Inspiration

Sometimes talks inspire people to do more!
I received this poem written by a member of the audience after my talk on ‘The problem of Clutter in the Modern World’ in Ipplepen, Devon.

Self Confessed Hoarder
I’ll put this away for the children
It’s a pity to throw it away
I’ll put it with some others
It’s sure to come in handy one day.
I’ll find room in the attic for this one
They don’t make these any more.
I’ll wrap it in plenty of paper
And lie it down flat on the floor.
This should just about go through the trap door
With a shove and a pull on the rope
There’s nowhere else we can put it
So let’s try once again and just hope.
I’ll layer a few of these ‘thingies’
And take a few cuttings of these
I’d better sow some of those ‘whatsits’
And grow a few more trees.
Now the attic and shed seams are bursting.
In the garden are more odds and ends
But it seems that the children won’t have them
Instead they may well go to friends
For half of the kids have departed
To lands that they feel are more just
In the meantime our odd bits and pieces
Will get thicker and thicker in dust!

Which of these excuses do you use for keeping stuff you don’t want or need?
If you need help to sort things give me a call on 07794 978095

My Flat Pack Garage

Yesterday I indulged in a little daytime TV whilst ironing. I could not believe my eyes when I saw people choosing to spend £57,000 on building a new double garage with loft above rather than declutter their existing double garage which also served as a workshop.

It is true that they ended up with a delightful, new, empty garage but having done that they then cleared out the existing garage.

For less than £3000 they could have had 3 weeks working with a professional declutterer who would have helped them declutter and organise the space they had. They could have done the garage and substantial amounts of the house too. Their space would have been clear and organised and they would have saved £54,000.

See for yourself: episode 9 http://uktv.co.uk/home/item/aid/637367

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.

Lots of clothes but nothing to wear?

Do you find yourself hunting madly through an over stuffed wardrobe in the morning, despairing of ever finding anything to wear?

Here is a tip for you to try:

Sort out about 7 outfits for work which you look good in. Ring the changes so you have a variety of styles and colors. Make sure you have some bright colors in there because you will look and feel good in those. Clear out any clothes that you never wear For whatever reason be that because they need dry cleaning, they are uncomfortable, they were a bad impulse buy…

Pack away the rest in a suitcase or two.

When you have an urge to buy something, go down to your ‘shop’ and choose a new outfit and pack away one of the upstairs outfits so you never have more than 7 to choose from. When you ‘buy’ something pop a few pounds into a money box to have some fun on your days off. Make that fun something that you do, rather than buy to keep. (That is the declutterer in me speaking)

Do the same with your weekend clothes.

Special occasion clothes could also be put away till you need them.

In all cases make sure the clothes you put away are clean and do not need anything more than a swift iron to make them ready to wear.

If you need any help and would like to have fun sorting and choosing those outfits, feel free to call and book a wardrobe overhaul!

Call Christine on 07794978095

Clutterbugs

We held our second meeting of Clutterbugs on Monday. Two new members were welcomed. It is such a friendly group that they were soon chatting away, happily sharing experiences and advice. It is lovely when people realise that they are not alone with their problem of clutter and especially helpful to speak with people who really understand the problem from the inside.

The venue is CentrePeace, http://www.centrepeace.org.uk an amazing community venture which is making such a difference to people in Paignton. Every one is welcomed and soon involved in running the centre. This makes it somewhere that people are seen in terms of what they have to offer rather than what they need to receive. This is very empowering and you can see how it builds the self esteem of those who are involved.

Both the centre staff and Clutterbugs offer each other friendship and support. It is a perfect match and we clutterbugs are so grateful that the centre is there for us to use.

Our next meet up will be on Monday 31st March 2014 from 9.30am to 11.00am. you are welcome to drop in for as much or as little time as you like. We can recommend the hot chocolate and yummy cakes available in the cafe.

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and I hope for you all it will be a good one.

I wonder how many of you carefully kept your wrapping paper and cards for reuse next year? In these days of waste it is a good thing to do. If you intend reusing the pictures from your cards as gift tags or to decorate the front of your Christmas letter, why not do the cutting now so there is less to store and the card fronts will be ready to use?

