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Helping your clients identify their personal organizing style

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client interview
Over the past couple of months, we’ve been talking about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and how your client’s personality type affects their relationship with time and space. It’s quite fascinating, but even if you become trained to administer the MBTI, simply telling your client, “your type is ENFP” isn’t going to be terribly helpful.

Whether you use personality type or not, you need to help your client understand their own organizing strengths and challenges. The following questions will help them to think about things they may not have considered previously.

Before you can help someone get organized, you need to understand their personal organizing style.Click To Tweet

Organizing Assessment Questions

  1. Do you consider yourself organized or disorganized?
  2. Do others consider you to be organized or disorganized?
  3. Do you waste time looking for things you need?
  4. Are you a “piler” or a “filer”?
  5. When you clean your desk, a closet, or the garage, is it easy for you to throw things out or do you tend to get bogged down?
  6. Is it difficult for you to part with things even though they have outlived their usefulness?
  7. Do you keep a lot of things for sentimental reasons?
  8. Do you keep things just in case you need them again in the future?
  9. Do you weed out paper and belongings often and systematically?
  10. Do you share your workspace and/or living space with someone with a different organizing style than your own?
  11. Are you an “info maniac” (saving many articles, newspapers, or books you’ve read)?
  12. Do you like to collect things?
  13. Are you a highly visual person who needs to keep everything in sight?
  14. Which of your current strategies are working well for you?
  15. What are your biggest challenges or weaknesses in terms of organization?

Once your client has identified some of their strengths and weaknesses, it may be helpful to compare their answers to those of others who share the same personality type preferences.

What other questions do you ask during a client assessment?

Photo © photographee.eu / depositphotos

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.

9 Comments

  1. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on October 12, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Great list of questions. I tend to go with the flow with the clients, especially if it is a client I have worked with before. I am a questions person so I like to refine the process and make it as easy as possible so they can determine if it will work for them. Then we add to the process as needed.

  2. Hazel Thornton Hazel Thornton on October 14, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I always ask, “How does this space make you feel?” and “How would you rather feel in this space?” And, “What does ‘organized’ look like to you?”

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on October 14, 2016 at 10:17 am

      I especially like that last one – because everyone has their own perception!

  3. Avatar Linda Samuels on October 17, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Questions are the key to understanding…and listening too. I listen to their language: what they say and don’t say, the tone they use to express their thoughts, their facial expressions and body language. All of those give clues as to how they think and feel, what works and doesn’t work, what’s important to them or not.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on October 17, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Great points, Linda – what they don’t say can be at least as significant as what they do say!

  4. Avatar Constance Williamson on August 29, 2019 at 8:33 am

    This is so helpful! I have a meeting with my first potential client this coming week and these questions are a great jump off for me. Thanks!!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on August 29, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      That’s so exciting, Constance! I wish you much success, and would love it if you’d come back and let me know how the questions worked for you.

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