So what books do you need to read to become a CPO® (Certified Professional Organizer)? 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. 

So in this video, I’m reviewing that list and breaking it down into more manageable categories.

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

My newly organized booklist is broken down by these categories – ethics, general organizing, learning styles, niches, Professional Organizing career guides, productivity, and project management. I recommend reading something from each category to diversify your understanding of the many challenges organizers and their clients face. 

I’ve created a checklist and organized all the books by categories and uploaded that as a bonus in my Introduction to Professional Organizing course. If you are already a student in that course you will see that now 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!

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


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

General Organizing

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

Organizing for the Creative PersonLehmkuhl,Dorothy & Lamping, Dolores Cotter
Organizing for Your Brain TypeNakone, Lanna
Organizing From the Right Side of the BrainSilber, Lee


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


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

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Project ManagementBaker, Sunny
Project Management for Dummies*Graham, Nick*possible newer editions
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! ?

No worries, you’ll also need 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, so you’ll have lots of time for reading.

You can substitute some of those hours by, among other things, taking organizing courses. Check out my course HERE. I’ve condensed 2 decades of research and work experience to help you launch your business faster…enjoy!

Happy Organizing ?