The thing about clutter is that there’s no hiding it. Scrap that. Okay so there are LOADS of places to hide your clutter. Chuck it into the coat cupboard. Behind the sofa. Under the bed. In the car if you’re really desperate. We could go on. But this isn’t a guide on how to hide away your clutter. The point is, if you have clutter, you know you have it. Because even if you have hidden the kids’ toys in the under-stairs cupboard before the whole book group arrives at your house, or unsorted laundry under the bed when your mother-in-law pays an unexpected visit (surprise!) you know the mess is there, that’s why you’re trying to hide it. And later once they’ve gone you’ll have to tackle it because it’s probably in the way of stuff you need.
So in a way, the great thing about email clutter is that nobody can see it. Even your nearest and dearest aren’t going to go trawling through your emails and see you have 23,293 unopened messages. But that is also the problem… Read more
We’ve all been there. Fired off an unusually aggressive email in the spur of the moment. Emailed something we wouldn’t dare say to someone’s face. It’s one of the pitfalls of communicating by text or email. We have a tendency to behave more badly than we would face-to-face.
It’s usually just thoughtless venting soon forgotten but when it comes to more serious conflict such as work grievance, divorce or inheritance, an aggressive email can have deeper repercussions. More people involved, more chance of emails being forwarded, emails which could be brought up in court. Which is why your response to hostile emails can affect not only your relationships but also the outcome of a case.
Ask yourself – do I need to respond? Read more
That jacket. The one you got in the clearance sale. The colour was never quite right and it was a bit tight on the sleeve but it was a total bargain. Designer jacket for that price! So of course it has spent a long and lonely life in the back of your wardrobe. It did see the light of day briefly 5 years ago when you moved house. And… no come to think of it you never did wear it out. You should have got rid of it years ago.
No, you say. I’ll sell it. It must be worth loads by now. I’ll make the money back.
Really? You think?
Why you won’t get the money back
Are they under the sofa cushions? In your other coat pocket – the one you wear to walk the dog in the rain? In the sparkly clutch-bag you only use on once-in-a-blue-moon nights out?
I’m talking coins. Not just any coins. The old £1 coin. Old as in, this time in a month it won’t be worth a penny. Zilch. Old as in, come the morning of 16 October, no shops will accept them. Some banks may even refuse to exchange them.
This will be annoying if you find a few odd quid stuck down the back seat of the car in two months’ time. But a big old waste of money if you have dozens of the things scuttled away. Maybe hundreds. And it’s likely that many of us do.
I love jigsaws. And I’m good at them. But why is she telling us this, you ask – surely this is a blog about professional organisation, not hobbies? I mention it because clients always find that one of the benefits of using my services is that I have an uncanny gift for remembering exactly what went where, when, and why.
The amount of decisions and the overwhelming amount of changes my clients need to make can leave them feeling overwhelmed. But not me. Late night texts of “Where is the blue vase?”, “What price did we agree on that designer bag?” and ‘Did I pack the prescriptions?” are exactly what I expect from clients who are transitioning from one life to another. Read more
Marriage. Two people. In love. Making vows to each other. Usually. But I have clients who are so attached to their possessions you’d think they’d made lifelong vows to their BELONGINGS. So it got me thinking. If we did make vows to our stuff, how would it work?
To have and to hold… Read more
Dear charity shop volunteer,
I know that it can be tough working in a charity shop.
That you have to sort through piles and piles of discarded clothes…
That sometimes you can’t get in to open the shop for bin bags stuffed full of rubbish blocking the doorway…
That you may be giving up your time for free…
That customers can be rude and annoying…
Or complain about the prices as though you were pocketing the cash yourself.
And I really respect and admire the fact that you’re giving your time to help a good cause.
BUT. And this is a big but. Read more
You know that bit where the bride vows ‘to have and to hold from this day forward…’? They were talking about the other person. Not the wedding dress.
But it’s amazing how many of us can’t let go of the dress, even when we want to. They sit collecting dust in attics and taking up wardrobe space. Most of us can’t fit into them anymore. Not that you’d wear if if you could. But every time you vow to donate it you remember the fittings. The cost. The day. Getting rid of it can even feel like a bad omen – am I jinxing something?So we bundle it away again. When it comes to decluttering, the dress is one of the hardest things to let go. But what if you knew you could make some cash out of it to spend on something you actually used? Or that it was going to a good cause? It would make it far easier to get rid of wouldn’t it? If you knew you were giving it a new lease of life. Read more
If family life and marriage is disintegrating in front of your morning coffee, so will your bank balance if you don’t keep a firm head and a steady heart when choosing the right legal support for your divorce.
I work with many clients going through divorce, so I have also witnessed the effective, the outrageous and the more conciliatory approaches to the legal side of uncoupling. Here is a look inside my little black book… Read more
It’s been sitting in the hall cupboard for the past 10 years. Or the garden shed. Maybe it even made it into the attic. You haven’t used it for years. You’re not sure you ever will. You don’t even like it. But it was expensive. Or it belonged to your grandmother. Or it might just be useful. One day?
Sound familiar? Well you’re not alone. The UK uses five times more storage space per head than any other country in Europe according to research from comparethemarket.com. And more than half of us know we’re holding on to things for longer than we should. While the British post-war mentality of holding on to stuff ‘just in case’ is often blamed, as a Professional Organiser and Downsizing Specialist, I’ve found that sentimental attachment is usually the cause, with procrastination a close second.
So before you lug your stuff to storage and pay for it to stay there for years, here are some suggestions to help you make sensible decisions about your belongings. They’ll free up your home, your mind, your family and your wallet. Read more