How I Expanded My Residential Organizing Services

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My Basic Home subscription service

The past year has been hard for all of us, but it’s been really exciting to see all the business innovations that have been emerging during the pandemic. Several of my clients have been creating online products and courses, including Janet Schiesl of Basic Organization. She launched what I believe to be the first subscription service of its kind in the organizing industry and now you can read all about it.

Janet

As a professional organizer, I love what I do, and if you had asked me a year and a half ago if I would ever develop a product, I would have said no. Then there was a pandemic and I spent months at home, not working hands-on with clients.

It all started with an idea for a product. I have been blogging for years and I knew that in 2012 I wrote a post each week with 5 organizing activities someone could do to declutter or maintain the organization in their home. Each week had a theme, like the kitchen, office, or photos. What could I do with them? This is when my creativity kicked in. How could I monetize this work?

One thing that kept coming to the front of my thought process was the two questions that I hear often from prospective clients. They are “How long is this going to take?” and “Where do I start?” I realized that I could provide the answers through those 2012 blog posts. My next thoughts were how do I provide it to the public? How do I make money doing so? How can I make it evergreen?

There are so many people who can’t afford or don’t need the hands-on assistance my organizing team offers, but they are still looking for the structure and expertise of an organizer. I landed on the idea of offering a subscription service because of a recent sales experience of a networking colleague. She sells Mary Kay Cosmetics and had been using a text messaging service to promote her products to her clients. I could do something similar with the information I had to share.

That’s when I started developing a subscription service called My Basic HOME (Home Organizing Maintenance Exercise). I used that year’s worth of blog posts that I wrote in 2012 as the structure of the service. To add to the service, I included links to some other blog posts and videos that I had on my youtube channel. I also decided to become an Amazon Associate, so I could further monetize the service (something I should have done years ago, but live and learn). As you can see, I mostly just reused content that I already had. The big work was putting it all together. The most challenging part of this project was creating a whole new website for My Basic HOME, but with the help of Janet Barclay, we were able to pull it off. Check out the My Basic HOME website. You’ll see a simple site where we list all the products mentioned in the whole year of the subscription service (with a short review by me) and then some.

My Basic HOME is a subscription service that is delivered by text message each weekday. Each message offers a quick 15 minutes organizing activity to declutter and/or maintain the organization in your home. Each week there is a theme, so by the end of the week subscribers have achieved organization in one area of their home. Throughout the year we’ll cover all areas of a home: Kitchen, Bedrooms & Baths, Home Offices, Living and Storage Spaces. We also make it fun with exercises called: Storage Scavenger Hunt, Pockets of Clutter, Odds & Ends, and Keeping It Simple. Also covered in some weeks are: Setting up a Structure, Organizing Rules to Live By, Organizing Maintenance Routines, and Donation Week.

As an added benefit to subscribers, we have a private Facebook page where I post a unique message of encouragement every weekday.

We launched in January of 2021 with the help of a social media marketing expert, since I didn’t have experience in product marketing. I also hired a college student to do the daily social media marketing, so I’m pretty hands-off except for the interaction on the Facebook page and I hope to pass that responsibility off to one of my employees in the future.

Now I offer the subscription service to our hands-on clients in order to maintain their space after we work with them and I occasionally offer a free month of the service to the public for promotional purposes too.

It took a pandemic for me to have the time and focus to create this product, but now that it’s up and running I’m so glad I did it. It’s a completely different offering than hands-on organizing that I can now offer.

I’ll be speaking on a similar subject at the 2021 NAPO virtual conference. I’m part of a panel of organizers and productivity experts talking about “Yikes! I’m 60(ish). What are My Options? Diversify and Continue Doing Work You Love!” The panel will be talking about the different ways that we have varied our services as we aged. I’ll be talking about an employee-based business. Please join me virtually.

Gravatar mystery man

Janet Schiesl, CPO© is the owner of Basic Organization. She has grown from a solo-practitioner to a team of organizers who specialize in big jobs with a tight time frame.

