If you want to become a certified home organizer, there is a lot of reading you need to do first. This article will cover the important categories and books that make up the recommended reading list for professional organizers.

I’m often asked what are my favorite organizing books or what books I read when becoming a CPO®.

The BCPO® Handbook (the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers) lists about 40 books in their recommended reading list, so it can be a little overwhelming. 

While you definitely don’t need to read all 40 of the recommended books to get started with your professional organizing business, you definitely should read a few books to get you started.

In this article, I review the 40 recommended books from the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers list and I break them down into more manageable categories.

I was surprised that a few books were hard to find and possibly even out of print. And, since the list was organized in alphabetical order, I spent more time than I’d like to admit rearranging the list into categories.

I broke down the recommended reading list for professional organizers into the following categories:

  • ethics
  • general organizing
  • learning styles
  • niches
  • Professional Organizing career guides
  • productivity
  • project management

I recommend reading a book from each category to help diversify your understanding of the many challenges organizers and their clients face.

I’ve also created a checklist and organized all the books by categories as a bonus in my Introduction to Professional Organizing course. If you are already a student in that course you will see that added into your online portal.

If you are not a student yet, I would love for you to join me. My goal with the course is to give you enough tools so that you are confident enough to start taking clients right away!

If you prefer to watch my YouTube video on the recommended reading list for professional organizers, click the video below. Otherwise, keep scrolling to read on!

Recommended Reading List from BCPO® (the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers)


These books are all about the ethics of what it means to become a professional organizer. To view a book, simply click on the title.

Code of Ethics for Certified Professional OrganizersBCPO
Ethics for the Real WorldHoward, Ronald

General Organizing

For more general organizing inside of a home, these books make up the recommended reading list for professional organizers. Depending on what your organizing style is, these books will help you figure out exactly what style is right for you. To view a book, simply click on the title.

Making Peace With the Things in Your LifeGlovinsky, Cindy
Less Clutter, More LifeHemphill, Barbara
Organized to LastKnight, Porter
Organizing from the Inside OutMorgenstern, Julie
SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting UnstuckMorgenstern, Julie
Lighten Up! Free Yourself from ClutterPassoff, Michelle
It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your KeysPaul, Marilyn
Learn to OrganizePedersen, Sara
Organizing for DummiesRoth, Eileen & Miles, Elizabeth
Organizing Plain and SimpleSmallin, Donna
The Organizing Sourcebook: Nine Strategies for Simplifying Your LifeWaddill, Kathy
It’s All Too MuchWalsh, Peter
Getting Organized (2006 edition)Winston, Stephanie

Learning Styles

If you want to read about your learning style and how your personality affects your organizing, these books are great. To view a book, simply click on the title.

Organizing for the Creative Person Lehmkuhl, Dorothy & Lamping, Dolores Cotter
Organizing for Your Brain TypeNakone, Lanna
Organizing From the Right Side of the BrainSilber, Lee
Reading List for Professional Organizers


Yes, professional organizers have niches. Not every organizer is a home organizer. There are so many different niches and it’s important that you figure out which niche is right for you. My niche is home organizing, kitchen organizing, closet organizing, and extreme clutter organizing. To view a book, simply click on the title.

Fabjob Guide to Become a Professional OrganizerJasmine, Grace
How to Start a Home-Based Professional Organizing BusinessNoble, Dawn
Born to Organize: Everything You Need to Know About a Career as a POPedersen, Sara
Organizing for a Living Tiani, Jackie


It is possible for a professional organizer to not be productive on the job. These books make up the recommended reading list for professional organizers who want to learn how to be productive while on the clock. To view a book, simply click on the title.

Getting Things DoneAllen, David
Getting Organized in the Era of EndlessJudith Kolberg
Time Management from the Inside OutMorgenstern, Julie
Organize Your Family’s Schedule in No TimeSgro, Valentina
Making Time Work For You (old and new editions)Taylor, Harold

Project Management

Organizing a home is definitely a huge project. It’s not as simple as walking into a home and getting it cleaned. Make sure you’re prepared for the large project by checking out one of these books. To view a book, simply click on the title.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Project ManagementBaker, Sunny
Project Management for Dummies*Graham, Nick
Essential Managers: Project ManagementHobbs, Peter
Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and TeamsSchmidt, Terry

I know, that’s a lot of reading! But it’s really not that bad.

To become a certified professional organizer, you’ll need a minimum of 1500 paid working hours as a Professional Organizing over a 5 year period (recently updated from 3 years) before you can sit for the exam. That means you have plenty of time to read at least one book in each of the above categories.

You can also substitute some of the 1500 paid working hours by, among other things, taking organizing courses. Check out my courses HERE if you’re just getting started. My courses have condensed 2 decades of research and work experience to help you launch your business faster, smarter, and better. I know you’ll love it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the recommended reading list for professional organizers.

Happy Organizing!


If you’re someone who LOVES organizing, consider starting your own organizing business.

Get a copy of my free guide “Professional Organizer’s Launch Guide” HERE.

There are many things to consider when starting an organizing business including:

  • When will I name my business?
  • Where will I find clients?
  • How do I become an organizer?
  • Do I need to be certified to get started?
  • How will I structure my business?

You have come to the right place!

When you are ready to start your own professional organizing business, check out all my courses on working as a home organizer. My course bundle has the best prices on courses so that you can create and market your organizing business and design a system of organization that will work with all your clients no matter how small or large their volume of clutter is! Check out the course bundle here: Online Boot-Camp for Organizing Bosses

You can also check out my other blogs on how to start a home organizing business:

Happy Organizing!