Emotional Roller Coasters

Gioia Decluttering News

I have had the privilege of working with many clients over the years and one thing they have almost all shared with me is the emotions that come crashing down on them when they look at their clutter.  It brings them to a standstill, and I believe all of us at some point have reached that stage of total overwhelm.

We’re often not really present to the emotions that clutter causes because we’ve almost become inured to them, to the stage where we ignore the frustration, stress and embarrassment.  I’m really not trying to be negative here, I just want people to get the emotional impact that clutter and disorganisation brings to their lives.

How do you feel when you search high and low for items such as car keys, that you absolutely know are somewhere in the house, but you’re having to waste precious time in the search and becoming frustrated and stressed? [Read more…]

Sorting the kids’ toys once and for all… and my upcoming Decluttering Workshop

Gioia Decluttering News

I have been decluttering and organising alongside clients in their homes for almost 12 years and probably one of the main problem issues that comes up time and time again has been sorting and organising children’s toys, games and books.

Toys tend to multiply into every room in the house which can be challenging, quite aside from the child’s room itself which can become chaotic. Not fun for Mum to clean, and ultimately not great for the child either as they try to find a particular toy or game and end up turning the room upside down in the process.

There are obviously a couple of issues here: one being when to let go of toys, books and games because they are no longer used or the child has grown out of them, and the second is organising those that are going to be kept.

So when is it time to let things go? What I do want you to think about here is that children learn to hoard very early in life, and often want to hold onto every stuffed toy, tiny first books and games that they have had since birth because they hold ‘memories’ for them. What I explain to children is that if we hold onto everything, then there won’t be any room for new toys and books and games. You could also suggest that it can be a wonderful thing to give away those items that they no long play with to those children who don’t have toys at all.

Here are a few other suggestions which I hope will help:

[Read more…]

Impulse Buying and what it’s costing us

Gioia Decluttering News

I was listening on the radio yesterday to people talking about some of their crazy impulse buys, and it made me think about the many instances where we shop without thinking too much about what we’re doing. And I’m certainly not saying I’m immune, I mean, who doesn’t love shopping!

Be aware though of the penalties of endless shopping, and it’s not only the clutter it provides because the house is bursting at the seams and there’s no room to put the new stuff, but it also impacts us financially.

Here are some of the ways we shop, which can very easily become compulsive:

Online buying: it’s so easy to plug in your card number and have access to outlets anywhere in the world, and have goods arrive on your doorstep without even having to leave the house. And what are some of the things we buy, that become clutter rather than something we gainfully use: exercise products, diet pills that come with amazing promises, household goods, and clothes and shoes to name just a few of the hundreds of items you can now buy online. But are you always satisfied with what you have bought when it arrives? [Read more…]

Monica’s Cupboard

Gioia Decluttering News

I was pondering yesterday what to write about in this month’s newsletter and asked a couple of friends what areas they struggled with in their homes. I was intrigued when Sue mentioned that she has “Monica’s Cupboard” and asked her what she meant by that. Those of you who were avid watchers of the TV show ‘Friends’ may have caught the episode where Monica talked about her cupboard, which as I understand it was a catch-all for that stuff that needs to go somewhere but doesn’t have a specific place.

I asked Sue what sort of things she stores in this cupboard and she said ‘everything’, by which I gathered she meant items that didn’t have a home elsewhere. Now my friend Sue is a very organised person and her home is fabulous, and definitely not cluttered. Next time I visit I am going to check out Monica’s Cupboard though as I’m intrigued.

Sue also said she has a ‘useful drawer’ and my other friend said she calls hers ‘the third drawer’. I don’t have such a cupboard or drawer because I live in a small space so I really do need to be very organised and tidy.

However I totally understand both concepts, being the cupboard and the useful drawer. In our busy lives there’s sometimes not the time or the wherewithal to work out where to put something so it’s good to be able to tuck it out of place in a cupboard or drawer until another day. It may also be that you know exactly what is kept in that cupboard and that ‘third drawer’ and they may be the perfect home for whatever you’ve put there.

[Read more…]

DIY Work Plans

Gioia Decluttering News

I’ve worked with many people over the last eleven years who have been motivated to declutter and organise their home, and felt confident enough to feel they could follow a DIY plan. Kiwis are masters of Do It Yourself and ‘number 8 fencing wire’ and we love to muck in, roll up our sleeves and work out how to do what needs to be done.

While I think we can be proud of our ‘can do’ attitude, we do sometimes need to consult an expert and get some guidance on exactly how to do it! Once the clutter becomes unmanageable all sorts of emotions can come into play such as overwhelm, shame, frustration, and sometimes desperation, all of which lead to unnecessary stress. At this stage you need a tailored step by step plan that is going to tell you exactly what you need to do next, and how to do it.

So how does it work?

[Read more…]