The Gift of Organizing…? (Q&A)

dreamstime_xs_17170576The gift of organizing is just like any other gift: It could be just what the recipient wanted…or, well, not so much!


Q: Should I give my loved one a new organizing gadget or container as a gift?

A: I always ask my new clients not to buy anything prior to our Initial Consultation, because they probably have everything they need already. And if they do need to buy something, we won’t know what it is, or how big, or what color, until we’ve sorted and purged their stuff and determined how and where we’re going to use the new item. So it’s hard for me to support going out and buying organizing containers and gadgets as gifts, knowing they might just become clutter.


Q: Should I give my loved one a gift certificate for your organizing services?

A: While that sounds on the surface like a brilliant idea, the answer is: It depends. Did your loved one specifically say they wanted to hire me? Then, YES, by all means! Did they complain that they are “so disorganized” and wish aloud for help? OK, then MAYBE. On the other hand, is it YOU who thinks THEY should get organized? Then definitely NOT! In that case, the gift of organizing is likely to backfire in your face. And we don’t want that. My chance of success in working with your loved one depends entirely on their frame of mind, so let’s not blindside them with an unanticipated gift certificate. Talk to me first! (P.S. No, we will not be organizing their space FOR them, or without them.)


Q: Would Clutter Flow Charts make good gifts? Or, perhaps your new e-workbook, Go With the Flow! The Clutter-Clearing Tool Kit for an Organized Life…?

A: If they already have one or more Clutter Flow Charts that they are finding helpful, or if you have reason to think they would love using a visual aid in their de-cluttering efforts, then SURE! Otherwise, see the 2nd and 3rd previous answers (MAYBE and NO).

Q: I am a professional organizer. Would Clutter Flow Charts make good gifts for my clients?

A: Again, it depends. Are your clients “into” the process of de-cluttering? Are they motivated and capable of de-cluttering on their own, with the help of a visual aid? If not, it’s a terrible gift and will just get lost in a pile of clutter! However, if they “get” that organizing is a process, not an event, and seem energized by the changes you are helping them to make in their lives, then YES, CERTAINLY! Consider laminating the charts back-to-back with their companion articles, and putting together a custom selection of charts.

Q: Can I give my Custom-Branded Clutter Flow Charts as gifts? (Charts featuring YOUR logo and contact info, for use with YOUR clients and marketing prospects.)

A: ABSOLUTELY! If you have purchased the Custom-Branded Charts with Limited Distributions Rights you can make as many copies as you want. The more copies you make, the more cost-effective they become!

When do YOU think organizing gifts are, and aren’t, appropriate? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment!


Copyright 2013 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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  1. Janet Barclay on December 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I agree with you completely. To give someone a gift to help them get organized when they haven’t specifically shown an interest is on the same level as giving someone a weight loss product – your intentions may be good, but they’re more than likely going to be offended.

  2. Jill Robson on December 12, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I never give gift certificates of organizing. It can lead to hurt feelings. The person who they are buying them for may not think they need organizing. I don’t contact people unless they have personally sent me a message asking for my help.

  3. Samantha on December 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I am so with you on giving a gift certificate for organizing services without inclination from the intended party that they desire professional help.
    I also agree about not running out and stocking up on products before you have sorted.
    Great questions and answers!

  4. Hazel Thornton on December 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Thanks for the comments! Although most organizers promote clutter-free gifts (consumables and experiences), some do promote gadgets. Even then, it’s not about the gift. It’s about the giver and the recipient.

  5. repuestos ps3 on July 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, wonderful site!

    • Hazel Thornton on July 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Good to know! (quick loading time) I think you should read a post every day while you are eating lunch at work and leave comments! 😉

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