Now Spring has arrived
It’s time to assess when and how to tackle those clutter challenges that may have been delayed over the winter. With the longer evenings and brighter mornings we have more natural daylight to work in, and that often helps give a surge of energy.
How to approach things?
This varies from person to person. Are you an early bird who’s up with the lark and keen to get along? More a midday or early afternoon worker, or a night owl?
Deciding on what time of day suits you best will be the time to start an organising and clearing session. If you try to force yourself to operate at a time that really isn’t a comfortable time for you then you’ll be more likely to be in a ‘no-win’ situation.
Remember; start small with something achievable; set yourself an achievable list of goals and tasks so you have something to focus on each day. Most important is to allocate a period of time – 15 to 30 minutes to start with, Knowing there’s an end in sight can help you achieve a goal; if you have an indeterminate duration for your tasks then you may find the thought overwhelming.
Get help – not only from an APDO member; sometimes it’s best just to get someone else to do something that’s been troubling you.
One of our members, Birgit Medele (www.clearofclutter.com) has her own little tale:-
"Our family love going on cycle rides. The kids were excitedly sitting in their trailer and off we went. Well, for about 30 seconds, because alas -there was yet another flat tyre. - How very very annoying...as both my husband and I really dislike repairing flats... so we couldn't go & the broken wheel just sat there and looked at us accusingly. Yesterday I'd had enough, chucked the wheel into the boot, drove to the next bicycle shop, and asked them to repair it for me. Best idea ever!
Moral of the story: hire up! Let all those helpful people out there give you a hand, and make your life flow with more ease and joy."
It may cost you a little, but the time you’d spend doing the tasks yourself could probably be better spent. This is why APDO members are so valued by their clients; when you work with an APDO member you not only get the benefit of encouragement and expertise, but you more importantly get the job done!
In this and forthcoming newsletters we'll be going around the different regions in the country to find out news, views and services members provide.
“My client base is an online one only, so my services offer a virtual helping hand. My clients get a daily action plan to help prioritise chores and a daily tip, which can include household hints, ideas to make life easier or a great product I've spotted.”
[Ed: The slogan on the site says, “Welcome to and easier life!” Oh, yes please Gina!]
Joanna Tedesco runs Room by Room Styling & Organising in Stirling (www.roombyroomstyling.co.uk)
"I started Room by Room styling & organising in September 09. The areas I cover (mainly the Forth Valley and Tayside) have excellent recycling projects and facilities and are working hard to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and re-using. Being a professional organiser is an unusual and little known vocation here, in fact many people have never heard of it at all, but I am confident the word will gradually spread!
One client I recently worked with had clutter in every room of their home and was feeling very claustrophobic. There were piles of papers and boxes everywhere, and it had been years since the family could use the dining table. The situation was causing them to feel depressed, because the ‘weight’ of the clutter seemed to be with them wherever they went.
After three days of hard work, we managed to get the room in order again. At times the process was difficult as some items conjured up emotional memories, but when the work was complete, the charity run done and a pile of items set aside for selling, you could actually see the relief on their faces.
For me, the best part of being a professional organiser is knowing you’ve helped someone lighten the ‘weight’ on their shoulders a little, which gives them a renewed energy for the important things in life. I also love seeing the look on the charity shop owner’s faces when I tell them my profession; I suspect they wish there were more of us!"
[Ed: If you're interested in recycling visit Freecycle www.uk.freecycle.org or Freegle www.ilovefreegle.org to find your local group. Also if you like to use something that's been made from recycled products, perhaps try a Fairtrade shopper from the Conran Shop tinyurl.com/36ruv6y - they're made from recyced fish-food bags from Cambodia, and are all unique!]
"Clear Mountain derived its name from my time living in the Swiss Alps but I now live in Glasgow with my husband and two teenage sons.
Glasgow is one of the most friendly cities in the world and is full of interesting people and characters. The people are very open and if you stop someone in the street for help invariably they help you.
My business is diverse and I deal with jobs from simple loft clearances through to de cluttering large 5 bedroom properties. One of my most memorable jobs was in a house where the couple were downsizing and had been in the house for 40 years. It was a true home full of many years' memories. On one particular day I unearthed a 200 year old tapestry that the family had lost many years before.
My most recent jobs have been helping families with removals relating to elderly relatives relocating to Nursing Homes. This is a very sensitive part of my job and needs to be handled very carefully. I give the family support during these times and manage as much of their affairs as I can, to help ease their stress. I enjoy this immensely and hope to progress my business to encompass Life Coaching services."
"Typical! You wait ages for a muddle, then three turn up together! My business has certainly been like that over the last year: slow at times, then a rush of work.Yet 2010 does feel as if the economy is recovering, Spring is in the air, and clients are lining up to be decluttered.
