Divorce, Downsizing and Doing it Right

When people are going through a divorce I’m often brought in to help deal with their belongings. There are various scenarios. Sometimes the husband leaves to start a new relationship, taking the bare minimum of possessions. His wife is left feeling overwhelmed and resentful about having to deal with every single thing. So she calls me. On other occasions family lawyers and divorce coaches refer cases to me because their clients are arguing over Every. Single. Thing. As well as the negative moods and toxic atmosphere, couples fighting over joint possessions can lead to higher legal fees and longer settlement periods. Read more

The Gift of Listening Time this Christmas

Cards on the table, I’m a Professional Declutter and so my Christmas wish is that people give each other the gift of an experience rather than another expletive thing.  However, I just got trumped…

Yesterday, distracted and driving, I accepted a (hands-free!) call from a colleague while I busied myself with Christmas preparations.  She just called to ask How Are You.  She isn’t sending cards this year.  She is calling people.  And asking them about how their year was.  Not hers. Mine.

How refreshing is this?  No postal insincerity.  No carefully crafted funny insert letter about fabulous 2017-lives-by-month with undirected signatures.  Just her at the end of the line asking ‘How Are You?  How Was Your Year?

What followed was my download about the incredible year that I had failed to notice. Distractions drifted away, I pulled over and picked up the handset…  Let’s face it:  no one ever usually asks that sort of question with the intention to listen.  Patricia did and she listened. She gave me the gift of her listening time. Read more

9 Top Tips to declutter for Christmas – no more tangled lights!

It’s a familiar scenario. Christmas arrives and you find yourself rummaging under surplus suitcases to uncover dust-covered tinsel, tangled strings of old tree lights and decorations spilling from broken shopping bags. Many admit defeat and end up buying new ones, leaving the old ones to languish under children’s beds and in the upper reaches of the kitchen cupboard. But it doesn’t have to be this way…

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“It’s clear that you’re not just a declutterer!”

I am very clear to my clients about what I do:  I help people make decisions about their belongings.

But time and again I get the sideways glance, the hands-on-hips admonishments and the belly ache laughter which all come out with “it’s clear that you’re not just a declutterer!”  So perhaps it’s time to share some of the joy and insights about what I really do, according to my clients.  Read more

National Organising Week 7-13 November 2016

 

National Organising Week between 7-13th November 2016 is designed to celebrate the positive impact of decluttering & organising your home.

APDO Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers is running National Organising Week asking: why delay letting go of those possessions which are cluttering your home and impacting on your precious living space?  Declutter N.O.W. Read more

Does your stuff own you – or do you own your stuff?

Every  home I visit has an issue somewhere with stuff and space.“If I could clear this cupboard…”   “I want to be able to read in this room by the window…”   “This used to be a bedroom…”  “I should have moved years ago…”  Voices trail off into wishful thinking. All of them are saying, “If I didn’t have all these things, I could be doing something positive/better/useful.”  In other words, they would be happier.  Which is sad, because inanimate objects don’t care that they are restricting your living space, preventing you from having people over or getting things fixed.

Stuff doesn’t notice that the cupboards are stuffed full and the loft is full of empty obsolete boxes.

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If they didn’t take their stuff with them, they probably never will.

Kids off to uni soon?  Take a step back:  What are they leaving behind?

Are you about to store it nicely for them?  How many times?

What if, and stand well balanced here… what if your kids don’t want what you are holding onto?

What if there is no appreciation for all the sorting and storing you are doing for them.

What if they never come back for it?

What if niggling annoyance breeds on your part and resentment and guilt on theirs?  Relationship tensions for what?

STUFF?      

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Has your home got an unsightly muffin top?

Out of sight is never really out of mind.  You can still feel it.  And it can weigh you down whether you are aware of it or not.  My decluttered clients tell me

“this is the greatest weight off my shoulders”

“I cannot believe how much lighter everything feels”

“that was the fastest way to lose 100lbs in one day”…

Like starting an exercise program, we are very creative in talking ourselves out of it.  Feelings of fear, shame, embarrassment and actual emotional pain are huge hurdles to overcome as a waste watcher.  Read more

No, you don’t need a skip for that!

This excellent blog “Do I Need a Skip for That? How To Get Rid of Your Unwanted Bulky Items” was posted on Houzz by Amanda Pollard.  On the surface is shows how there is always some way to recycle your belongings- even the broken stuff that ‘nobody could possibly want’.   It lists the Furniture Donation Network and Bulky Waste as excellent ways to get rid of stuff ethically.metal-processing-header

Then if you click to the sites you see a deeper message – these go-to companies are actually ‘Community Dotcom‘ charity portals developed by social entrepreneur Steve Jackson OBE, founder of Recycling Lives – a Queen’s Award-winning commercial recycler and social welfare charity. Read more

Creating living memories – My mother’s garden…

Unknown-3  I am obsessed with helping clients create memories when they are going through a major downsizing process.  Often we take photos of items that are being gifted or donated to charities.  We scan old negatives and photos to share among family members, or to use in a digital photo frame in the new residence.   Some keepsakes trigger such evocative, happy memories that these are ‘no-brainers’ to keep and display.  So often the saddest of all farewells is usually in the garden.  Sigh, how do you let go of living plants?  I decided: not without a fight!  If you think you can’t take it with you, then here’s a great solution…

2008 stock frangipani Read more