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How to gain more clients with an organizing party

There are a lot of Christmas parties and other festivities happening this month, but my guest today is going to tell us about a different type of party altogether. If you’re looking for new ideas for your organizing business, you’ll want to read about Kate Martin’s organizing parties!

organizing party

Some people would rather go to the hospital for major surgery than get their homes or lives organized. The thought of taking the time to go through their possessions and cull out things sounds like a lot of hard work. But what if it wasn’t? What if there was a much more fun and less soul-sucking kind of way to get your life in order?

Enter the organizing party. It sounds like a trick at first, for sure. But the beauty of an organizing party is that you leave with less than you came with. That’s right. Less clutter in your purse. Less confusion in your brain. Less weight on your chest. Plus, no trinkets or gadgets to buy because less is more when getting organized.

Professional Organizers have been helping people clear their homes for decades. Yet we still often have to explain what we do. A typical Professional Organizer goes to a client’s home and works one on one with them to reduce physical clutter from their living spaces. It may be one session or it may be a lifelong friendship that spans several houses. Either way it’s a relationship built on trust from both the organizer and the client.

Some people would rather have surgery than get their homes or lives organized. @organizedjoyllcClick To Tweet

There can be many barriers to working as an organizer in a client’s home like time, cost and freedom. So that is why I introduced the organizing party format in my business as a way to knock down those walls.

  • Time? I offer organizing services during the work day, but not all clients can take the day off work. Organizing parties can be offered at night to accommodate 9-5 work schedules.
  • Cost? The cost of attending a party is minimal compared to hiring a professional organizer to work one on one. Hosting a party may be the best way to find clients who have never hired an organizer. Show them how valuable you are and how they can’t live without you.
  • Freedom? The food, drinks and enthusiasm from other people at a party help soften up the shy ones. Once they find out their friends leave papers all over the kitchen, too, it’s easier for them to admit their homes need a little tweaking.

I added organizing parties to my menu of services based on the system developed by Sara Pederson (visit www.timetoorganize.com for more information). I have adapted each of the themed parties I offer over the years to make them feel more like me. It’s also a great way to introduce new techniques learned from classes and books to a large yet intimate group.

The Joyful Business PlannerWomen attending makeup, cooking or jewelry parties know what to expect. There is a traditional format of speech, touch, sell. The difference with organizing parties is the sell portion. The person attending doesn’t buy but rather does an activity that resonates with their lifestyle and gets them thinking.

In my purse organizing party, each person attending actually clears out their purse. We play purse bingo. We learn maintenance techniques to keep it clearer in the future. I award a purse organizing product as a door prize that’s actually useful. Then, as each woman leaves they literally feel lighter and go home with less, not more stuff to find a home for.

In my stress-free holidays party, everyone receives a binder with helpful handouts. We learn techniques to bring joy back to the holidays. We fill out worksheets that help simplify gift buying and holiday meal planning. There’s even a popular ice breaker I created that involves relieving stress with holiday supplies – I dare my clients to try popping bubble wrap while not cracking a smile. Try it with your clients any time you need a light moment.

My favorite party by far is the family command center party. I ask each person to bring all their loose papers from their desk, kitchen counter and car. I hand out desktop file boxes with pre-labeled folders like “school” and “taxes”. We take a fun quiz to see what categories of papers they have in their lives. Then we sit, drinks in hand, and sort. It’s a different atmosphere than an organizing session at a client’s home, but it works. We recycle, we shred on the spot, and we cheer each other on. Everyone learns new techniques for handling the papers in their lives, plus they gain hands on experience with their own papers. Then they get to bring their file box home, ready to go – how cool is that?

Hosting a party may seem like an unusual way to gain clients, but it’s really a workshop in disguise. I don’t tell my clients that, because workshop equals boring lecture, but parties are fun! So if you are looking for a way to attract new clients in a refreshing new format, consider an organizing party. You get to polish your speaking skills and gain testimonials. You might score a lot of sign-ups for your newsletter. You could also gain a whole new group of clients and that seems like it’s worth a party to me.

Photo © Elena_Barinova / depositphotos

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Kate Martin is a CPO®, secretary for NAPO Austin, a certified art teacher and owner of Organized Joy LLC. She has been featured on Fox 7, hosts a blog and YouTube video series and is the author of The Joyful Business Planner. She juggles being a business owner, wife and mom with help from decorating magazines and chocolate.

Gravatar mystery man

Kate Martin is a CPO®, secretary for NAPO Austin, a certified art teacher and owner of Organized Joy LLC. She has been featured on Fox 7, hosts a blog and YouTube video series and is the author of The Joyful Business Planner. She juggles being a business owner, wife and mom with help from decorating magazines and chocolate.

22 Comments

  1. Avatar Linda Samuels on December 12, 2016 at 10:31 am

    What a brilliant concept! I’m organized and it makes ME want to go to one of your parties. Bravo for adding the fun quotient into a process that can be scary for many.

