Once a Client, Always a Client

Empty nest.

Empty nest

I miss my clients…some more than others, of course…after I’ve spent a lot of time with them in their homes and offices. It’s hard not to form a bond when they have confided in you, and trusted you, and you have laughed (and maybe cried) together.

Sometimes the break is sudden and complete, such as when I help them pack up to move and otherwise didn’t know them. But usually it’s more like empty nest syndrome. I’ve taught them all I can for now, and it’s time for them to fly free on their own! It’s a bittersweet, but proud feeling.

But I don’t mourn them like I’ll never see them again because, as I always think, and as I tell them, “Once a client, always a client.”

What do I mean by that?

Well, you just never know. You never know when someone will decide to tackle that room you wanted to organize and they weren’t ready for. You never know when they’ll want a little system tune-up (or a major overhaul). You never know when they’ll get in touch and want Virtual Services after having moved…and sometimes they actually move back! Maybe their situation will change, or they’ll want help establishing a new habit, and they’ll need your help again. And you never know – unless you stay in touch – how they are doing and how you can help them.

How do I stay in touch?

  • For starters, everyone gets my monthly newsletter, Org4life News. That’s automatic.
  • I’m in touch with some of them on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest). That happens more organically, not automatically.
  • Some of them I met in person to begin with and still see sometimes in person.
  • I send occasional cards and emails. I’ve never been much of a phone caller, though.

What’s in it for them?

  • They know I care as much about their well-being and progress as I do about making money from them. I got an email just yesterday from a dear client who moved away. She told me of her accomplishment and satisfaction in purging some files and starting a new habit to walk every day. I was delighted to hear from her. Of course, she also thanked me for my guidance and encouragement. That never hurts my feelings!
  • They know I can connect them with resources ranging from local services and donation sites to trusted NAPO organizers in other areas.
  • They have an ongoing source of free and cheap tools and info (Blog Articles, DIY Organizing, Products).
  • They know they can ask me quick questions via telephone or email at no charge.

What’s in it for me?

  • I am enriched by knowing them as people, not just as clients.
  • They remember me when they need more organizing help.

If you are an organizer, how do you stay in touch with your former clients?

If you are a client, how do you prefer to be stayed in touch with?

Please tell us by leaving a comment!

Copyright 2015 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
Social media links directly to this page are encouraged!
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  1. Janet Barclay on April 9, 2015 at 11:56 am

    This is a fabulous post, Hazel. It’s something that comes up a lot in my coaching group, and I think it would be worth discussing in my VA group as well. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing your methods.

    • Hazel Thornton on April 9, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks, Janet! It has come up twice in the past week in on-line forums, so I thought it was time to finish my post on the topic. In one case an organizer wanted tips for extending a job that had run its course. Upselling is one thing, but the more clients one has coming and going… and coming back again… the less one is inclined to cling to them, wouldn’t you agree? I think some organizers rely on a few regular clients to keep them going and then are surprised when they go away (for any number of reasons) and there’s no one else in the marketing pipeline.

  2. Sarah Soboleski on April 10, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    This is such a sweet post! I definitely have some clients that I miss. I, too, keep in touch via social media outlets including Instagram. I also send the occasional email if something reminded me of them. I send holiday cards too.

    • Hazel Thornton on April 11, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks for chiming in, Sarah! I love to compare notes.

  3. Sunshine on April 11, 2015 at 8:16 am

    This posts rings true to me as a professional organizer. It can be sad when you leave a cliemt after a project is completed. Thanks for the tips on how to stay in touch!

    • Hazel Thornton on April 11, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      I’m glad you could relate, Sunshine! Let me know Later which tips work for you, OK?

  4. Alison Lush on April 11, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    You comment that sometimes they move on because you’ve taught them all you can. I applaud your humility.
    You have made strong arguments for staying in touch with clients.
    It’s a Win-Win.
    Thank you for sharing this post Hazel!

    • Hazel Thornton on April 12, 2015 at 8:57 am

      I’ve taught them all I can FOR NOW…sometimes they just need a chance to absorb and put into practice what I’ve taught them thus far! Thanks for commenting, Alison!

  5. Jill Robson on April 12, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    What a lovely post Hazel, I have definitely had a few clients that i feel connected to, even when the job has ended. We spend time with them at their most vulnerable, and i think we can not help create a bond that stays with us.

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