Decluttering in an environmental context

It's been on my mind for a while that I would like to get a better feel for how my work fits into the wider considerations of environmental awareness. In the end I came up with four ideas. Firstly, there is no magic 'away' place where the stuff we don't want to keep, goes. This is something that my clients have often been scrupulous about and it's one of many reasons why people keep overwhelming amounts of unwanted plastic. We…

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On failure in our retail aspirations

I hope it's not too much of a clanger to say that this post is prompted by a chat I had with George Monbiot this morning when he stopped by my stall. We were talking about how the phrase 'retail therapy', originally coined as a disparaging comment, gained currency and added empathy in our emotionally cluttered social environment. That's terrible, opined George. Not at all, I said. And here's why. When you shop, you're taking a punt that the thing…

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On books…

We are in Oxford, in the Thames Valley, UK.  Oxford homes I have worked in typically have a lot of moth, and a lot of books. Moth, because the Thames Valley is a favourite place for them, and books, because we are in an academic environment whether we are a member of the University or not and these things rub off on you. We have learned to relate to a city with abundant books in it, and without them life…

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My favourite decluttering metaphors

A question that comes up when I am trying to sell my service to someone, is how to describe my work using concepts that people are familiar with from other parts of life. I've quite enjoyed this process for myself and have had a number of fascinating conversations with APDO colleagues about this too. So ... here are my top three: I'm a sort of hairdresser. Clutter will grow, like hair, because it's a byproduct of being alive. For as…

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Happy Campers

It may come as no surprise that the happiest of holiday makers under canvas are organised people, good planners, and good at packing lots of stuff into small spaces. So, I've consulted some experienced festival goers  to see which of our camping experiences had taught us the most. From Green Man and Reading, to Glastonbury and even the Burning Man festivals, these people have done it. One even has a special spreadsheet (for Burning Man - please contact me if…

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She let go

  She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go. She let go of the fear.  She let go of the judgments.  She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.  She let go of the committee of indecision within her.  She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go. She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let…

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Destroy In Order To Create – Ending Creative Blocks

Destroy in order to create – ending creative blocks

Bringing about the end of a piece of work is as much a commitment as starting it. This commitment is about recognising what doesn't work, or what we no longer want. To destroy a piece of your own creative work is to announce your commitment to your creative self, and your belief of the importance of what you bring into the world that didn't exist in it before.   “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All…

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Tricky Decisions

Tricky decisions

I won't deny that decluttering my own home is a great pleasure. But heck - we all have our dark side. And sometimes those decisions just ARE tough. Family history, our hopes for our creative futures, the future we don't yet know, heirlooms... it all comes together in a giant frightwig of emotional intensity. Tempers get frayed. People just don't understand. Phew! So, what can we do? 1 - try and clean up. There's something about a clean muddle that…

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