She is the Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and a member of the NAPO Board of Directors. Janet has been honored by her colleagues in receiving the Professional Organizer of the Year award and the Volunteer of the Year award from the Washington DC chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.

Gravatar mystery man

Janet Schiesl, CPO© is the owner of Basic Organization. She has grown from a solo-practitioner to a team of organizers who specialize in big jobs with a tight time frame.

She is the Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and a member of the NAPO Board of Directors. Janet has been honored by her colleagues in receiving the Professional Organizer of the Year award and the Volunteer of the Year award from the Washington DC chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.

23 Comments

  1. Julie Bestry on April 14, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Wow, Janet(s), what a great post. Janet (Schiesl), I love hearing about how you used all your past content to create something fresh and useful for clients. This is such an inventive idea!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks Julie. I feel like I’ve tired it all now.

  2. Seana Turner on April 14, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    I’ve enjoyed seeing this new product come to the market, Janet. I think your branding has been terrific with it. I love that you will be sharing about this at conference because it is important to think of alternatives as we get past the age of wanting to climb under the beds and into the eaves! I look forward to listening in!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:16 pm

      And I’m looking forward to listening to your conference presentation. We can always learn more from each other.

  3. Margarita Ibbott on April 16, 2021 at 7:14 am

    I love that you ate repurposing your blog posts. I am doing similar things and love that I’m reconnecting with Professional Organizers.

    I feel this thinking outside the box mentality will be beneficial for those that take services online.

    Congrats on your subscribers.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:17 pm

      Margarita, I don’t think I would have done it if I had had to create the content in 2020. Having the content already was the push I needed.

  4. LISA GESSERT on April 19, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Wow! wonderful…was just talking t my accountant and financial advisor to see if now is the time to close my doors (I am 63) and covid has really git organizing.buzz hard. I am planning to give it one more push till end of 2021 to see if I can make a come-back..this certainly has inspired me!! Thank you for a great blog and putting on my thinking cap to get rolling again!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:18 pm

      Lisa, I’m hoping this subscription service will help me move toward retirement.

  5. Amy Slenker-Smith on April 19, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Great way to monetize this service and reach a different market.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      Yes, we all meet people who need our assistance but can’t afford it, or they just need some structure to DIY their decluttering.

  6. Linda Samuels on April 19, 2021 at 9:22 am

    This is so impressive how Janet S. morphed material that was already created into a solid money-making product. I love the story of how you brought the idea to market and the people that helped you along the way. And how fun that Janet S. and Janet B. worked together. The Janet Team! I’m excited for you and wish you all the best of success with this new development.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      I could not have done it without Janet B!

  7. Ronni Eisenberg on April 19, 2021 at 10:27 am

    This is impressive! Your hard work and motivation really paid off. I love this idea and the fun video on your new website.
    This is such a great example of how need is the mother of invention.

    Bravo to Janet and Janet!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:21 pm

      Ronni, my “mother of invention” was a slow 2020. I needed a project!

  8. Lucy Kelly on April 19, 2021 at 10:45 am

    Love how you turned Pandemic lemons into lemonade, Janet S. Excited to hear how this venture grows. Thanks for sharing it with us Janet B.!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Lucy. I’m working on growing the subscriber list now.

  9. Sabrina Quairoli on April 19, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    I love that you were creative in finding unique ways to make money. Creativity is key to making another avenue for revenue in a small business. Thank you for sharing your process and product. =)

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks Sabrina. I like that I was able to use work I had done years ago in another way.

  10. Janet Barclay on April 19, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    It is no wonder that two Janets make a good team. #6 in this Buzzfeed post explains it all.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks for the link. I’ve never seen this.

      • Janet Barclay on April 21, 2021 at 12:42 pm

        Julie Bestry got me onto The Good Place. I’m watching the final season now.

  11. Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    I thought I had already posted a comment, but I guess not. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. Lucy was right, I turned lemons into lemonaide.

    • Janet Barclay on April 21, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      Thank YOU for sharing your story! It’s a great example of innovation coming out of the pandemic. And we all need to read good news!

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