A Virtual Organizing Project

I’ve been doing quite a bit of virtual organizing these days.  My best friend called recently and asked me for some advice on organizing her pantry.  Instead of advice, I convinced her to join me on skype and we worked through the project together.  We developed the plan for the space together and broke it into steps, which she implemented. The entire project took less than three hours, including her shopping time.  Her only purchases:  the awesome bins she found at the Container Store (check out the adjustable dividers) and two new lazy susans for her spices.

She is thrilled with the end product and amazed that I didn’t have to be right there with her to accomplish the transformation.  I did want to share a follow-up comment of hers that made me laugh…




“Here are all the empty spice containers.  I think the oldest spice was from 1995.  Scary!  There were so many that I never used and 2 that were never opened.  I’ve discovered that with my style of cooking I need to purchase smaller quantities and just the basics.  I think I’m only replacing 4 of the ones that I trashed.  Thanks so much I feel enlightened, or that could be the effects of inhaling the spice mixture that is forming in my sink…” 


2 Responses to “A Virtual Organizing Project”

  1. cindy illig lum February 22, 2013 5:08 am #

    looks like the virtual coaching worked wonderfully. I am curious exactly how it happened. Did she have you watching and guiding her on skype the entire time? Did you have her write anything or just follow your verbal instructions?

    • Andrea Sharb February 22, 2013 1:15 pm #

      Thanks for your questions Cindy. The most important tools I use when organizing virtually are my coaching skills and the belief that my client is naturally creative and resourceful and has the ability to create her own solutions. I also bring motivational support and a body doubling presence (see my post on body doubling) to the table. With this project, we discussed her challenges and how she thought she might best solve them. She came up with most of the solutions, but I did give her suggestions based on my previous experiences, for example the lazy susans. She made the trip to the Container Store and discovered the awesome divided bins on her own. With respect to skype, there is no one set way that I work virtually with a client. It is typically done mostly over the phone, with some online photos being exchanged, but I have help people organize entire areas and even rooms without ever seeing a before or after photo. In this case she had skype on her laptop, but it was primarily used for the face to face communication, as opposed to me watching her do the organizing.

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