Home Organization Industry: A Clean Sweep
It’s that time of year when the sun starts to shine more, temperatures begin to rise, birds are chirping, delicate flowers push through the earth, fresh breezes gently waft through open windows and many of us are inspired to do our annual spring cleaning, giving ourselves a fresh clean start to the season. For many this also means uncluttering the clutter, and getting ourselves organized. As Isabella Mary Betton wrote in The Book of Household Management, 1861:
“A place for everything and everything in its place”
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by clutter with the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ we accumulate every day from junk mail to household sundries to all the other bits and pieces that come through the door every day. Whether we are packrats who have difficulty parting with things or minimalists who are compelled to toss out the excess, organization is the key to maintaining one’s sanity. An entire industry of both products and services has been built around our need to organize our homes and offices, and that industry continues to grow even in a sluggish economy.
HOME ORGANIZATION PRODUCTS
According to the Freedonia Group, a leading international business research company, the US Demand for home organization products will increase 3.6% annually, reaching $8.6 billion in 2015.
Decorative products such as bins, baskets and totes account for the largest share of product sales at 37%, while modular unit products are expected to exhibit the largest annual gains of nearly 5% annually through 2015. The dual role of baskets, et.al., being both decorative and functional, is particularly appealing to consumers, as home organizers can easily add on to these storage systems and rearrange them as their needs change. Modular units, while not necessarily decorative in nature are also highly adaptable, making them a popular choice as well.
Product market segments particularly driving the growth of the home organization industry include closet systems and garage systems. Also, the impact of the shifting lifestage of baby boomers is creating a growing number of empty nesters who are moving to smaller homes at the same time their children are moving into college housing. Both groups represent an increased opportunity for marketing space-saving home organization products.
Garage systems are anticipated to grow most rapidly at 5.5% annually through 2015. The Freedonia Group credits this growth to several factors including the relative newness of the segment and increased product offerings combined with larger garage spaces and consumer desires to modify garages into hobby and other activity spaces. More information can be obtained through the full study #2774.
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION SERVICES
In January 2011, Office Max and Kelton Research teamed up to conduct a workplace organization survey of 1,000 adults. The survey assessed their attitudes and behaviors regarding organization and revealed that “clutter at home or the office plagues their productivity, mentality, happiness and confidence as many feel embarrassed by how untidy they are.” Despite this, actually getting organized is difficult for many of us.
Have no fear, there is help out there! The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) is a non-profit association representing the home and office organization industry around the world. The association has approximately 4,000 members, and 35 active chapters worldwide, representing the full spectrum of the global industry including professional organizers, productivity specialists, authors, educators, trainers, manufacturers, and more.
Professional organizers and productivity specialists serve both the home and business sectors helping clients manage space, information, time, events, and even photos and other collections. In 2007, the industry began certifying professionals, and the resulting CPO world-class certification is recognized as the industry standard. According to NAPO, the top five reasons professional organizers are hired are:
• Too much clutter
• General disorganization
• Difficulty determining what to keep and/or discard
• Difficulty finding things
• Selling a home or moving
There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs and franchisors within the professional organizing industry from sole proprietorships to consultancy or subcrontractor companies to multi-faceted corporations. Individuals with a passion for order and efficiency are perfect for this industry. As with any business, location is important. Our GeoMetrx web-based mapping software is loaded with rich demographic data for retail site selection, consumer profiling and market analysis. For more information or a demo call us at 1.888.848.4436.