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Coaching a Client to Purge

BowerBower Enrolled Posts: 45
Today I did a practice project with a friend. She wanted to purge a lot from her closet, and we did end up SORTing about four kitchen bags out of her closet, but I still felt as if I was not coaching her enough through the purging process. In other words...I kept noticing how she talked herself into keeping thing that could have easily been offloaded, and this made me feel as if I was not doing my job!

I did find that asking her questions helped. For example, when she said, "but this might come in handy", I asked "How long do you think it will be before it comes in handy?" She said, "You are right! I will never use it! Let's toss it." Another time, I asked, "Which would you like more right now-more space for things you now you want to keep....or using space for something you don't know when you will use?" That was also effective.

What are other questions I could ask? Questions seem to be a really powerful way to help clients make better decisions without feeling like they are being forced to change or let go of things they don't really want to.


  • BowerBower Enrolled Posts: 45
    Thank you so much for the replies! All of them really help! I feel as if your suggestions will get me into a better mental space as I work with a client, and give me some practical methods and systems to use :)
  • Vicki KaminskyVicki Kaminsky Enrolled Posts: 32
    what can you say when you are trying to help a client purge papers some from 1997 when they say I might need it for a "reference" one day and than says "it can't hurt" to keep it. For example she had a sidewalk replaced and wants to keep the information to refer back to the vendor that she had work with his company IN CASE she needs him again. I asked her if we could put the contact names in her phone or start a file for contacts but she wants to keep each one in a separate folder and said she would forgot how she listed the name in her phone.
  • Amanda McCrearyAmanda McCreary Enrolled Posts: 47
    One tip on selling the phone contact idea, forget the name and just save it under context they will remember, ex: first name: sidewalk last name: repair
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