Recently I met Esme, the founder of Tidy Coaching. Esme is a decluttering expert and a Professional Organiser trained by Marie Kondo. We had a lovely conversation so I asked her for some tips to share with you all about decluttering. My thinking is, if you have jewellery gathering dust in your jewellery box, what else is gathering dust that doesn't need to be!
What is the role of a Professional Organiser and how can you help us?
A Professional Organiser works in-home (or virtually) with you to help you declutter and organise your home. We will never tell you what to let go of, but instead we offer support and guidance to ensure you are keeping items that you really love, use and need. Once the decluttering is done, we offer solutions on how to store your items (a place for everything and everything in its place) to ensure you stay clutter free going forward. I always say your home should support you in your daily life, not get in the way of it.
When I go through the decluttering process with clients, they will often find items that have been hidden away and forgotten about for years. We come across some real hidden gems – quite literally!
What made you want to become a Professional Organiser?
I spent 15 years working in the design industry so I’ve always had a good eye for detail which helps me a lot as a Professional Organiser.
Perhaps surprisingly I’m not a naturally tidy person, but I am a naturally organised person. I used to live in what I would describe as an ‘organised mess’ in my house and I never liked throwing anything away!
Over the years I’ve been intrigued by finding ways to be and stay tidy and when I read Marie Kondo’s book: ‘The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying’, it was a game changer. Her KonMari Method™ of tidying just made so much sense to me and I was fascinated by the psychology behind the method too.
An old friend of mine had been working as one of Marie Kondo’s KonMari Consultants for 4 years and she persuaded me to sign up for the training. I went to Los Angeles in 2019 to be trained by Marie Kondo and her team and two years later, I’m a Bronze certified KonMari Consultant, Professional Organiser and founder of Tidy Coaching!
Organising a home and life can seem really daunting - where do we start?
It can be overwhelming to think about it and to even know where to start, but I use the KonMari Method™ with my clients which breaks the process down into categories: Clothes, Books, Papers, Komono (miscellaneous items such as bathroom and kitchen items) and lastly Sentimental Items.
A lot of people will try to tidy room-by-room or little and often, but this tends to result in a never ending cycle ….a bit like painting the Forth Rail Bridge!
Breaking things down into categories makes the process more manageable and makes sure you tackle all the items in your home. The categories are in this specific order as they range from the easiest to make decisions about (clothing) to the hardest to make decisions about (sentimental items). By the time you get to the hardest category you should be pretty used to making decisions about what you want to keep in your life!
What kind of sentimental items do you come across?
Sentimental items are of course the most personal items and will really vary from person to person. Often in this category we will be sorting through photographs, letters and cards from loved ones, old toys, jewellery. It’s really anything that holds a personal meaning for you.
How do you suggest using some of the sentimental items rather than hiding them away in a box?
I actively encourage my clients to find ways to use, re-purpose or display their sentimental items. It feels like such a shame to keep those memories hidden away. Of course I don’t want to start creating more clutter by having everything out on display around the house, but there are ways to make sure you will cherish those items e.g. putting photographs into an album, using items of crockery instead of saving them for a special occasion, turning sentimental items of fabric/clothing into something more useable such as a cushion cover, bedspread or teddy bear! (Yes there are companies who will make teddy bear toys using your old fabrics!)
I really love the way you repurpose old jewellery as often items will have been handed down through generations and will end up sitting in a jewellery box. How amazing to give them a new lease of life, bring them up to date and best of all to enable someone to actually wear and enjoy them!
Do you have any advice around how we can be more conscious when buying new 'stuff' so we don't keep hoarding clutter and keeping sustainability in mind?
When you go through a decluttering and organising process like the KonMari Method™ it really changes your mindset and attitude towards your belongings. It makes you appreciate and understand what you really want to surround yourself with. That mindset shift will then make you think more carefully about future purchases and will prompt you to ask yourself if you really love it / need it before you buy it. When we’re more careful with our purchases, we don’t end up bringing home lots of items we won’t use or wear and we save ourselves some money. It’s a win win!
Have you ever come across fabulous jewellery when decluttering?
I actually found a beautiful diamond once….just loose in a small plastic bag. It nearly got thrown out! The bag looked like something you would get ear plugs in and was just in a pile of other scraps of paper and bits and bobs heading for the bin. I always just double check everything, just in case, and I saw something sparkling. I fished it out and although I’m no expert I am pretty sure it was the real deal! My client was very pleased!
Where are you based and which areas do you cover?
I’m based in Chiswick and I work across West London (Ealing, Hammersmith, Barnes, Richmond, Chelsea, Fulham etc) and have worked for clients in Central London too, most recently just off Bond Street.
I have learned so much from Esme and endeavour to live a more clutter free life, if you'd like to learn more please do contact her through the links below.