Tidy Talks

How to Prepare for Your First Organizing Session

What you need to know to prepare for your first organizing session

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a new client who was at her wit's end with the clutter in her home. After a brief introduction, I asked what led her to call and listened intently as she told me her story. Nothing that she said was out of the ordinary, so I went down my usual list of questions to find out more about the situation and we began talking about the next steps. My first appointment with a client is always an in-home consultation. During that time, I walk through the areas of concern with the client, listen to their needs, and take notes (which will help me develop a strategy of where to start).

She asked if we could schedule the consult a few weeks out and I didn’t have an issue with it, but given her enthusiasm during our call, I was curious to know why. I asked and she said “I need to tidy up before you get here because I don’t want you to see my house like this.”

Say what? I was shocked, confused and speechless. All that I could think at the moment was “why would anyone want to organize before the organizer comes over?” After a few seconds of silence, I let her know that organizing before I came was not necessary and it would not allow me to effectively help her. She didn’t seem to understand why, so I provided her with a few examples:

• When you hire someone to paint a room, do you paint before they come?

• When you hire someone to prepare your taxes, do you crunch numbers before you meet?

• When you hire someone to fix your car, do you try to fix it before you take it in for service?

If she tried to organize before I arrived, I wouldn’t be able to assess the real situation and help her truly solve any organizational challenges she was facing. I let her know that my goal was to help her become (and stay) organized. Once she understood where I was coming from, she asked “well then what should I do until you get here?

I told her that the best way to prepare for the first organizing session would be to think through her daily routine, note all of the areas that could be improved if they were organized, and be ready to share that with your organizer when they arrive. Other than that, all she needed to do was sit back, relax, and envision what her new life would feel like in an organized home.

Happy organizing Tidy Team!



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