Bring your talents out

It must be pretty common to enjoy doing a craft, but to have to acknowledge to yourself that actually, you're not that skilled at it. But you like having a crack at it. No harm done. Perhaps it's part of your family culture, and along the road you've inherited the tools and impedimenta connected to that craft. A couple of generations of good intentions. Hands up, knitters of the nation! Your first task is to gather all of the tools…

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Christmas Part 2: Declutter your Christmas Rituals

Christmas-making is an art form that anyone can get good at. In fact, by the time you've left home, it's unlikely that Santa will be coming down the chimney as he used to, and unless you get busy you might have quite a depressing festive season. Yes, we approach this time with a certain amount of anxiety. But actually, much is in our hands. The different Christmas 'types' What kind of Christmas-maker are you? person of a religious grouping Christian,…

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Christmas Part 1: Organise your Christmas Shopping

Many people approach the Christmas season with dread. An expensive, stressful time, it brings unreasonable expectations and challenges our sense of wellbeing. I had an interesting chat with a handful of other professional organisers from the Association Professional Declutterers and Organisers last week, about our 'readiness' for Christmas. Here are some top tips from the professionals about how to survive the season: What they said Ignore the traditional Christmas shopping timetable Only buy things you think your friends will actually…

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Curating our worlds ourselves

I owe a huge thank you to Susan Kirby of Sort and Survive for a few of the ideas included in this post. Her perspective of museum curatorship applied to our personal clobber has been very moving, and deeply enriching, to me. Her relationship with me is one of many enabled by our APDO involvement, and I have used her perspective with a number of my clients. When on holiday one year, I visited the Jacques Brel museum in Brussels.…

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Seeing the space emerge

I wasn't too worried before Trio came- it was a present so I wondered what I would say if it was unhelpful, but I was pretty hopeful from the start. Decluttering is something I've wanted to do for ages and I knew I needed to have help. My friend had spoken to her. My best bit was just seeing the space emerge. I'm now very aware of how much more I've got to do. Seeing order emerge was great -…

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The 'one day…' cupboard has had it's day

I knew Trio so I wasn't worried- I placed myself in her hands confidently. I have a lot of dust. I'm tidyish rather than clean but my standards are always acceptable. I couldn't believe how much got done in so short a time - we filled my car after 2 hours work. It's just placed the whole subject of clutter higher up my agenda. My favourite part is opening up that 'one day...' cupboard door and just seeing how it…

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Every player gets a minion!

Aside from the fact that children are magnets for 'stuff' despite the efforts and aesthetic values of their parents, my visit to St Giles Fair this year really brought to my my mind the message from the Minimalists, from James Wallman's book 'Stuffocation', and from many other writers on minimalism and clutter, namely: In terms of quality of life, happiness and good mental health, experiences matter more than things. They help us build an ever changing image of ourselves and…

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The 'junk drawer'

My 'junk'... this word is a shorthand for a complex mixture of precious and not so precious things. In the picture above are a deeply loved selection of stones, house keys, the dog lead...a number of useful things. The drawer's contents when  I found them were  made impenetrable not only by the drawer's muddle but by the fact we don't really have a helpful name for this collection of things, only an increasing sense of shame about it. Increasingly that made the drawer…

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From chaos to resourcefulness

  Resource no 1: your life story Stuff that is broken, out of date, or that refers to a life we don't live any more, doesn't serve us. In a cupboard, it might be choking shelf space that could be used for things we treasure, want to reuse or have access to for personal reasons. Safely disposing of a pile of broken suitcases might bring about an opportunity to store and re read old letters and go out in the garden with…

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Everybody has one…

A particular job around the house I particularly hate doing. A special attachment to a particular kind of item, such as  little bottles and miniature packaging. An item that lovingly links me with a celebrity. An item that manifests my true beauty in a way the World will never really understand. A letter in a bottle, now adrift, waiting for the lighthouse of my organising mind to bring it safely to the beach. A friend, waiting? A childhood momento that is 'part of me'. A weary…

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