Thursday, 10 May 2018 11:51

8 Questions to Help You Declutter

A few months ago, I worked with a client who really struggled to let go. She was moving into a small apartment and needed to downsize drastically. As we worked I found asking her questions about each item helped her make decisions a little easier.

In the kitchen I asked “Have you used this in the last year?” Quite quickly she was able to fill a large donation box of kitchen equipment.

Going through her wardrobe, the question was “Do you feel good in this?” We decided that her starting point would be whether she felt good in the item and if not, it would go. Two black bags to her favourite charity!

Working through her photographs we talked about happy, sad or bad memories. It didn’t take long for her to ditch all the photographs with bad memories. We followed that with cards, postcards and letters that didn’t bring a smile to her face.

Next came the ornamentals and our mantra became “Does it fit into the home you want to create?” We were able to fill another box for charity.

Paperwork followed and my question this time was “What is the worst that can happen if I let this go? Items like birth certificates, marriage documents, medical details and other important documents were put together in a file. We shredded years and years of accounts, statements and out of date information, and instead of four drawers of paperwork, we landed up with one filing box.

We helped her move, unpack and settle into her new apartment. Having tea with her before we left she said how easy we had made the downsizing process with all the questions we asked. It made her really think about why she was holding onto things, and why she shouldn’t.

Do you find it hard to declutter? Perhaps asking questions could help you.

Here are 8 questions to get you going:

  • Have I used it in the last year?
  • If I lost it, would I replace it?
  • Does it bring back happy memories?
  • Does it give me pleasure?
  • Does it fit the home I want to create now?
  • Do I feel good in this?
  • What is the worst that can happen if I let it go??
  • And lastly Marie Kondo says it best “Does it spark joy?”

Try it, what have you got to lose?

Published in Organizing

Having dinner at friends recently, we got talking about our parents and the challenges that go with growing older! One of our friends had been trying, without much success, to help her mom with the huge task of decluttering and letting go of years and years of accumulation.

“I get so impatient, I just want to do it without her”

“I don’t understand why she wants to keep everything”

“Most of it is old and not even very nice. I would just throw it out!”

Children and family members are well meaning, but often do more harm than good. They don’t have the patience to listen to the stories or pore over the memories. They are often too emotionally involved. Ultimately, they just want the job done as quickly as possible.

This is where an Organiser who understands and works with Seniors comes in.

  • A professional organizer who works with seniors will have lots of patience. They are willing to listen to the stories, look at the photographs and allow time to reminisce.
  • The organizer knows that getting organized will be a slow process. It took a lifetime to accumulate all of the possessions, so it will take time to go through everything.
  • The Senior needs an organizer who understands the physical limitations and adjust the length of an organizing session accordingly.
  • The professional organizer has to build trust with the senior client. It is hard to have strangers go through your things.
  • Senior citizens need to feel they are being treated with courtesy and consideration, and take time to listen to their concerns regarding the downsizing process.
  • A professional organizer needs to be able to communicate effectively with the Senior, as well as their family members and any caretakers involved.
  • Most importantly, our Mantra should always be “Do NO harm”. We know when to slow down and when to back away

Don’t wait until there is a strained relationship, or emotions run high.

Let the professional organizer do the hard stuff, and you get to do the fun stuff!

Published in Organizing
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 06:07

Tips For People Who Want To Declutter

Clutter builds up over time

“I can’t believe we haven’t finished yet!” or “I did not know there was so much to sort!”

These are comments I hear over and over from clients as we declutter and sort their belongings.

I currently have clients who are moving out of their home for a few months, in order to renovate, and then move back when it’s all done. They are decluttering (yay!) before the move, and we have spent several days going room by room, touching and deciding as they go. At the end of each they CAN NOT believe what they have accumulated, what they have come across that they had forgotten about and that the decluttering process is taking so long.….I CAN believe it!

Published in Organizing

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Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531
Email: judith@allsortednow.co.za 

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