As a professional organizer, you love details, processes, and bringing order to people’s living and working spaces. You’re a huge fan of making lists and following step-by-step methods—that’s what got you so excited about a new job in this field in the first place.
In this role, you’re a problem solver and a people person. Figuring out how you can best help your client based on their needs and coming up with a plan before the actual organizing begins are both essential parts of your job. Just because a space is organized does not mean your work is done—old habits die hard, and your client may want to keep in touch with you for support down the road.
So where does the work begin? We’ve laid some helpful steps out in a tidy list (one of your favorite formats)!
1. Get to Know Your Client
Who is your client, what is their life like day-to-day, and why have they hired you?
These are three important questions to keep in mind as you get to know the person you’ll be working for. Your client could be a busy professional or a stay-at-home parent. Either way, they want to take control of their space and improve their lives.
Clients who seek out the services of professional organizers are looking for someone who has the skills they lack. They cannot tackle the messy situations in their home or office alone, so they need you!
Get a very clear idea of what your client need by asking many questions, seeing their space for yourself, and understanding any vision they may have before getting to work.
Before going into a job, consider what clients look for in a professional organizer. Be confident in your training and experience to provide them with the solutions they need.
2. Come Up With a Plan
Now that you know who your client is and what they need, you can come up with a plan to create order, eliminate messes, and improve the lives of the people living and working in the space!
Your first order of business should be to take the time to walk around their space, whether it be a home or office, and make careful notes for yourself.
Then, create a list of tasks, and a schedule to help you manage your time and prioritize effectively. For a better understanding of your duties and working conditions, take a look at our previous post on the job description of a professional organizer.
3. Get to Work!
Now it’s time to put your plans into action.
One of the first things you’ll do is likely work with your client to purge the space of items they absolutely do not need. How therapeutic!
Are you organizing a home? Here are some potential tasks to get you started:
- Find storage areas in a children’s playroom for toys and books
- Organize an attic, basement or garage
- Create a filing system for paperwork in a home office
In the case of organizing an office, you will be addressing different needs, such as:
- The space of the office and whether each employee has an acceptable surface to work on
- Inventory issues and paper management within an office
- Throwing away unnecessary documents and files
Then, you’ll put some organizational systems in place to help them maintain order going forward.
Keep in mind that your expertise is hugely beneficial to your clients, so allow them time to understand your methods and ask questions in order to learn.
Meet with the client as many times as their specific situation requires. As a professional organizer, you tailor your working hours to the client’s needs, and this means making yourself available depending on the work that needs to be done.
4. Ongoing Process
Old habits die hard—especially messy habits that took years to develop!
Just because you’ve brought order and structure to a client’s home or workplace does not mean your work is done.
As time goes by, hopefully the client will adopt some new, tidier habits, but they still may get in touch with you for help, especially if they go through a major life change. Moving to a new house, starting a new job, or having children all come with a whole host of new organizational challenges! This is why it is so important to maintain strong relationships with your clients during a job—if they feel as though you care about them and their needs, they will trust you and seek out your expertise down the road.
Of course, not every client will be easy. Figuring out some strategies for working with tough organizing clients can help you build a strong relationship, even if at first it seems there’s no hope!