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Making your home your friend

One of my clients calls his home 'a machine for living'. There are basic tasks it needs to be able to complete in order to function properly as a home, and I've listed a few of them here. But I would also add that when your home is your 'friend' and not just a 'machine', it will carry you through bad times. Steady home systems bring routine and calm. In my younger days I may have found this incredibly boring, but…

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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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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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How Are You? – Busy!

How are you? – Busy!

I've just come back from  a two-day conference with APDO (Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers) and as usual it's been full of brilliant ideas and new ways of looking at the decluttering issues we face today. One of the most common problems I see my clients facing is not having enough time to do the actions behind the clutter - make that phone call, read that article - let alone put things away or do routine maintenance. One client books her…

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Recognising ourselves as we are now

A great thing about a prolonged period of  'deep' decluttering and organising is that you become more self aware. It becomes visible that you are holding onto toys your child doesn't want and never did. It becomes obvious emotionally how your family are feeling about your stuff. Your own desires to keep certain items speak of their value in your life - perhaps they remind you of friends or of times you are glad of. They may also encapsulate very painful processes.…

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What is the difference between de-cluttering and organising?

These two pictures may not look particularly different, and the reason is that they are essentially much the same. What has changed here is the control of this space. It is clear from how items are contained according to type that there is no more muddle or mess. However, in this process we were largely repacking a suitcase, not releasing stuff. This was mainly organisation. This job took about 2 and a half hours to do. The task of selecting…

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