    • Avatar Kate Martin on December 12, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      They really are fun! It’s a great way to get an audience in front of people that are hesitant to get organized but will actually enjoy it once they know more.

  2. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on December 12, 2016 at 11:33 am

    What a great idea! I love this for a girls night out for a group of close friends. I especially like the idea of sorting and shredding in a group. Paper management is pretty stressful when done on your own, but by doing it together, it takes some of the stress off of the process. Thanks for sharing.

    • Avatar Kate Martin on December 12, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Sometimes I bag each person’s shredded paper individually to determine who has the most. Then the biggest bag wins a prize for their efforts. People start looking for more things to shred as I announce the contest!

  3. Avatar Seana Turner on December 12, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I love this idea.. I think I will throw one of these in the new year! Love the idea of going home with “less” or more order. Thanks for sharing:)

    • Avatar Kate Martin on December 12, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks Seana! Everyone is especially willing in January to attend a party that will help them drop the mental/clutter heavy pounds.

  4. Liana Liana on December 12, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Fabulous ideas! Not only is a great way to get our business and services out there, but a great way to help relieve the stress of clutter in a fun setting!

    • Avatar Kate Martin on December 12, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      They really are quite fun. The more hands-on activities you do, the more everyone seems to like the idea of organizing. I think people get worried that organizing equals mental stress but it’s so satisfying to show them that’s not true.

  5. Avatar Allison Weigensberg on December 12, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    This is beyond brilliant! I have been toying with this idea for a while, but the suggestions you made for the types of organizing parties are going to give me the boost I needed!

    • Avatar Kate Martin on December 12, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      That is so great to hear! You should totally put your spin on them and see what you can come up with. Themed holiday ideas tie in really well as do gathering up a group of “boy moms” or women who sell direct sales items. They love learning that they all have the same struggles but rarely talk about the skeletons in their closets for fear of looking bad on Facebook. Then they put all their papers on the table and just start giggling at how silly their fears were. It’s so satisfying to help a big group of people versus just one client.

  6. Avatar Kathy McEwan on December 13, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I absolutely love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to try it.

    • Avatar Kate Martin on December 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      You should give it a shot – they are very fun to host and attend!

  7. Avatar Janet Barclay on December 14, 2016 at 5:42 am

    Kate, just look at all the people you’ve inspired with your post! Thank you again for taking the time to write about your organizing parties.

    • Avatar Kate Martin on December 14, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Thanks for letting me share Janet!

  8. Avatar Julie Stobbe on December 14, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Love the idea Kate. Thanks for sharing this new approach to organizing.

    • Avatar Kate Martin on December 15, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Julie! I hope you give it a try and it’s successful for you.

  9. Avatar Christina Hidek on December 19, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I cannot tell you how much I love this concept. I’ve been looking for a way to game-ify organizing for people and this is a fantastic idea. Thank you for sharing!

    • Avatar Kate Martin on December 19, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Christina, you are very welcome! I’m sure you’ll have a lot of success with it. It’s a great way to game-ify organizing as you say.

  10. Avatar Buffy on September 23, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Great idea. How do you find people to attend the party? Is it in your home or theirs? What are the minimal costs?

    • Avatar Kate Martin on September 25, 2017 at 8:48 am

      I do a lot of speaking engagements and people often book a party based on hearing me talk. So if I speak at a mom’s club a lot of times one of them will book the party, invite some of the people from the speech, and also some of her other girlfriends. The party is hosted at the client’s home so she can provide snacks and drinks. The costs are up to you. I charge for parties per person so I can provide organizing supplies for the guests to each go home with. It’s basically a wash, but if I get one new client from each party, it’s worth it! You can also do a party for free and see how it goes. I would at least do one door prize though.

  11. Avatar Sandra Sauer on September 24, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I have thought about this idea for years but don’t know how to implement the concept. I thought about having a coat closet of the host and clean that out, teaching concepts and asking the tough questions to the owner while everyone else takes notes but that sounds boring… doesn’t it? Any help i can get from you would be great. Have you done a webinar for PO’s where you “host a party” and teach us how to do the same?
    Direct me to a webinar from you or something else i can use if you have this available. Thx

    • Avatar Kate Martin on September 25, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Check out Sara Pederson’s Professional Organizer Workshop Kits: http://www.timetoorganize.com/coaching-products/workshop-kits/

      I purchased several organizing party packages from her years ago and have adapted them to feel more like me. She gives you scripts, handouts, sample invitations, and much more to get started with the concept of organizing parties.

      I think the coat closet is a great idea but it would be tight on space for everyone to view at once. Maybe you could do the same thing in a master bedroom closet? You could start by having everyone sit in the living room, learn techniques, share personal stories and so on. Then you could go on a home tour and make suggestions for the host to implement the strategies just discussed. You’d have to word it just right so it would seem like you are giving fabulous free advice (which you are) and not just picking on the host in front of her friends. With drinks in hand and quick solutions at the ready, it wouldn’t be boring at all!

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