road sign coming from chaos and towards order

Interview with Charlotte Jones, Professional Organiser

As a Professional Organiser, Charlotte Jones understands that our surroundings, the environment that we live, work and socialise in can have a profound effect on our happiness. She believes that decluttering is not just a case of throwing things out and having a quick tidy up. Our possessions hold emotional ties and for a lot of people, decluttering offers a chance to sort through everything, not just physically, but mentally too.

In this guest post, Charlotte shares a fascinating interview she gave to a lifestyle blog.

Interview with Charlotte Jones, Professional Organiser – Aoife Brady Author of Lifestyle Blog MaybToday

This week I have discovered a world I never knew existed. Professional decluttering and organising services. Professional organiser, Charlotte and I met on Twitter were we decided we’d collaborate and chat about what the profession entails.

Hi Charlotte, you have a beautiful website but how did you first come about your profession?
I returned from Australia last year after working out there for a year and moved in with my boyfriend and his family (There are 7 adults in our house in total now!). Moving all of our worldly belongings into one double room just seemed impossible and I knew that it was time for us both to have a good clear out. It started with our room, I pulled everything out of the drawers and cupboards and it looked like a bomb had hit. But the feeling I got when our room was completely re-organised was just fantastic!
Next, I helped his Mum who was ill at the time to declutter and re-organise the whole house. She was so thankful, she even cried as she said that this is something she just couldn’t have done on her own. I started researching Professional Organisers then and found APDO (Association for Professional Decluttering & Organising). I sent them a message that day and started my journey towards becoming a Professional Organiser.

What inspired you?
We moved house a lot when I was young as my Mum was into property developing. Moving house is a great time to have a clear out and re-assess what you really need in your life, I think that this is where I get my love of decluttering from. I also read a lot of decluttering books and I have to say Mari Kondo, Author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever. Marie Kondo, Author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever was a huge inspiration for me. I love her idea that we should only hold on to things that ‘spark joy’ after all, what is the point in filling our homes with things that we don’t need and don’t make us happy?

How long have you been at this?
I have been working as a Professional Organiser for almost a year now! It has gone so quickly and I love the fact that each client is so different and that I am facing new challenges and learning new things every day. I personally get a huge satisfaction from de-cluttering and organising my environment but what is the single most satisfying aspect of doing this professionally. It has to be the feeling that I am helping people, that I am making a real difference to someone’s life. We live in a world now where we just have so much ‘stuff’. People feel overwhelmed and a lot of the time just don’t know where to start. Keeping things under control and just general day to day activities become so much easier once you have done the hard work and had a good clear out. My motto is; declutter once, do it properly and change your life forever.

Who uses a professional like you and why do you think somebody like me who is so obsessed with sorting stuff has not heard of these professional services before now?
All sorts of different people use Professional Organisers, a lot of the time, clients are going through a big change in their lives. Perhaps they have a new baby, are moving house, getting divorced or maybe even dealing with the death of a loved one. This is a chance for them to sort through everything, not just physically, but mentally. To deal with the past and create the future that they want for themselves.

Professional Organising is a relatively new concept in the UK I think (although a handful of APDO members have been doing it for almost 20 years now) and a lot of people haven’t heard of it, myself included until last year! In America, Professional Organising is huge. I read an article on that said that ‘Ten years ago, people assumed that if you had a personal trainer you must be rich, but now it’s more accessible. And that’s where we’re going to be going with the professional organising industry. It’s like having a therapist, in a way. I get one when I need one, and I see the benefits in my own wellbeing.’

The Professional Organising Process from start to finish. How it works…

  1. I have an info graphic on my website that can help you to determine whether working with a Professional Organiser is the right thing for you.
  1. If it is for you, next, you will book in your initial consultation.
  1. Together, we will formulate a Plan of Action and prioritise which order to tackle each room in according to which will have the biggest impact on your life. Using photographs of your home, I will also build a bespoke Storage Solution Guide with inspirational ideas, hints and tips to help you think about the best way to utilise the space in your home.
  1. On the day, we will work through each and every possession in the room methodically, we will empty every drawer, cupboard, nook and cranny and group items together. We will sort items to be discarded into three categories, charity, rubbish or recycle (I remove these at the end of the process).
  1. The final step then (and my favourite part) is to re-organise. To decide where each group of items should live based on how you use that space or how you want to use that space in the future. Perhaps Charlotte’s interview has made you realise that you too could start your own professional organising business. There are a growing number of APDO members who have a flexible and rewarding career in this field. Find out more about joining APDO and the training we deliver.

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