I've been told, by some very respected and knowledgeable folks, that hardly anyone understands the concept of Virtual Organizing. Well, if many of us have managed to embrace the idea of a virtual assistant, and we regularly go online for classes or even therapy, why not professional organizing? I decided I should spend a post explaining how it functions, and let you all decide if it might be the right approach for you. I've seen it work quite beautifully in several different situations, and you know I believe in the power of technology to help people. So here goes:
5 Things to Understand About Virtual Professional Organizing
1. It works well for people who live outside of a large metropolitan area. Virtual organizing brings the knowledge and inspiration to you, wherever you are. If you are in a rural location, chances are there are not a lot of professional organizers in your neck of the woods. We really do want to come and help you, but traveling long distances usually requires organizers to charge additional fees. Which leads me to my next point...
2. It is (at least in my case) less expensive. I don't have to travel, physically sort through stuff, or take away donated items, so I pass the savings along to you. You still get the customized, one-on-one support and information that I would give to you in person, all at a lower rate.
3. It's perfect for people who don't have time to organize during "regular" hours. Work full time? I schedule virtual consultations around your schedule (including evenings), so that we can not only talk about how to do the work, but how to fit it in between board meetings and soccer games.
4. It's best (but not absolutely essential) to have a computer with something like Skype or FaceTime capability. Don't understand how they work? I can send you free information that outlines the basics of both. Digital photos of the spaces you want to tackle are helpful, too.
5. It's EMPOWERING. Yes, you are doing the heavy lifting, so to speak. But for many people, getting a little direction and advice as they "lift" is just the catalyst they need to get (and keep) a project moving forward. I find that the sense of accomplishment clients feel in completing their spaces helps them stay motivated to keep things orderly. And all of you DIYers out there can have expert support and guidance, while still maintaining a sense of independence.
So if some of the above information speaks to you and your situation, why not give it a whirl? I will close with these recently-received comments from a virtual organizing client:
"I never felt as though I was being reprimanded or judged, or even teased about some particularly sensitive issues that I have- the point is you worked WITH me, adjusting as we moved forward, and helping me come to terms with why I do some of the things I do. That validation in itself allowed me to slowly make changes with your suggestions- and what a feeling!...The long-distance service worked great. The follow up notes, summary and homework were easy to follow and I still refer to them even now. The best thing is that I now find myself looking around my surroundings with new eyes."
You can find qualified professional organizers (both live and virtual) through the National Association of Professional Organizers, www.napo.net.
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, coach, wife and mom, and serial list-maker. Excited to be in the long but worthwhile process of becoming a Certified ADHD Organizer Coach. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?