Bin there, done that

If you’re struggling with a problem, any problem, it pays to talk about it.  Talking enables you describe a problem far better than merely thinking about it.

So talk.  Even if you can only talk to yourself, or your cat or your goldfish, have the conversation that describes your problem.

Here’s an example.  I found an old music cassette I never liked, and felt bad about throwing it away.  I had bought it with my own money, it was mine, it has a non-recyclable plastic case.  Not many charity shops will take them, and I couldn’t think of anyone who would want it.  Someone had worked hard to produce it.  All this rubbish (and more) was going on in my mind, preventing me from getting rid of something I simply didn’t want!

So I talked the problem through, talked out loud all those bothers listed above, and ended up (rather angrily) chucking it in the bin.  There was a reason for this: Stuff you simply ‘don’t want’ is never going to become stuff you want.  But most of the potential solutions I talked to myself about to get rid of it required extra effort, and time I didn’t have. 

This silly tape was blocking me.  I needed a solution now.  The simplest ‘right now’ solution was the bin.

Think about this: if my problem is physically ‘in the bin’, I have flagged it ‘for removal’, without chucking it out completely which, for some reason, I can’t face right now.  But I have dealt with the initial problem, and conveyed it to the next stage. 

This ‘conveyor belt’ approach is important.  It keeps us moving and prevents our problems from blocking us.  If we agonise over ‘what if’ scenarios, we get stuck, and we don’t have time for that.  Put the problem on the ‘conveyor belt’ and wave goodbye as it goes away.

The bin won’t be emptied for a week or two, maybe longer.  This gives my brain time to process any worries I have in slow time, while my body can get on with making breakfast, cleaning the house, or whatever.  I can always rescue the cassette if I feel I really need to.

Scientific research has shown that people who talk to themselves have better mental health. Have a look at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-minute-therapist/201712/do-you-talk-yourself

So why not give it a go, and see how you solve your own problems.

Oh, and that cassette?  It’s still there, sitting in my bin – but it isn’t blocking me anymore – it helped me write this post!  So I can thank it for that.  It will soon be buried under other ‘binnable’ stuff, and I can probably throw it out (it’s halfway there already).  I can’t do much about the plastic or the tape, but I’ll probably recycle the paper insert.

The longer things sit in bins, the easier it is for us to let go of them.  Perhaps that’s the real purpose of bins – to act as a temporary repository, giving us time to process, and let things go.

About Me

Hi, my name is Christine Durrant.

I have been in business as a professional de-clutterer since 2009. Before I started my business I spent 6 months helping a friend to sort her flat. She was kind enough to let me take photos and also give me feedback on what was helpful and what was not. I am greatly indebted to her for allowing me into her life and for the encouragement she gave me to start my business.

7 years on and I am still enjoying helping people to rediscover the space they have but can’t see for clutter. Possessions are great until they stop us from enjoying our living space.

If your possessions are beginning to possess you then why not give me a call and find out how I can help you to reorganise the space and where necessary thin out those possessive possessions!

Fire Risks

Cluttered homes can increase the risk of fatalities when there is a fire. Cluttered doorways or corridors can impede the exit of the house holder but equally can impede the entrance of a fire fighter. Clutter makes it more difficult to find the occupants in a house filled with smoke. Accumulated clutter when it catches light burns hotter than a normal house fire which puts fire fighters at risk.

Can we afford not to deal with it?

Fire fighters in Exeter and Somerset are working together with Housing Agencies, Environmental Health, Professional Organisers and other interested parties in the South West to see how we can reduce risk in cluttered homes.

As a small start, may I suggest you get rid of any old VHS videos? Apparently they burn faster and hotter than paper and give off toxic fumes. Don’t let them clutter your rooms.

Need help looking at fire risks in your home? Contact your local fire fighters and ask for a home visit. It could save your life.

Need help sorting the clutter? Contact Christine on 07794978095

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

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.