Many people buy their wrapping paper and cards in the Sales for next year. May I suggest that you check what you still have before going mad in the Sales? A bargain ceases to be a bargain if you have enough for the next decade already.

It is worth having a place to keep such things where they are easily available and won’t get spoiled. I have one drawer devoted to gifts cards and wrapping paper. It helps me to keep track of what I have and I am less likely to either forget what I have already bought or lose it. Believe me, I have done both in the past!

Be warned, buying presents that ‘may‘ come in useful for ‘somebody‘ can be a false economy. Very often these gifts lie in the drawer unused because they are never quite the right thing. Buying something that is perfect for someone and labeling it as such is more helpful.

If you know that the Sales bring out the bargain hunter in you and you don’t have room for any more in the house. Do yourself a favour and stay at home with a good book or movie! It’s much easier to avoid temptation than resist it.

If you would like help to get those bargains organised ready for next Christmas why not call me? A short session now could save you hours next year!

Building better communities. It’s as easy as ABCD

Last night I attended a most enlightening and encouraging event put on by Mark Pocock and his fellow Community Builders. We had the chance to hear a variety of people talking about what they are passionate to see happen in their community and how they are setting about doing it.
There was Sally Cranch who told us of her plans to give youngsters trial work days at CentrePeace so they can see if they like working in a shop, or in a café. She would like to build up contacts in the community so they might try washing hair in a hairdressers or any other job which is suitable for them to try out. The important thing is that they do the work not just talk about it.
We heard from Peter Lang, a most inspiring man, who despite being paralysed down one side from a stroke, is raising funds by running a bric a brac shop. He wants to increase turnover to £5000 so that he can get charity status to support a small drop in centre for people with mental health problems.
Anthony Rayner talked of his plan to build a community database where people can tell their neighbours about good tradespeople and give feedback on how well their job was done.
We heard from Victoria Slaney and Paul Edmundson who have started the ES Foundation to help local people who need food, clothes or toiletries. They explained that Anode has strict rules about how many times a year anyone can access the foodbank and they want to help fill in the gaps that Anode cannot fill.
I shared my vision for Clutterbugs, a new self help group for people who have issues around clutter and hoarding which will be meeting at CentrePeace from January next year (20/1/14 from 9.30am to 11.00am).
This event, hosted by CentrePeace, a new community centre in Palace Avenue, Paignton was a valuable meeting of minds and hearts. People shared how they had found a home at CentrePeace. They may have arrived with needs but they soon discovered that they had skills which were valued, needed and used by CentrePeace.
One young man described how he had arrived in Paignton with no home, money or friends on the verge of suicide and now just 6 weeks later had been given love and a reason to go on. He described the centre as like a ‘big fluffy pillow’. As I left there, I knew he was right. CentrePeace is somewhere where the lost can be found. The hopeless can be given hope. It is a centre we can be proud of and I hope as a community we will support them and their mission.

The world I want to live in

Corrina Gordon Brown’s blog on ‘Movement marketing’ http://youinspireme.co.uk/2013/what-you-should-really-be-marketing/ got me thinking.  What sort of world do I want to live in and how does my business fit in with it?

Calm, productive homes

I want people to enjoy living in their domestic environment.  I want them to be able to find the stuff they need when they need it.  I’d like to help them organise their space so that they can maximize storage and minimize searching.  A place where everything has a natural home.  A place where they can feel at ease because ease is built in.

A clutter busting session isn’t about getting rid of all your treasured possessions.  It’s about rediscovering the gems you own and have forgotten.  It’s about housing possessions in a more effective manner so they are hard to lose and easy to find.  It’s about reclaiming your physical space which has the happy byproduct of increasing your mental space and well being.  It’s about loving the place you live in and looking forward to going home at night.

Do you share my vision?

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It doesn’t necessarily need a full day to get this kind of order back in your life.  If you’d like to know more about how de-cluttering can de-stress your life, get in touch!  I’d love to help.

Call Christine on 07794978095