Working with an organizing team

14 February 2012

When I started my organizing business in 2005, I exclusively worked one-on-one with clients. It’s intimate, fulfilling, valuable work. But it can be really slow. And that means progress is harder to see and it can become discouraging for the client.

A few years ago, I started to be approached by clients who had very large, whole-house decluttering jobs. I realized that bringing in more help was in order. And so every now and then I would put together an organizing team to effect quick change on giant projects.

In the last year or so I realized that it wasn’t just huge or overwhelming projects that could benefit from a team approach. As the long as the client can handle the hubbub and the faster pace of a team, there are many benefits, not the least of which is the visible results we see after a single session.

I don’t have employees. When I put together an organizing team, I use independent contractors, members of the St. Louis chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers. I call on organizers I know personally, thanks to NAPO St. Louis. I’m always on site supervising them and coordinating the efforts. I’m also typically the one working with the clients to guide decisions.

Here are some of the advantages I have found to team organizing:

  • We get a whole lot done. If I’m working one-on-one with a client, I not only guide the decisions, but implement them. When I’m working with a team, there’s someone to do the leg work and everything happens a whole lot faster. Also, the team members pre-sort items for the client before the keep/donate/toss decisions are made (in a decluttering situation), which makes the decision-making much easier. As a result, the client sees visible progress, which isn’t always the case after a one-on-one session.
  • It’s economical. I charge less for the time of organizing team members than I charge for my own time. So bringing in a team is not only faster than working with me one-on-one, it’s less expensive.
  • More minds are better than one. I populate my teams with smart and talented organizers. I’d be crazy not to tap into their considerable skills and knowledge on the job. While I’m working with the client, I frequently consult team members on the best way to approach or organize a space. So the client benefits from the cumulative knowledge of the group.
  • It’s fun! All the organizers I use love working on teams. Doing work we love (sorting and organizing) alongside our colleagues practically makes us giddy. And that’s contagious. While it’s tiring for the client to make a lot of decisions in a short period of time, most confess to having fun while doing it during our team jobs. Time flies.

Here’s a before and after combo from a team job at the end of 2010. Two of the organizing team members worked in this kitchen while the client worked with me and other team members in another part of the house. The client gave basic parameters and was brought in to answer questions periodically. She was thrilled at the end of the day.

Cluttered kitchen

A cluttered kitchen before a team arrived to help.

Decluttered kitchen

Two organizers created this transformation as part of a team project.

This year, my goal is to help more clients this way. I’m hooked on the fun of the team approach and the quick results. If you have a big project that seems overwhelming, maybe I could bring in an organizing team to help you. Take a look at my Team Organizing page to read a few more details. Then feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email to discuss how a team might help you!

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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