Virtual Organizing: Is It For You?back
When Major Mom Founder and CEO Angela Cody-Rouget appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank on February 5, 2016, she knew it would open the floodgates to a whole new audience needing organizing services. Within the first month after the episode aired, Major Mom received hundreds of messages of congratulations, interest in franchise options and requests to travel all across the country to organize and energize people’s homes and offices. While all of Major Mom’s 32 Liberators are currently located in Colorado and Arizona, they were able to help new clients via Major Mom’s virtual organizing services.
What is virtual organizing?
Virtual organizing is similar to a traditional organizing session, only instead of meeting face-to-face, Liberator and client meet and work together via mobile device or webcam. Using platforms such as FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangouts, Liberators meet with clients for an initial 15 minute estimate, during which clients walk the problem spots with their mobile device to show the Liberator what the challenges are. From there, the Liberator asks a number of questions about organizing styles, goals and challenges. Finally, client and Liberator determine together if virtual organizing is the correct path, based on client’s overall organizational ability and project scope. The most successful clients for virtual organizing are those who have some organizing skills and are simply stuck on a certain project, or need professional guidance to repurpose a specific space in their home or office.
What to expect
Virtual organizing clients must purchase an initial 4 hours of organizing services (a traditional Jumpstart Package), which is split into two 2-hour sessions. From there, additional hours may be purchased in 2-hour increments. The first session is an in-depth examination of trouble areas and the creation of an action plan, including homework assignments for clients to complete on their own. The second session focuses on action and results. Currently, kitchens and home office design are the top two virtual organizing requests, but other successful virtual organizing projects include project management services for clients feeling stuck or overwhelmed by a DIY project, and coaching for trouble spots or previously organized areas that need a professional eye.
Is virtual organizing for you?
Location is the number one reason clients choose virtual organizing; either they live in an area without organizing services, or they specifically want to work with Major Mom and are outside the company’s service areas. Clients who choose virtual organizing must be able and willing to do the hands-on work of sorting, treasuring and carrying items themselves. Small projects such as a closet or an office may be completed with just one person doing the work, but Major Mom recommends that larger, common room projects, such as kitchen reorganizations, involve the whole family. This increases the amount of hands-on labor that can be completed in an online session, as the Liberator may coach each family member through different tasks. As with traditional face-to-face organizing, having all family members present and involved in a virtual organizing session assures that everyone is on the same page from start to finish, and that all are invested in the maintenance required to keep up the new systems.
Major Mom does not recommend virtual organizing services for large, completely filled spaces such as basements or garages. First, the amount of work for areas such as a packed storage area can be overwhelming to a client, even with professional coaching. Additionally, the logistics of sorting through a large amount of items in an already cluttered space are not conducive to online organizing because so much of the work takes place off-screen.
One of our virtual organizing clients was kind enough to allow us to interview her for this article. A full-time mom, farmer and remote worker, she shares:
“I chose a virtual organizing service because I live in a very rural area. Quite literally, I am 45 minutes from everywhere! I also have that “I have to clean/organize/declutter everything before someone comes to my house” mindset. With the virtual option, I was more comfortable because Angela had access to the area in need of organization and that was it. I didn’t have to be “superwoman” and make sure everything else was perfect beforehand. She was very understanding of my needs and the demands of my day-to-day life, including fact that I have very limited amounts of time to devote to any one project. She helped me focus and made me more efficient in getting things done.
"I have told many of my friends that this was a very good experience. As a remote worker, I have a large network of people who are in a similar line of work. We ALL struggle with the organization needs of our job and the balance between the other aspects of our lives (household, family, etc). I encourage anyone to consider a virtual organization service such as Major Mom, as it will help improve not only the working mom’s life, but the house-mom and the farm-wife’s too, as in my case. I have been able to change several things after my sessions with Angela in other areas of my home AND in how I, as well as my spouse, organize some of the farm areas as well."
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