You don’t need a degree in psychology to understand the motivations of people. During your professional organizer training, you’ll learn about client profiles. From the sentimentalist to the pack rat, your future clients will exhibit traits from or completely fall into these profiles. Their emotional and physical cues will help you identify the reasons behind your client’s disorganization.

After figuring out that your client is a huge tree-hugging procrastinator, you’ll need to hatch a personalized plan to get things started. That involves tapping into your emotional intelligence to create solutions that stick!

If you’re not sure about what sorts of emotional skills you’ll need for success in this career, you’re about to find out!

Compassion/empathy

Professional organizing is quite an emotional process. For many clients, their disorganization may stem from a life situation they can’t control. After letting their home spiral into disorganization, taking back control is easier said than done.

In your course, you’ll learn all about the logical steps in the organizing process. But the rate in which you complete each step may take much longer than you think. When the reasons for disorganization stem from grief, for example, compassion and empathy will help you readjust your client approach. When you’re empathetic to your client’s needs and situations, dissecting their habits will become easier.

Your clients may not always say what they mean or mean what they say. You’ll need much more than just hard skills to improve their quality of life. Combine your emotional skills with tested organizing strategies. When you make adjustments with consideration of your client, the process will become much easier on them!

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Patience

Regulating your emotions is important when working with organizing clients. Sometimes what’s obvious to you isn’t obvious to them. Practicing patience is handy when it comes to listening and communicating with clients. As we mentioned briefly, you need to find the root of their disorganization or messiness before you can start the organizing process.

The stress from a disorganized home coupled with the stress of attempting to sort through it all can be overwhelming. Once in a blue moon, you may have a client who becomes hysterical when confronted with the massive amount of work ahead of them. You’ll need to have a calm and steady demeanor when working with them. Decluttering seems systematic to you, but it can be potentially emotionally distressing for the client. Patiently re-orienting them toward their goals means not rushing them through the process. You’ll adjust your plans for them according to their progress, lifestyle, and emotional state.

Motivation and optimism

Yes, we’re cheating with this entry! Although technically two different traits, they are so inexplicably tied that we can’t separate them!

At the start of your work with your client, you’ll collaborate to create realistic goals. It’s important to revisit your goals throughout the process! Otherwise, what’s the point in defining them? But when things don’t go according to plan, and they don’t make adequate progress despite being able to, you need to hold them accountable. You shouldn’t be chastising them, but you also need to make a point about how falling behind affects the big picture.

Be careful not to leave a negative impression. Even when you’re pointing out a mistake or any type of setback, follow up with motivation. With outright optimism, push them towards their goals. Explicitly pointing out what they’ve accomplished already allows them to get a sense of their timeline. Reestablishing the big picture allows them to see a definitive end. With your encouragement and adjustments to their personal organization plan, you’ll you show them that they’re not alone. And when that happens, they can make progress in leaps and bounds.

Honesty

Be honest yet professional. Remember that you’re still talking to a client. You may need to adopt a firmer stance, but any blunt advice should be cushioned. Professional organizing is a somewhat intimate process for people. The average person may have trouble letting go of sentimental objects even if they’re hindrances!

Don’t just make blank general statements either. Whenever you give advice, link it to any observation and explain how the change can benefit them. You should also contextualize it in the grand scheme of things. It’s easy for the chronically disorganized to focus just on what’s in front of them. But a glimpse of the bigger picture allows them to see why they hired you in the first place.

Praise them when they’re making progress and be honest with them when they’re falling behind! The biggest role you have after creating custom organizational solutions for them is to keep them on track. More than likely, their disorganization can’t be solved by downloading a few phone apps. They may have all the tools before them, but they need someone objective to push them to do something they already know they need to do.

Are there any other emotional skills we missed? Leave a comment to let us know!

Did you know that eco-friendly design is gaining popularity in professional organizing? Learn how to make the most of green design!

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