Reality television shows have a tremendous following and shine a spotlight on real life situations and issues. One of the latest entries into this crowded field of programming focuses on virtual organizing sessions. I don’t typically watch reality television. However, I’ve recently added virtual organizing services to my professional office organizer offerings and was curious to see how this service was being depicted. I tuned into “Hot Mess House” on HGTV and sat back to watch the 30-minute episode.
As with all reality television programs, it is key to remember that this is made for TV programming. This was the case here as well. I was only seeing a small portion of the work needed to get the space organized. Based on the volume of clutter, there had to be others working behind the scenes. We may all wish that we could wave the magic wand. In reality a significant amount of time is needed to declutter and organize a multi-use space or bedroom.
Virtual organizing sessions can be an ideal solution for certain individuals and projects. Unfortunately, the viewer isn’t exposed to the full picture related to delivering services in this manner. While there were specific project goals in the episode that I watched, the focus for one of the projects should really have been narrower.
Virtual organizing sessions require intent listening to pickup on what’s not being said. This is especially important when a client is overwhelmed (as was the case in this episode). It is essential to the success of the project to understand the reasons for these feelings and help the client navigate these waters.
Virtual organizing sessions, like in person meetings, should be collaborative. The client and the organizer need to work together to identify suitable solutions that will be appropriate for the client. This applies to creating systems for the stuff as well as for choosing the right tools for storing it. Clients have different learning styles and different aesthetic preferences… both need to be taken into consideration which didn’t appear to be the case in this episode.
Virtual organizing sessions should provide the opportunity for skills to be transferred to the client. These meetings can work especially well in this regard. The success of these sessions is tied to the fact that they’re frequent, consistent and include the opportunity for repetitive learning and action. As a result, new habits develop which will enable the client to maintain their space. It isn’t evident from what is depicted in the episode if any new habits developed.