Each month I ask my fellow organisers a Quick Question. Their answers help to build an accurate picture of the organising industry, and I thank them for once again helping to do that. The February Quick Question Survey asked:
As part of your organising work, do you ever supply organising supplies?
The question of supplying supplies applied to items like coat hangers, boxes, hanging files, etc.
96.3% of those who responded to the survey do supply organising supplies. 3.7% do not. Of those who do, 7.7% keep items in stock, 42.3% purchase items as they are needed, and 50% do a bit of both.
Now comes the interesting part. As it’s one of the frequently asked questions I hear, I also asked:
How do you handle the financial transaction with your client?
3.9% absorb the cost of supplies and do not charge the client extra. I say that’s generous!
19.2% add the cost of supplies only to their fee. My feeling is that’s also quite generous.
61.5% add the cost of supplies and the time spent shopping to their fee. That’s what my practice is also.
The remainder had various practices depending on the situation and the cost of the supplies. These variables included who was paying for the service, the client or another agency, including NDIS.
Numbers don’t tell the whole story. More than one respondent admitted that this part of their operations was hard to keep track of, causing them stress.
One respondent charges for the cost of supplies plus a small mark up.
Leesa Kotis from The Clutter Bug said, “I also purchase various good quality storage items from op shops when I see them. If I use them for clients, I charge the client what I purchased the item for. Mainly I purchase smaller items like pantry baskets and undershelf baskets, so they don’t take up much space in my car.”
Stefanie King from The Organising Project said, “I offer to bring supplies to my clients’ sessions once we agreed on what’s needed. I usually have some favourites in the car or virtual session to demonstrate what’s possible, but I’m flexible to work with my clients’ style and budget.”
Sarah Potts from Zen Spaces by Sarah said, “If the client would like product to finish the space, I am more than happy to suggest options and purchase these products on their behalf. I do charge a fee for shopping time, so some clients prefer to save money by purchasing items themselves.”
Nicki Lawlor from My Home Organiser says she keeps a small supply of clear organising tubs and she adds the cost of supplies and time shopping to the fee.
What’s your policy on supplying supplies?