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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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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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A needless, consumerist chore

"Holiday gift-giving between adults is a needless, consumerist chore." (The Minimalists, here) In part I agree, and in part I disagree. Firstly, there should be no one-size-fits-all approach to Christmas. I believe it is essential to tap into your own ideas about what you celebrate and how. Gift-giving can take place in any number of ways. Is it needless? I enjoy Christmas as an opportunity to recapture some of my childish pleasure in pretty lights, music, and, I'll admit it,…

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Black Friday weekend, decluttered

First, it has to be said - you already know it's madness. Stuff doesn't make us happy, the rampant commercialism is horrific for our mental health, for our society and for the planet. People are still horribly lonely at Christmas and we are all haunted by the childhood expectations that were or weren't met, the love we did or didn't get, ¬†or our circumstances now compared to what we thought they would be 20 years ago. Victorian perfectionism meets Disney.…

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What the happy couple said

"We don't yet know what we will need in our married life. We ask friends to give us something like CDs or DVDs that we could share with other people." I'm so proud of them! I gave a bottle of really nice wine and a CD of my favourite love song. A friend teased me that, given that the CD could be burned onto a computer and the empty bottle recycled, this was practically a self- destructing ¬†wedding present. I…

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