Institute for Professional Organizers™

5 Critical Mistakes to Avoid Working with Clients

Mistake #1 – ORGANIZING FOR YOURSELF AND NOT YOUR CLIENT

You love to organize and you even have fun organizing your friends or family members. What about organizing a complete stranger’s kitchen or garage? Will you be able to really listen and seek to understand what ‘organized’ looks and feels like for each client. There are a variety of personality types, barriers to organizing, and mental health issues to navigate and understand to successfully organize others. Working with clients who are chronically disorganized, who have ADHD, or who hoard requires specialized training and experience.
Layer 1 training will introduce you to challenging clients and resources for obtaining training and skills to work with them. You will also learn how to organize every space in a home including the typical habits that cause disorganization, how to create organized zones, product solutions to aid organization, new habits to maintain organization, and the estimated time to organize. PLUS three bonus videos covering working with clients on the A.R.T. of paper management, time management, and on clutter control.
Layer 2 training provides you with the priceless opportunity and experience of working with a real client. You will meet your client, assess their needs, and learn how to close the gap between current state and desired state of their organizing project. You will have hours to work on creating your organizing plan of action including procuring materials. The third day is a full day working side-by-side with your client, instructor, and other training participants to complete the project.
 

Mistake #2 – NO CLEAR PROCESS FOR ORGANIZING

 
Organizing is easy for you, it is just something innate that comes naturally. So, how will you communicate that to someone who doesn’t understand “everything has a place”? This is the key to working with clients. As a Professional Organizer, our goal is to transfer skills to our clients. Having a tried and true process, such as our 5 Steps to Organizing® will not only give you the tool to communicate organizing skills to your clients, it will give you confidence. Layer 1 training will teach you each of the 5 Steps to Organizing® in great detail and Layer 2 training provides you with a client project to practice each of the 5 steps in a real client scenario.
 

Mistake #3 – NOT ESTABLISHING BOUNDARIES AND MANAGING CLIENT EXPECTATIONS

 
It is essential to clearly communicate at the beginning of your relationship what you expect of your client and what your client can expect from you as a Professional Organizer. Layer 1 training will teach how to prepare a Letter of Agreement between you and your clients and business policies that will help you to establish and communicate clear expectations.
 

Mistake #4 – PERFORMING TASKS AND WORKING WITH CLIENTS YOU ARE NOT SKILLED OR TRAINED TO WORK WITH

 
There is a heightened awareness of the need for Professional Organizer services due to reality TV shows such as Hoarders. Watching these types of shows you may be thinking, “That’s what I want to do.  I want to work with people who hoard and make a difference in their lives.” The question to ask yourself is, “Are you skilled and trained to work with them?” Working outside of the skills, education, and experience you have can do more harm than good. In Layer 1 training you will learn to assess your skills as both a Professional Organizer and a business owner. You will also be introduced to challenging client case scenarios and an introduction to resources where you can obtain skills and training to work with specialized client populations.
 

Mistake #5 – WORKING BEYOND YOUR PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS

I have been working as a Professional Organizer since 2003. Before working with clients I didn’t realize how physically demanding this work is. When I organize for myself it is usually small projects that take a maximum of one hour. Working with clients for three or more hours at a time requires a great deal of physical stamina. There is constant lifting, twisting, and bending. You can spend hours on your feet or worse criss-cross on the floor sorting papers. When you do this day after day, year after year, it takes a toll on your joints and overall skeletal structure. It is very important to stay in top physical condition and pay attention to your body. Layer 2 training provides you with a full day (eight hours) working with a client. This will give you an excellent gauge to understand how your body responds to the physical demands of this profession.

 
There are many more mistakes you can make working with clients. Do you want to figure them out on your own? Or, do you want to learn how to work with clients who will be singing your praises over and over?

Save yourself time, money and frustration. Click to immediately start your training and education to become a successful professional organizing business owner and do what you love to do—ORGANIZE!

Leave a Comment