Last night BBC Radio Manchester were kind enough to invite me on to their Dead Good Show’s Bad Parents Club, with Simone Riley, to talk about decluttering. All the other guests (Hiya – Billy, Lucy and Louise!) put me at ease with their chat and made the process not half as bad as I was expecting. I just hope I didn’t pass on my flu-like lurgy which reared up during the night.
With my past in national print journalism I’m more comfortable asking the questions rather than being put on the spot so inevitably on the drive back home across the moors I started to unhelpfully think about all the things I’d forgotten to say…
One of the questions I feel I could have provided a better written answer for was something along the lines of how did I get into all this? I remember mentioning being an interiors editor and always being fascinated by how people live but I didn’t share that when I’d go and stay with friends and I was ever left to my own devices I’d rearrange their bathrooms or children’s bedrooms…
This is because I really believe in simplifying and helping people live with less – even if this just means putting toiletries away in a bathroom cupboard so there is less visual clutter round a sink.
I love everything about my job from meeting clients to discuss what they want to achieve (after all everyone has a different threshold so it’s not up to me to dictate what that should be) to restocking and arranging my work bags (is that really sad? Who else used to love packing bags when they were a child too…?)
I was asked if there has been an increase in enquiries since the chatter started about Marie Kondo’s Netflix tidying series.
Well, I think the programme has inspired more people to have a go, with many great success stories being shared on social media but most of the clients I work with are well versed in the theory of decluttering. They’ve read the books and watched the YouTube tutorials but there’s usually some kind of blockage which stops the process. These range from lack of time, energy and focus or simply not knowing where to start. Delayed decisions or not having permission to let something go can also hold people back. Or clients need support in figuring out a practical but simple system for arranging a functional room such as an office or kitchen.
I think people have natural aptitudes towards things and mine is organising. Show me an empty room and hand me a brush and tell me I have cover every surface with paint and I feel overwhelmed, I procrastinate and I never get into the flow or start enjoying it. However present me a cluttered room and I can’t wait to start reclaiming it and my mind will dart around to figure out which area I’m going to focus on first.
Without sounding New Agey I love reintroducing a new, lighter energy into a space. And once that’s achieved my clients also feel a physical burden lifted from their shoulders. I like to think of it as lovely, warm sigh of relief. It also helps that I take ‘the stuff’ away to be recycled, donated to charity or dropped at the tip rather than it being shifted to another area such as the garage or spare room to fester.
I believe the joy of organising runs in my family as if my wonderful nanna, who lived independently well into her 90s, she was ever short of something to do she’d tidy a cupboard. And this is what my 9 year old daughter does on a rainy Sunday afternoon….
Here’s link to show if you want to hear me get progressively croakier…