Have you been asked, so what do you do as an organizing expert or professional organizer? I know I have! When I first started I would simply say “I help people organize”. But as I got more comfortable with what I was doing, I would say, I am a therapist, stylist, interior designer, teacher, and coach. Because when you are truly decluttering with clients, you are doing all these things to support them. To give them the life they dream of. To clear the clutter that they feel is holding them back. I am going to be sharing a few roles you may take on as an organizing expert.
One of my earlier jobs as an in-home organizer, I found myself in a situation where I became the therapist. The marital therapist. I was organizing a client’s basement and the couple ended up getting in a fight. But I was still working with them to declutter things so I needed both of them to work. So I had to play the role of marriage counselor. I was not comfortable doing it, but it is what I had to do to get the job done. I chatted briefly with each partner and we came up with a plan to finish the task at hand.
Now there are organizers out there who truly enjoy this aspect of in-home organizing. I am just not one of them. But if you find that this is something you enjoy, then this should be the problem you solve with your organizing business.
The organizing expert who supports couples as they declutter their items can focus on acting as their organizing therapist. Helping them come together to continue to build a life together.
Another role an organizing expert may become is a personal stylist for their clients. When you help clients with their closets and wardrobes, you end up becoming a stylist for them. You support their needs to better themselves through the clothing that they wear.
Most clients come to you seeking support with decluttering their wardrobes. But as you start helping them, you quickly realize that you are becoming their personal stylist. Supporting them making decisions about outfits, jewelry, and more.
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I have to say that I was surprised to learn that not everyone knows the basic organizing principles. You know the ones that have you remove items you no longer use. Or put things in a place where you can easily find them. Now this isn’t a knock on anyone. It is just a learning opportunity. Which means as an organizing expert, you have to become the teacher and teach your clients these new skills. Because that is what organizing is, a skill anyone can learn.
When you become the teacher, you have to think about how your clients learns the information. Are they hands on, meaning they prefer to do the work themselves? Or do they like to get their information verbally, meaning you just talk it out to them? Maybe they prefer everything written. Or a combination of both. As the teacher you have to figure out their learning style, and present the information in a way that they can actually acquire that knowledge you are sharing.
The Interior Designer
Another hat you may be wearing is that of an interior designer. I have found that as you organize clients, you end up designing spaces as well. Back when I was doing a lot of play rooms for clients, I ended up designing over 50 play rooms. It wasn’t something I thought of at first, but as it continued to happen, I found I really enjoyed that work. But there is a lot to think about when it comes to interior design. You have to know a lot about products, materials, and measurements. You need to be comfortable with people not liking your vision. And you have to feel confident in letting things go if they don’t work.
When you wear the organizer/interior designer hat, you have to plan the space for the client, not for yourself. I have found that you can be organizing a kitchen and that can turn into a conversation about renovating the entire kitchen. Or styling shelves for clients to showcase pieces that they truly love.
The Life Coach
The life coach is a role similar to the therapist. When a client comes to you for organizing help, you may end up listening and supporting them in life decisions. The therapist supports the emotions in the past, while the life coach supports the emotions in the present/future.
As a life coach, you may be doing future planning with your client. What are they going to do with pieces of artwork, could end up in a discussion about where they will be living in a year or two. Organizing kids’ bedrooms can lead to a conversation over family planning.
Get really comfortable in asking questions, rather than giving your input. Because it will help your client guide themselves to the correct answer, instead of you telling them what they should do. If you end up sharing your opinions and they don’t work, that client may hold you accountable for the outcome, which isn’t something you want!
Finding Your Role
Now these roles I listed above are just a few of the many roles you may find yourself taking on as an organizing expert. Not all these roles are going to fit you and your personality. I found that I am not comfortable being a marriage counselor. So I have some screening questions I ask prior to working with couples on storage spaces. I have found other organizers who enjoy this type of work in my area, so I refer clients who need that support to that organizer.
The reason you need to know which roles work best for you, is so that you can find which roles you want to take on as an organizing expert. Once you get clear on what you are comfortable doing, then it makes finding your ideal client that much easier!