Clutterbugs support UK Hoarding Awareness Week

Clutterbugs are delighted to announce that the Torbay Fire and Rescue Service will be joining them at their next meeting on 19th May 2014 to give an informal presentation. All are welcome to join us at this event which promises to be informative and quite possibly life saving.

Venue: CentrePeace, Palace Avenue, Paignton (behind the theatre)
Date: Monday 19th May 2014
Time 10.30 am
FREE

Victoria Slaney of VS Foundation who allowed her experience of a house fire that wiped out all her possessions to be a life changing experience will be there. http://www.facebook.com/pages/VS-Foundation/232494180245687?ref=streamundation

We will also be joined by Nick Hall of Space Savers, a Torquay based decluttering service.
http://www.spacesaversdevon.co.uk

APDO-UK Conference 2014

Every year the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers in the UK (www.apdo-uk.co.uk) puts on a conference. It is a big event for me. Working as an organiser and declutterer can be a lonely business so a chance to meet others in the profession who are as passionate about their work as I am is a real treat.

One of our international speakers commented on how good it was to see so many people who obviously love their work. It is true that declutterers and organisers are wonderful, compassionate people. Every conversation was an entry to helpful support and advice and a chance to share one’s knowledge, skills and expertise.

Our international speakers this year were Sarah Cottman from Australia (www.horder.com.au), Marla Dee from the USA (www.ClearSimple.com), and Hilde Verdijk from Holland(www.yourganize.nl). Each brought a unique style and expertise to the room.

Sarah spoke of ADHD and how it had affected her life. She told us that it is not natural to everyone to be able to impose order on their stuff. Some people need to learn how to do it. This is where professional decluttering and organising comes in. A good organiser will not just impose order in your home but will work with your strengths to help you to order your possessions in a way that will enable you to find them and keep them ordered. An organised life is an easier life.

Marla encouraged us by sharing that she has provided for herself through this business for the last 10 years. She increased our skill set by sharing her STACK method of decluttering. It is important to Sort first. When you see how much you have you may want to dispose of some of it. Next you Toss, making decisions whether to keep it or let it go. Assign the keep items a home. Contain comes next. Do not be tempted to buy storage containers until you know exactly what you want to store in them. The wrong shape or size box can become more clutter. Finally: Keep it up. To remain organised you have to maintain order by putting stuff in its assigned home.

Hilde brought us training from the Institute of Challenging Disorganization (www.challengingdisorganization.org). She talked about the reasons behind chronic disorganization, its symptoms and mental health and lifestyle choices that can exacerbate the problem. She shared the research that informs our work. Last but not least she taught strategies that can be effective. As with all services one size does not fit all comers but to be able to offer new strategies that have worked for some people is always helpful when working with a new client.
We also had local speakers including fellow colleagues from the association who shared on a number of topics including writing good copy, managing accounts and time-management. We never stopped learning. Even the breaks were times to discuss and share strategies and ideas for helping our clients.

So here I am ready and raring to go. If you would like to benefit from what I have learned, don’t hesitate to call me on 077 949 78095.

Getting Inspired

Inspiration is a wonderful thing and sometimes all it takes is reading some one else’s words or hearing some one speak. This year’s APDO-UK http://www.apdo-uk.co.uk/ conference held in London last week was truly inspirational. For those not in the know APDO stands for the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers. Yes, there is actually an association and it is full of talented and compassionate people who it is a privilege to know.

We networked, we listened, we learned and we grew in knowledge and understanding. Organising is not every one’s forte which is why we exist to bring order and calm into people’s lives and to teach skills to enable people to be able to maintain that order.

One of my clients once told me that no one had ever taken the time to show her how to organise her things. They told her to tidy up but gave no clues as to how to do it. When we began working together she was able to acquire those skills and succeed in the task. Now she enjoys sorting and organising her flat so that it is a more comfortable place to live.

As Sarah Cottman, http://www.horder.com.au/ our keynote speaker from Australia said: ‘You (professional organisers and declutterers) are uniquely situated to facilitate change, to encourage, equip and empower others with your gift.’ She encouraged us to transfer our organising skills to our clients so that they will be empowered to live clutter free lives.

Getting rid of the physical clutter helps to clear mental space. It allows you to function easily in your home. Being able to find what you need when you need it helps you to keep focused on the task in hand and get the job done more quickly. When everything has a place then it is easy to put it back. The problems arise when things do not have a home to go to. Then they start to pile up on surfaces and one thing gets buried by another.

If you feel inspired with the coming of spring to have a good clear out of physical space why not call me, Christine, on 07794 978095 and see how I can help?

If you don’t live in the South West of England, then take a look at http://www.apdo-uk.co.uk to find a declutterer near you.