It's such a privilege to be trusted by people to help sort throught what may be their cherished possessions. On the other hand, it's sometmes scary to discover what people collect; not just boxes of old plugs and door knobs, but unused notebooks with “such a pretty cover” - to go beside the other 27 unused notebooks with equally pretty covers! My favourite was two large boxes full of old chequebooks; it took the best part of a week to shed them, but we did it! I love my job!"
APDO now has a Twitter profile at https://twitter.com/apdouk here you'll meet members of APDO and be able to connect with a worldwide gathering of others in the industry and members of the public interested in what we do.
New members We now have some new memberships; 1 in Eastern Region, 2 in South West, 5 in the South East [Ed: how cluttered are we down here....?] visit www.apdo-uk.co.uk to view Organisers in your area.
Some of the items from the press in the last 6 months
- November 2009 Jon Ramsay of Clutterbee and Beverly Wade of Cluttergone in House Beautiful
- December 2009 Cassie Tillett of Working Order and Jon Ramsay in IDFX magazine
- January 2010 Beverly Wade in Yours magazine
- February 2010 Jo Jacob of Benella Interiors in RED magazine
- March 2010 Louise Donald of Space and Time in The Scotsman
- March/April 2010 Stephanie Darragh of ClutterGo in The West Sussex County Times
- April 2010 Sophie March of The Order Restorers in House & Garden
- May 2010 Beverly Wade in Good Housekeeping: Space Invaders
There was a recent conference of NAPO – the American Organisers – Isi Dixon of Well Organised was all ready to go and to send us some news from the event. Unfortunately a certain volcano got in the way and her flight was cancelled.
If you want to find out about the conference, you can always get the information from them on CD, Mp3 or DVD see: http://www.napo.net/conference/current.aspx
Also, Isi tells us that if you're attending the conference for the first time you can ask to be paired up with a “Conference Buddy” [a seasoned attendee] who will show you the ropes and help you get the most out of the conference.
There have been a number of contacts from various organisations recently who've expressed an interest in links with APDO, and we hope to bring more news of this soon.
For now, here are a couple of contributions on storage and solutions:-
From ABC Selfstore and Greg Brina of Cracking Communications:-
Who let the loft out?
Welcome to the loft. For those of us lucky enough to have one it's the place we throw all the stuff we can't find room for anywhere else. more often than not a hot and dusty environment where domestic booby-traps - from precariously balanced boxes to wonky floorboards - lurk, waiting to catch us out.
But for many householders the loft has become the new centre of attention. A cost-efficient way to create new living space, save on energy bills and add value to a property. Whether it is about to become the new den for playing Call of Duty at 2am, a nursery for a future addition to the family or even a hi-tec chamber to help bust climate-change, there's one thing that sometimes gets overlooked.
There's a really simple answer - self storage - you rent some storage space from someone else. It's not the backstreet garage look-up you've probably pictured in your head. Modern self storage facilities are very sophisticated and secure. You have your own unit and can access your stuff at any time during opening hours (24hr with some companies) with no extra cost.
Of course - you can ask your Professional Organiser to sort this all out for you. They'll have relationships with the best in the business in terms of locality, cost, facilities and customer service. Companies like ABC Selfstore in London - who charge by the day and offer discounts for long-term storage.
[Ed. Recently I visited a storage unit with a client to view the 'excess' from the house. While in the lift a lady replete with trolley and two outsized suitcases related the following: “The other day one of the neighbours asked if we ever rented out our house in the country. I hadn't a clue what she was talking about. What house, I asked? The Big Yellow one your daughter keeps talking about”
From Suzanne Baker of The Holding Company
It is time to throw open your doors and windows after a long cold winter and sort out the clutter that is probably taking over your lives. Tackle one area at a time, or one room in the house. If you start with the bedroom sort out winter clothes, a good storage system is essential for hiding away all those bulky winter jumpers and blankets that all too often fill our bedrooms in the spring. [Click on the highlighted words below to be taken to the website and view of the product.]
Vacuum storage bags are ideal for this purpose. The air is removed by using the nozzle on a vacuum cleaner, within seconds you have a small vacuum sealed packet.
Shoe storage can cause even the most organised among us to stumble.Shoes need to be visible, this will give you the ability to see the shoes you need and quickly get to them.
If you have redundant space at the bottom of a bed use a large rattan chest to store out of season clothing and bedding
We hope you've enjoyed the Newsletter. If you have any contributions you'd like to make please send them in, and if you have questions on decluttering and organising you'd like solutions for, we'll ask members for their solutions and publish them for you.
Enjoy the Spring into Summer!
Best wishes from the APDO team.