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How do you respond to: "and how are you going to keep me organized once you leave?"

Donna MaloneDonna Malone Enrolled Posts: 95
Ummmmmmm?!? I just finished with a consultation that has bins and containers galore everywhere in every shelf, drawer, closet, etc, but nothing is where is SHOULD be. She asked "So I'm going to pay you to come in and get things where they belong, but what's going to make me keep it that way? I organize and clean every once in while and get everything back, but it just gets back to chaos." FYI she has 3 boys! Suggestions? Articles? Coaching tricks? HELP!


  • Amanda McCrearyAmanda McCreary Enrolled Posts: 47
    Golden opportunity for a maintenance type of plan! Maybe offer her a slight discount to come back on a monthly basis to help her "reset". I try to emphasize to all clients just how important maintenance is. Our job is to make the system workable for them and to teach them how to maintain it. Part of this is often adding a new habit or routine to their schedule, like spend 15 minutes each evening just putting things away, especially with families who don't always put things where they belong. As far making the organizing as low maintenance as possible, label, label and label some more! This way all family members have little excuse as to not putting things where they go. Also, make the kid stuff accessible to them depending on age so they can participate in keeping things picked up. Also, encourage more purging. Personally, I find that the clients who keep way more than they need are the ones who have the most difficulty in maintaining. Hope that helps!
  • Donna MaloneDonna Malone Enrolled Posts: 95
    Yes, thank you. She's becoming more and more difficult and I have yet to schedule a working session with her! Only a consultation and consultation review/suggestion follow-up email. She had a problem with EVERY suggestion I made including bins in the garage "I don't want everything closed away. We prefer an open shelving look (but that's what they have...how's that working out for ya?! I wanted to say). She refuses to hang things on the wall...I mean NOTHING! Doesn't want to hang shelves because it's a new build and she doesn't want to damage the walls with holes. She doesn't want to label things because she doesn't want her house to look like a "school room" she says. Sooooo, I'm contemplating for the FIRST time "Maybe I'm not the right organizer for you. Perhaps you can find someone with better ideas that suit your needs and esthetic style." It's just potentially an entire house project, easily 40-50hrs worth of work! But is she going to be more trouble than what it's literally worth?! What to do with problem clients :)
  • Cynthia MurrayCynthia Murray Administrator, Enrolled Posts: 1,058
    It sounds like a bumpy start already. I know it would be hard to accept putting nothing on the walls, especially since it'd make a huge difference in organizing and decorating for that matter, but being clear on wanting no labels...that may be hard to get past. Obviously things need to change and the client knows that, which is why she reached out, but she will need to be open to new ideas. Labeling can help with keeping up with the organization, and can be done in a tasteful manner. I'd weigh the pros and cons and see how you feel about moving forward.
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