Checklists and Contracts and Agreements – Oh my!

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It’s amazing how many different forms you need in order to operate a professional organizing business! Some are just for your own use, such as client information sheets, assessment forms, and checklists. Others, such as invoices and letters of agreement, communicate important information to your clients.

Any forms you’ll be using with clients must be completely error-free, easy to read, and reflect your professional image. This isn’t quite as critical for those that are for internal use only, but you will still need them to be well-designed so they are easy for you to follow and so you’re not stumbling over your words when you’re speaking to your clients.

Organized Assistant forms

It will be easier for you to develop an appropriate organizing plan for each of your clients by having a set of standard questions that you ask, whether this is done in person or over the telephone. Figuring out just what those questions should be can be a real challenge when you’re just starting out in your business and don’t really know what things are important to ask about. Writing up your first agreement can also be difficult, because until you’ve run into situations such as client cancellations, you may not think of addressing them in your contract.

Fortunately, a lot of seasoned organizers have made their expertise available to you, so you don’t have to learn by trial and error. Here are a few resources that I recommend:

  • Lisa Montanaro applied her expertise as a lawyer and a professional organizer to develop a comprehensive Client Agreement Template for Professional Organizers which you can customize to meet the needs of your business.
  • Maria Gracia’s Ultimate Guide For Professional Organizers includes a collection of fill-in forms which you can copy and use. The Ultimate Guide is available in either PDF or print format.
  • If you’re handy with a word processor, you can create your own forms following the guidelines provided in Anne Blumer’s guide for professional organizers, Get Rich Organizing or the updated version, Mastering the Business of Organizing.
  • Sara Pedersen offers a set of five essential client forms, including a Client Phone Intake Form, Client Service Agreement Form, Client Assessment Form, Client Action Plan Form, and Client Feedback Survey Form
  • Geralin Thomas’s New Organizer Essentials bundle includes a detailed Client Intake, Assessment, Homework & Activity Log, a Client Letter of Agreement, and other valuable documents which you can customize with your own branding and business information.

Although not specific to organizing, Coach Glue offers a free New Client Kit of 17 popular forms, including an intake form, client invoice, agreement, confidentiality agreement, and much more.

Here’s a question for the experienced organizers: what forms do you use most often in your business?

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Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

8 Comments

  1. Heather Burke on May 26, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I wish that this information had been available when I started in the organizing business over 10 years ago. It would have made life and business so much easier.

  2. Janet Barclay on May 27, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Heather, there are sometimes drawbacks to being a forerunner in your industry! Although there are a lot more tools and resources available now, people don’t always know what to look for or where to look – which is one of the reasons I started this blog.

  3. Lauren, Upstate Clutter Coach on December 16, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Great post! I’ve created all my own forms but got lost in the weeds when attempting to create my action plan. I need to invest in one just so I can see what my competitors are supplYing to their clients. I don’t want to have too little (wasted investment) or too much information (potentially overwhelming the client). I’ll be clicking through these links for sure.

    • Janet Barclay on December 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Anne Blumer’s book has a good sample Action Plan, but Sara Pedersen’s form sounds pretty good too!

  4. Deven Barnett on October 31, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Hello! Do you have a connection to a sample waiver of liability? Thank you!

    • Janet Barclay on November 1, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Anne Blumer’s book includes Limitation of Liability text to include in an agreement. Is that what you’re looking for, Deven?

  5. Seana Turner on January 20, 2021 at 11:50 am

    If I were starting over, I would definitely explore these templates. I sort of did everything “on the fly,” and this would have been better. NAPO has a New Member Kit which is helpful to new organizers. It includes some templates for various aspects of organizing, and is a benefit of membership for sure.

    • Janet Barclay on January 20, 2021 at 12:55 pm

      That’s a great benefit for new members. I got my initial forms as part of a Become a Professional Organizer course I took (in 2002) and they were so helpful!

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