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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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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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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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Having Trio here is really good

"I was worried I'd be pressured into throwing away something I wanted to keep. That didn't happen. Trio suggested things I didn't initially choose to, but when I realised I would never need them, I agreed. She wasn't pushy about throwing away things with sentimental value or keepsakes, but cautious. I loved buying my new stationery products and admiring them - they looked so much better. I loved seeing the box we'd started with, empty - knowing we'd filed everything.…

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Considerations on shopping and owning less

I’m discovering that the focus which comes after decluttering can be summed up in one simple idea - owning less. Although life is full of surprises, a good ambition is to stay decluttered and continue along this path of owning less. Owning less also means continuing with a regular purge of stuff. The truth is that owning less means a commitment to buying differently. It involves buying with more heart, buying experiences (holidays with loved ones, delicious food) instead of…

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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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