Bossin’ it

First, find a safe space to work.

Offices where you have to go to work are only good if you’re the boss.  If you have an office at home, you’re very lucky.  An office is a great place to get organised, and it’s even an ok place to be a bit disorganised and still look pretty cool at the same time.

If you had an office at home but can’t remember where you left it/where it is, hmm, not so good, but on the plus side, you know it’s there somewhere.  All you need to do is find it.

I’m being flippant – one needs to treat these situations with humour, or they become overwhelming.  To return to the subject, an office is a wonderful place to start getting yourself organised.

So pull on your organising trousers and let’s fix this.  Maybe you have a spare bedroom, or a spare bed, or a spare table (a trestle/decorator’s table will do), maybe even a garage floor (but beware of dust).  Any big space like this will help you to sort stuff out into piles of

  1. stuff you need
  2. stuff you don’t need
  3. stuff you aren’t sure about

You may even be able to sort it further, like specific bill types – but if you want to work fast and efficiently, stick with these three piles first.

This all assumes you have such rooms or organising spaces available.  If you read this and think ‘Hm, I can’t find a useable office space like Neil suggests’, then your problem is a bit more sticky, and you might want to give someone like me a call.  It’s a bit like unravelling a badly packed bundle of Christmas lights, and at those times it helps to have a second person to help out.

Give me a call on 07985 490 810 and find out how I can help.

Don’t let the clutter boss you about.  Boss your clutter!

Your Stuff and You

A balanced diet is made up from the five essential food groups.  (I always thought they were proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins and fibre, but a quick check on the web suggests all manner of alternatives, oh well).

There are four seasons and four tops.  If any of them are missing, consider yourself short-changed.

When you’re trying to get organised, there are three basic piles of stuff

  • 1) stuff you need
  • 2) stuff you don’t need
  • 3) stuff you aren’t sure about

In fact, at any time, these are the three basic types of stuff anyone will have.  You’ll have a few of the first thing, rather more of the second, and lots of the third.  The trick is to know how to keep (2) to a minimum, and how to turn (3) into (2).

We’ll look at how to do this in the future.  For now, just keep this in mind if you’re ever looking at your stuff and wondering what to do about it.

Note: Turning (3) into (1) rarely happens, in my experience.

Are we more creative when surrounded by mess?

I am a professional organiser but I am not an inherently tidy person or in favour of minimalist living. People worry that I am going to come in and ‘make them’ get rid of all their stuff. Nothing could be further from the truth. My role is to help you manage your belongings so that they enhance your life rather than stifle it.

Some people need to reduce the quantity of stuff in their home because they can no longer function in the space. Clutter has piled on top of clutter and they can’t find anything even though they know it is in there somewhere. This leads to them spending more money buying something they know that they own but they cannot find. Now there is yet more clutter to deal with in the daily struggle to function.

In these homes clutter is not creative, it is very stressful, so stressful in fact that people develop mental blinkers which enable them to cut out the clutter so that they are not overwhelmed by it.

As an organiser, I do not see it as my job to leave you with an immaculate desk or living area in which you can no longer find anything. Many people need visual clues to remind them of their ‘to do list’. My role is to help you sort out what is working as a system and what is not. Once we discover the things that do work then we can bring that knowledge to the areas that don’t work for you and revise them so that they work too.

My husband sent me a link to an article today ‘The Psychology behind Messy Rooms: Why The Most Creative People Flourish in Clutter‘ and I found it fascinating reading.
http://elitedaily.com/money/entrepreneurship/psychology-behind-messy-rooms-messy-room-may-necessarily-bad-thing/708046/

Certainly I have found many of my clients to be interesting and creative people. They are also extremely generous with their time, devoting much of it to outside the home activities helping others. The combination of these elements can have the effect of accumulating mess that brings a resulting chaos in its wake. That is why they call me in.

If any of this resonates with you, leave a comment.

For practical help and advice, call me!

Christine
01803 527072
07794978095

Summertime Tips for Teachers

You have had a hard year and now you need some down time. If you are like me though, you use the first week of the holiday to tidy up and reorganise all those cupboards of stuff that have accumulated over the past year. It is very easy for school stuff to take over your home as well as your classroom.

Now is a good time to take stock of what you have used and what is moldering away at the back of the cupboard. Be ruthless and realistic. Is this item in good enough condition to use again? Is it faded, torn or tatty? Would you actually want to use it?

Don’t let tired resources take up space in cupboards.

By checking over your stock early in the holiday you will know what you have to work with when you start preparing topics for the next academic year.

If the thought of tackling the cupboards alone is daunting or overwhelming, why not give me a call on 07794 978095 and book a one off cupboard clearing session?

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.

Do you store on the Floor? part 3

A mountain of clothes litters the floor and from it you pull any items you can see that will a) fit you and b) look and smell relatively clean.

If you (and your beloved) are never irritated or frustrated by this clothes mountain then read no further. You are happy and you have the right to remain so.

Reason Three
Do you just hate putting things away? Life is too short to waste time tidying.

I would argue that life is too short not to be organised. Levels of tidiness vary for us all but a mountain of clothes on the floor can cause high levels of frustration when you can’t find what you are looking for plus the floor is not going to be the cleanest of places if you can’t get at it with the vacuum.

Maybe the classic system of wardrobe and drawers will never work for you. You could try open cubes in which you place smaller piles of like items or even place entire outfits right down to underwear that goes with them. This is not to be excessively ‘matchy’ but simply that some trousers need lower cut undies and tops a certain style of bra.

How often have you decided on something and then found you can’t wear it because you can’t find any decent tights?

What about going right outside the box? Get rid of both wardrobe and drawers and organise your clothes on and under a pasting table.

If you are going to do this I suggest you invest in the relatively cheap table first and see if it works as a system for you before ditching the family heirlooms.

You could lay your clothes along the table following either the like items with like or the outfits system. Bulky items like jumpers or sweat shirts could be in boxes under the table. We all know that any mountain of clothes collapses if it gets too big so keep the piles small so you can see what is there.

Finally, invest in a second laundry basket and separate your lights from your dark colours as you undress. When either basket is full you know you have a full washing load. If you find, as I do, that there is much more of one than the other you can bulk it up with one of the sheets from your bed. I use non matching sheets for this express purpose!

If you want help to organise and/or revamp your wardrobe why not book a wardrobe makeover? For more info visit http://www.devonclutterbusters.com