Inspirational, Motivational, Peaceful: Helping A Virtual Organizing Client Define her Space

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One night I find my self on an interesting Twitter Party chatting with other men and women that love to tweet (I love social media). I connected up with one of the attendees that noticed that I was a professional organizer. As we sent messages back and forth we realized although we were not anywhere near each other (I was in London, Ontario, Canada and she was in North Carolina) we could still consult with each other. Her question was: “How does one work with a professional organizer when we are miles apart?” My answer: “Just like we first met each other – on-line. It is called virtual organizing.
Virtual organizing is not a new concept but one that is not often used. I believe it helps if you have been a Professional Organizer for a number of years have IRL (in real life) experience with clients. Once we have worked with enough clients, expanded our knowledge base, we can work with a client virtually because we often see the same challenges over and over again.
How did we begin? We needed to start from a place of trust. She needed to get to know me a bit, check out my website, read my blog, review my LinkedIn profile which has my many client recommendations. Once all of those boxes were ticked off, she felt comfortable enough to send me pictures of her office and provided me with a brief summary of her challenges, her needs, the ‘have to haves’ and finally a vision of her ‘dream’ office.
My client is a nurse and wellness coach. Working shift-work makes her schedule sporadic. So tackling the project would be have to be divided into different steps.
The room that we were tackling was at one time a bedroom for her one son, a storage area for another son that was moving, an office for her and a ultimately, dumping ground for EVERYONE!
After sending a follow-up email asking the things that I need to know: (1) what is the vision for the room? {Mainly work with some play ~ she likes to scrapbook}; (2) Does she want it to remain a guest bedroom when the son comes to visit? {No, it will just be an office & relaxation room for her}; (3) Which three words would define her space? {Inspirational, Motivational and Peaceful}; (4) What is her budget? {$2,000 including consulting with PO, new furniture, bookshelves and accessories}; (5) What is your timeline/schedule? {No set timeline but the sooner the better}.
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With her priorities listed, I was able to come up with a game plan and written report that she can be implemented in a few short sessions. Addressing each individual photo and making suggestions that she could work on as her schedule permitted. We also needed to assess what furniture was going to stay, what equipment was being used and if there were any restrictions (perhaps the closet could be converted into a bookshelf).
Here is a quick overview of challenges and solutions:

Challenge Suggested Solution
1. Multi-functional room. Home office was the primary function but still need to accommodate visiting son and husbands storage needs. Meditation area needed. Divide room so that each interest is addressed: desk, reading area, scrapbooking, storage
2. Guest room needed
Reading area wanted
Client was moving daybed out but I suggested getting a comfortable pull-out couch that would enable her to have a reading area with future guest bedroom potential.
3. Many books need for reference If clothes storage was no longer necessary, putting adjustable shelving units helps minimize use of floor space and maximizes use of empty closet.
4. Paper clutter, sort and purge Stop paper coming into the office. Suggested daily routine that would enable client to deal with paper efficiently and effectively
Purchase of a paper shredder was essential.

Working with a virtual client can be just as challenging and fulfilling as working with a client in real life. Consider how you can help someone in another state, province or country using pictures, emails, Skype or phone calls. Your ideal client is just one click away.

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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for DownshiftingPRO.com and other online media outlets.

5 thoughts on “Inspirational, Motivational, Peaceful: Helping A Virtual Organizing Client Define her Space”

  1. It’s simply amazing what we can do now thanks to technology. I had a couple of virtual organizing clients in my early days, but it was challenging without something like Skype.

    • I started virtual organizing years ago when people didn’t own so much technology. I remember my client walking around with her laptop. Now all you need is a phone or a tablet. Easy peasy!

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