Organizer? Coach? Or How about Organizer Coach™?

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The Coach Approach for Organizers

There are so many interesting options for professional organizers in terms of specialization, training, and certification, it can be challenging to figure out which ones may be beneficial to you, your clients, and your business. One of my goals with this blog is to provide you with information to help you make those decisions, and with that in mind, Sue West is visiting today to tell us about The Coach Approach for Organizers™.


“I wonder if he’ll/she’ll really experience a difference. Will she keep up with the organizing systems we collaborated on?”

How many times have you finished a client meeting and had a whisper of a thought like the one above? You know you’ve done the best you can with the skills you have. Is there more you could do?

Or how often have you thought: “I’d like to stay in touch and support her, even if we don’t organize together. But how can I support her in a way that would work for her?”

Or the client you worked with a year ago on her home office. She told you she’d act as a reference; she was on top of the world. You did the best you could at the time, educating with new skills, a systems focus, collaborating on ways that would work for him/her and the situation. Recently she admitted things are still better than before you assisted. But she’s feeling out of control again.

What can you do? You believe you’ve already done your best. Is there a different approach? A deeper way for the client to experience and engage in organizing with you?

Yes. I’m a Certified Professional Organizer®, in business for nearly 6 years, and have felt every one of these experiences, as some of you have. There’s a new credential in our organizing world which may be just right for your business practice.

You may recognize the name Denslow Brown, The Organizer Coach. Denslow won the 2009 NAPO Founders’ Award for the body of her work. If you’re in the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD), you’ll recognize her name from her many classes about working with clients with ADD, and other classes on processing modalities.

She’s established The Institute for Applied Coaching™, and the first application of coaching skills is with organizers. She designed the program and co-teaches with another expert in the coaching field, Cameron Gott, ADD Coach, certified by the Coaches Training Institute.  Together they present the Coach Approach for Organizers™ training classes and shepherd us through to certification if that’s what we choose.

“An Organizer Coach is trained to invite clients to both identify what they want and to commit to shifting their perspective (the mindset that created their disorganization). Whatever the organizing specialty: memorabilia, relocations or corporate, an Organizer Coach is able to support transformation for their clients…. Coaching is a distinct profession with its own expertise; it is no longer a truthful designation for someone who provides an informed and supportive conversation.”

from The Coach Approach website, Denslow Brown

What’s innovative to me is that she’s taken coaching skills and applied them to the organizing world. You could take traditional coaching classes, but you’d have to figure out how it all applies, or not, to your organizing client needs and to your practice.

The program has extensive training on coaching people who have brain-based challenges, ADD being the most common, although others were covered as well. This is all within the organizing client context.

Many of us in this first certification class learned something about ourselves we didn’t know before. For me, it was that I’m not only visual, but I’m darn good at auditory processing (opposite of my perception before the class), and I’m quite a verbal processor (had an inkling, but now I know why it matters as a coach).  How could you be the best coach you want to be for your clients, without knowing yourself in the way you expect to coach? You’ll get to reexamine your own needs and values and understand how these affect and inform your coaching. (Okay, yes, the last time I checked in my values was way too long ago!)

I can’t say enough about the program, but you may not know me, so check out the Coach Approach website testimonials and read for yourself.  You’ll notice that most of us are experienced organizers, already certified as a CPO® or a CPO-CD®. This program will add to your skill set, beautifully complementing what you know to be true already.

If you’re going to the NSGCD Conference in early October, stop by Denslow’s Coach Approach table. The Coach Approach is a bronze sponsor, and we’ll be there, proudly supporting the program.

Program contact:

Denslow Brown, MCC, CPO-CD®, CPO®, SCAC
The Coach Approach for Organizers™
The Institute for Applied Coaching

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A former Productivity Coach & ADHD Specialist, Sue is the author of Change Your Habits ADHD Style and Organize for a Fresh Start: Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life. She previously served as President of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization and the NAPO-Greater Manchester, NH Chapter.

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