Organize Your Workplace, Harness Your Chi and Boost Your Business, by Deb Oschner, MASSAGE MagazineYou can be the best therapist in the world, but if you have a disorganized and dirty massage room or area, your client is likely to negatively prejudge you before you even start the massage. It may sound cliché, but you never have a second chance to make a first impression. Rooms that are cozy, warm, organized and clean will be inviting, set you and your clients at ease and help positive energy flow throughout the area in order to lower stress. Allowing positive energy to flow easily and freely may actually help boost your massage practice toward new heights.

Organizing, cleaning and sanitizing your workplace are necessary for the success of your business. Door knobs and water faucet knobs, paper towel dispensers, bathroom stall doors and toilet flushing handles are prime locations for disease and illness-causing organisms. These areas must be sanitized for the safety and well-being of your clients. If the floor is full of dust bunnies and oil stains when the client is face down on your massage table, she probably won’t be back for a repeat visit.

Utilize any of the following tips in addition to your regular organizing and cleaning routines.

Organizing Tips

Client needs:
• Have a basket for clients to place clothes in next to a bench or chair (to sit and take shoes off).
• Have another basket for their shoes and a small container for keys and jewelry.
• Install hooks for clients to hang clothes and personal items.

• Stackable shelving units can store sheets, towels, face cradle covers and more.
• Stack towels and sheets in rolls, and separate them by placing towels on one shelf and sheets on another.
• Place sheets and towels in groups in the order you put them on the table to make your job easier.

Office area:
• Use silverware organizers or old shoe boxes (cut down to size if needed) in desk or dresser drawers to organize any miscellaneous supplies.
• Have an expanding folder to file receipts for tax purposes.
• Use a notebook with plastic holders for business cards, marketing materials and any other important papers.
• Do SOAP notes right after the massage session, and file immediately.

Oils, lotions and creams:
• Put massage oils and essential oils on a cutting board for easy cleaning.
• Alphabetize or group essential oils for easier location.
• Organize massage oils, lotions, creams, etc. in the order you use them.
• Take a bottle out of the holster and stack the bottle upright, or hang them up on a hook together.

• Place books for reference in topical groups or alphabetical by author.
• Utilize closed storage whenever possible, such as dressers or an armoire.
• Put up a curtain or decorative screen to hide supplies.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Tips

Massage table:
• Spray the entire table with disinfectant.
• Wash linens with dye-free detergent and fragrance-free dryer sheets.
• Wipe the face cradle with disinfectant wipes or spray and towels.
• Use washable blankets and wash them often.
• Use antimicrobial pillows and change pillow cases after every use.
• Spray a tissue with lavender essential oil and water to wrap around eye pillows.
• Wipe or spray bolsters with disinfectant.

Oils, lotions and creams:
• Do not place oil bottles on the floor. Place them on towels on a nearby surface.
• Never touch the tops of essential oil bottles.
• Do not cross contaminate massage lubricants by dipping your fingers in the same receptacle.
• Never use rancid oil (if it smells bad, toss it).

• Make sure that the floor is immaculate below the massage table.
• Empty the trash from the massage room and bathrooms often.
• Make sure there are plenty of paper towels and soap in bathroom sinks.
• Wipe or spray all common surfaces (door knobs, etc.) with disinfectant.

When you clear the clutter and get rid of old receipts, papers or any unused items, you also let go of old energy stuck in the past and make room for new energy and new clients. Good luck, and reward yourself for each milestone you reach in your quest for a more organized and clean workplace, such as a new plant or new decorative vase or candle. You’ve earned it!

Deb Oschner, Organize Your Workplace, Harness Your Chi and Boost Your Business, MASSAGE MagazineDeb Ochsner has been a massage therapist for more than 15 years and a Reiki Master for nearly 10 years. She is the author of The Massage Therapist’s Guide to Client Safety and Wellness (List Price $32.95 ISBN: 1-4283-1922-0 available at