Working face to face with clients in their home is how most organisers deliver their services. The process works because
- clients get hands on help with the lifting, sorting, decluttering and organising
- clients feel supported
- both the organiser and the client can “be in the moment”
- the work can change direction quickly and easily when it makes sense to do so
- work can stay on track when it needs to
- being present, the organiser gets a 360-degree view of the whole house and can see possibilities for changes, improvements, etc. that the space allows
- communication is good with the aid of body language and other small nuances
- a good organiser can detect small shifts in energy and mood and suggest appropriate adjustments to the work
The list of benefits of in person organiser: client face-to-face appointments goes on and on. But sadly, for now, it is not possible to enjoy them. The current situation with COVID-19 and subsequent safety measures mean that working in someone’s home is simply not advisable. Unless yours is an essential service, e.g. trauma cleaner with “essential service” designation from relevant authorities, the time has come to suspend those face-to-face activities. Don’t worry, those days will return.
For now, we must look to alternatives. One of those alternatives is Virtual Organising. I have presented 3 webinars on the subject in the past and interest is always strong. But that interest has really spiked now.
- How much should I charge?
- How do you structure the sessions?
- How do you do it?
Before I answer those questions, there are some things I want you to know.
Firstly, virtual organising is not for everyone. It does not suit every organiser, and it is not a right fit for every client. It works for clients who are able bodied enough to carry out the physical tasks, who are motivated enough to do the brain work and the physical tasks, and who can set aside the time to complete tasks without someone being there with them. I’m sure you’ve heard a client say, “Why can’t I do this on my own?” For some, it is just not possible.
What’s more, Virtual Organising is a useful tool that requires, from the organiser, a range of skills beyond the ability to sort, declutter and organise.
So, about those frequently asked questions…
How much should I charge? I can’t answer that for you, but I can tell you that I charge my usual hourly rate. There are, however, nuances to way you can structure your time and the sessions that can both make it more affordable for clients and maximise this revenue stream for the organiser.
Which brings us to the second question. How to structure the sessions. My advice is to be flexible in your thinking, but firm in your execution. Think outside the box for what works for your client, but bring a firm structure and boundaries to your sessions.
How do you do it? This one is much harder to give a quick answer to. There are many ways to deliver effective Virtual Organising to clients who are ready and receptive. Take a look at the list of benefits that working face-to-face in the home bring to the client’s experience. Now put your mind to figuring out how you’re going to deliver on all those points using a virtual platform, with limited face-to-face time. That’s the challenge.
I can tell you that it takes time and effort to become skilled at organising virtually. Investment in skills from coaching and motivational interviewing, to advanced non-traditional organising strategies and understanding client types, needs, processing modalities and readiness for change is important.
The three webinars I recorded on this subject are:
- Virtual Consultations
- Virtual Consultations – from Sales to Delivery
- Next Level Virtual Consultations
They are all available on demand for members of The Professional Organiser’s Edge. If now is the right time for you to introduce Virtual Organising into your suite of services, please consider a Professional Organiser’s Edge membership.