How Virtual Organizing is Different from Onsite Organizing

Virtual organizing is a process for getting organized through the use of technology. The primary difference between on-site and virtual organizing is the client doesn’t have the organizer’s hands to help move and sort items. During virtual organizing sessions the professional organizer (organizer) is often mostly body doubling. Meaning a body double is not an active assistant, a body double’s principal job is to occupy space while the client does organizing chores while the organizer is being quiet, non-distracting, and non-judgmental. Lastly, a body double must be patient and able to sit still for long periods of time.

Virtual organizing can be an accompaniment to the traditional organizing format or an alternative to on-site organizing assistance.  It is collaborative, meaning both the client and  organizer develop a plan to achieve the desired outcome based on the initial assessment. Whereas onsite organizing the organizer may do all or most of the organizing.  Virtual organizing requires the client to implement the plan.

Who Benefits from Virtual Organizing?

  • Those with limited financial resources – For some people, access to an on-site professional is either limited or not possible due to a variety of factors-but often financial, regardless of need.
  • Busy clients – sessions are shorter so it’s easier for them to find the time.
  • Clients who don’t want someone in their home – There is also a population that is better able to succeed through organizing virtually over the physical presence of another person.
  • Distance is an issue or onsite isn’t possible – You can work with clients outside of your geographical area. And, due to our current economic and pandemic times, we realize that the “gap” is widening, making access to professional help more challenging for both the client and organizer.
  • Clients who benefit from accountability – What I have discovered is that for many people, virtual organizing has a higher beneficial outcome than on-site sessions in terms of skill transfer and long-term organizing success.
  • Clients who just want a plan – great for DIYers who can organize on their own if they have a plan, a way to get started.

Pros/Cons of Virtual Organizing

Pros  for the Client

  • Saves time/money
  • Shorter sessions easier to schedule on a busy schedule
  • Not location dependent
  • Can be used for maintenance sessions after onsite work is complete
  • Suitable for people who can only focus for short periods of time
  • Accountability
  • Enables people who are ashamed of their home or uncomfortable with strangers in their home

Pros for the Professional Organizer

  • Another stream of revenue
  • Less liability
  • No commute/traffic
  • A “greener” service delivery
  • Fewer expenses (bankers boxes, etc.)
  • Physically easier
  • Can work with more clients because of no commuting
  • You can work if you are bit under the weather
  • Avoid onsite health issues (allergies, pet dander, viruses)

Cons for the Client

  • Physically tiring – they do all the physical activity of organizing
  • Mentally challenging for some clients
  • The client needs to source the organizing supplies (boxes for sorting, labels, etc.)
  • Shorter sessions mean it can take longer in duration to complete project
  • Takes longer to go through sorting item by item
  • Logistics of holding device (phone, tablet, or laptop) and stuff

Cons for the Professional Organizer

  • Mentally tiring for the organizer
  • Areas inside of the client site where the client doesn’t have connectivity can be challenging to see space
  • May not be able to view the entire space; only what the client shares
  • ADD clients can be challenging to keep focused
  • Difficult to read nonverbal communication
  • Takes longer to go through sorting item by item
  • Shorter sessions mean it can take longer in duration to complete project

If you are interested in learning more about working with clients virtually, this is one of sixteen modules of learning offered with our Fast Track Method™ courses.

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