What’s the collective noun for a group of declutterers? ‘A tidiness’? ‘A straightening’, maybe? or perhaps ‘a clearing’? It’s something members of APDO, the UK Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, often joke about when we get together.
Britain’s rising tide of clutter
Sometimes people do raise their eyebrows when we tell them we’re part of an official organisation for professional organisers. Like many of my colleagues, I didn’t know APDO existed when I decided to set up my own decluttering enterprise six years ago. I appreciate it sounds funny. But Britain’s rising tide of clutter is a serious issue, and APDO is in business to help bring order to the lives, homes and offices of anyone who needs help to sort out their stuff.
The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers was founded in 2004 in response to a growing interest in clutter-free living. But today APDO’s organising experts are busier than ever before. So how have we found ourselves in clutter crisis?
Britain today is described as a ‘throwaway society’ but the reality is that a lot of us feel bad about getting rid of stuff we don’t need, use or love, even if it doesn’t have a role in our life any more. Add the ‘waste-not, want not’ philosophy we have inherited from previous generations to a 21st century world where consumer goods are more affordable than ever before but living spaces are getting smaller and more expensive and it’s no surprise we struggle to store all our possessions. We are truly living through an epidemic of what author and trend forecaster James Wallman eloquently describes as ‘stuffocation’ in his book of the same name.
When clutter is clogging up your home it creates a mental muddle too. Clear it out and you’ll not only have more physical space but you’ll lift an emotional load off your mind at the same time – plus you’ll save yourself all that time you currently spend hunting high and low for things you can’t find!
Sometimes, however, the task of tackling the clutter on your own can feel overwhelming, and that’s when a professional organiser can help clear a path through the mess and the stress it brings to a calmer life and home. Working with you, a professional organiser can suggest ways of making the most of the space you have. You’ll be able to find everything you need whenever you need it. And you’ll find it easier to control your clutter in the future.
find expert practical and emotional support
With more than 150 members based across the UK, APDO’s online directory makes it easy to find expert practical and emotional support close by, whether you live in South London or Scotland, East Anglia or the West Country.
We also promote the benefits of a clutter-free, organised lifestyle with advice, ideas and inspiration via our newsletter, blog, on Facebook and Twitter as well as activities and events including our annual conference in London, which this year takes place on March 15 and 16, and National Organising Week in November.
APDO is passionate about the power of decluttering to change our lives for the better. ‘Let it go’ (in the words of the theme song to the Disney hit Frozen) and the effect isn’t just practical, it’s profound.
Simplify and organise your space and you’ll feel happier, because it’s people and experiences that enrich our lives, not accumulating more things. You will get more done too, because clutter is a visual distraction – remove it and you’ll find you are able to think much more clearly and focus on what you need to achieve.
But one of the best benefits is the money that can be saved – and made – by getting your life and home in order. APDO members regularly help our clients organise their finances better to reduce their household bills. We also advise on where and to sell their unwanted items to make cash – and we also suggest they don’t splash it straight out again on physical stuff but treat themselves to a nice restaurant meal, or put it towards a memorable experience like a theatre trip, family day out or a holiday.
So APDO is delighted to support National Clear Your Clutter Day too as we share the same vision – simplifying life and saving money!
Clare Parrack, APDO, apdo-uk.co.uk
“It’s important to create good habits in the home, in particular the places that can become magnets for clutter. Each room will have its own storage needs for items that need to be kept out of sight, creating more space to display the items that mean the most.” Darryl Brunt, UK Sales & Marketing Director at Fellowes UK
Find out how to get involved in National Clear Your Clutter Day 2017