Skip to main content

Ask the Trainer

Question: Hi Anne-
I just picked up a new customer-someone in my networking group. She has already told me that her house is very bad. And others in the group, when they found out she hired me, rolled their eyes and said, "Good luck!". I'm afraid she is most likely a chronically disorganized and maybe a hoarder. Her plan is to sell her house, but right now she's looking to rent somewhere and weed through the stuff in the empty house. She'll probably make a mess in the new place too.

I'm a little nervous about this; I have an appointment on Monday. She seems willing to purge and wants to change and get rid of stuff; I guess I'm a little anxious that if she DOES have a problem, it may be more than I can handle. I've already told myself not to feel bad if we only get so far; it won't be my fault if we take a step forward and 2 back, right? Any wise advice from a seasoned pro?

Answer: My initial reaction is to say, “no” because you don’t have the training to work with a hoarder or even possibly someone who is chronically disorganized. If you feel you want the experience of seeing this type of environment, then I suggest you use the Hoarding Scale from the NSGCD located in the materials I provided you to help you determine what level the environment is. If it is above a level I on the Hoarding Scale, then I advise you not to take the job unless you work with someone who has the training for the level of environment it is. I suggest you ask her to send you some digital pictures and then you can follow-up with a phone needs assessment asking questions based on the Hoarding Scale. This will prevent you from wasting your time and hers if it is an environment that is not suitable to your skill level or is not your ideal client. Find out who are other profesional organizers in your area that are skilled to work with the chronically disorganized or people who hoard so you can refer to them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Professional Organizers are Starting Their Career Younger!

Blessing McKenzie
I had the fantastic opportunity to have Blessing McKenzie, a high school Junior, job shadow me yesterday.Blessing is considering a career as a professional organizer!I think that speaks volumes to where our industry is headed.She also interviewed me for her school project and agreed to let me blog about her questions and my answers.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you face for this job? If you are a business owner, I would say the biggest challenge you face is finding clients, or rather clients finding you.  That’s the simple answer.  The fact is, the biggest problem is having the education and experience to work with chronically disorganized (CD) clients.
What is one thing that surprised you about this career?What surprised me about this career was discovering people are chronically disorganized rather than situationally disorganized.  When I first started my career, I thought I would be organizing people’s things in a more orderly way and put loose things…

Mastering the Business of Organizing

We are very excited to share with you that Anne Blumer updated and expanded her book Get Rich Organizing under a new title, Mastering the Business of Organizing A Guide to Plan, Launch, Manage, Grow, and Leverage a Profitable, Professional Organizing Business.  In this book version, Anne shares with the reader not only how to start and manage a professional organizing business, her complete process for working with clients, skills, and techniques for working with a variety of client types, but now her best held secret--how Anne grew her business with fourteen distinct streams of revenue!

“I wrote Mastering the Business of Organizing A Guide to Plan, Launch, Manage, Grow, and Leverage a Profitable, Professional Organizing Business along with the Institute for Professional Organizers™ curriculum and program because I believe in the immense value of this profession. I want others who aspire to it to represent the industry as experienced and knowledgeable professionals. I also want to sha…

Grow Your Business - Writing

Never in my wildest dreams did I dream of being a published author, because I didn’t think I had the skills to write a book. This is why I did write a book.

From 2009 to 2011 professional organizers in the United States were in make-or-break years. In 2008 and 2009, the United States labor market lost 8.4 million jobs. People were cutting out all discretionary expenses, and that included professional organizing services.

My phone was not ringing, and people were not signing up for my webinars, online training, or live seminars. Many professional organizers left the industry because they were experiencing the same and needed to find employment to pay their bills. Or, if they did not provide the primary source of income for their family and that person lost his or her job, they now needed to find a way to have a steady income.

Interestingly though, many people who lost their jobs and couldn’t find employment wanted to start their own business. They had time on their hands and were watc…