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.

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