Again, if you’d like help choosing a franchise, please just avoid filling out any contact info on these websites or other franchise websites. Doing so would prohibit me from helping you further.

Should You Build from Scratch or Start a Franchise?

Are you wondering…

  • what it takes to start a franchise
  • what franchises are available in your area
  • what franchises you can get meetings with
  • what range of financial outcomes you can expect from particular franchises

Choosing the right franchise is a consequential decision.

There are many factors you should consider, franchises you could evaluate, and even other industries that you ought to assess before making a final decision.

At Learn2Franchise, I help clients make the important decisions on where to invest their hard-earned capital.

The right decision can bring years of steady income and a legacy you can leave your family.

The wrong decision can have a catastrophic impact on your financial health, not to mention your mental and physical wellbeing.

Franchises can change your life.

If owning a franchise is something you’ve been thinking about, schedule an appointment on my calendar!

Franchises have changed my life for the better, and that’s what motivates me every day to meet with other executives looking for the same transformation.

Whether you’re seeking financial security, relatively passive income, or a thriving business you’re proud of, I can help you.

My services are free for entrepreneurs.

In today’s economy, entrepreneurs like you hold the power. That’s why franchises pay consultants a commission for bringing them high quality candidates.

This is why you won’t need to pay any fee for my services. If you’re a good candidate, I will help you find the right franchise for free.

Take the first step today.

I encourage you to take your first step today. Schedule a free appointment on my calendar.

Then get ready to see a world of possibilities open up for you.

Matt Frentheway

As a successful franchisee and entrepreneur, I can help you find the best opportunity to realize your dream of being a profitable franchise owner. Using my proven process as a franchise consultant, we’ll define your goals, narrow the field, and select the best franchisor for you to achieve financial freedom.