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50 Businesses; 50 Solutions: Organizer Goes Virtual

Published Tuesday Dec 1, 2020

Author Kelly Burch, Granite State News Collaborative

Lauren Saltman, of Newfields, helped friends, family and neighbors organize their homes for 20 years before she realized that her skills could translate into a business. Two years ago she formalized her services, launchingLiving Simplified to help people throughout the Seacoast region declutter and organize their homes. 

“It’s really what I love to do,” said Saltman. 

Before the pandemic, she would go to a client’s home and work side-by-side with them, coaching them through the process of clearing out a space and establishing systems to keep the area organized in the future. But when the pandemic hit, Saltman knew she had to reimagine her business model. 

“All of humanity was trying to figure out what to do and how to handle this. Every business owner out there had to sit down and contemplate their business and how they would move forward,” Saltman said. 

For Saltman, that meant prioritizing her health over her bottom line. 

“I didn’t want to be risking myself, my family or my clients by entering their homes, and I believe they all felt the same way,” she said. 

5050After talking to other professional organizers, Saltman realized that her services could be delivered virtually. She was already offering a free one-hour phone consultation to prospective clients. She switched the initial consultation to Facetime, allowing her to see a client’s space clearly from the start. From there, she puts together a proposal for the service. 

Most clients opt for a combination of working on organizing a space with Saltman live on videochat, and taking homework assignments that Saltman disperses for the client to complete on their own time. Although there’s still real-time interaction with clients, virtual organizing is a far cry from Saltman’s usual way of doing business. 

“Generally when a client reaches out to me, they need assistance,” Saltman said. “By assistance I mean they like to have me right there in the room with the, side-by-side as we work on their particular project. That part had to change.”

Some people who have reached out to Saltman have opted to wait until she can again safely visit in person. However, many others have found that virtual consultation works just fine, Saltman said. 

The pandemic has left many people working and schooling from home, taxing living spaces like never before. With more people at home for more time, organization is more important than ever, Saltman said. 

“People more so than ever are reaching out to professional organizers because they’re spending more time in their home,” she said. The pandemic gave many people a chance to look around their home and realize they have too much stuff, or they want to start thinking about down-sizing, she added. 

As for many industries, technology has been instrumental for Saltman and other professional organizers. There’s little chance that virtual organizing would work without video-chat. Even long-standing technology like text allows clients to ask Saltman a quick question and keep on-pace with projects. 

Saltman still expects her revenue for 2020 to be down from her pre-pandemic goals. Much of the decrease comes from the early month of the pandemic, when business was at a stand-still. 

“It took everybody time to really figure out how they can live safely and interact safely,” she said. “By may, people were ready to talk again.”

Despite the success of remote organizing, Saltman is looking forward to a future when she can be in the same space as her clients, helping them to improve it. For now, however, the pandemic has reaffirmed that helping people get organized is exactly the business she wants to be in. 

“I had to really dig deep and say this is it I want to do,” she said. “I’m passionate about helping people declutter and downsize and organize.”

This story is part of the 50 Businesses, 50 Solutions series shared by partners in the Granite State News Collaborative. It has now grown beyond 50, as NH businesses continue step up to face the challenges posed by the pandemic and the Collaborative continues to highlight how business leaders across the state, from mom and pop shops, to large corporations have adapted in the hope others may be able to replicate these ideas and innovations. Tell us your story here. For more information visit

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