Caroline has been helping others to create order from chaos all her life and set up Room to Think in 2013. She lives in Hackney and works all over London. She has a background in the voluntary sector as well as the business sector and is always involved in all sorts of community projects. Caroline believes in, and is living proof of, the capacity we all have to move forward. This is something she is privileged to witness in all her clients and has been her motivation to find out more about wellbeing and happiness and incorporate it into her work. She’s studying part time for a Masters in applied positive psychology and coaching psychology at the University of East London. She’s kind, loving and enthusiastic. She thinks in spreadsheets and categories and has a strong eye for the aesthetic. Here she gives an insight into her profession and her enthusiasm for her job clearly shines through!
I love answering the ‘what do you do?’ question – wherever I am, whomever I’m with, it provokes interest and discussion.
People are captivated to hear I’m a member of APDO. Mostly people don’t know APDO exists but are glad it does and I’m asked all sorts of questions: Do I tell people to throw stuff away? (No) Is it like those hoarder programmes on the telly? (No) Do I know about Marie Kondo? (Yup – and I’ve seen her demonstrate how to fold clothes!).
Towards the end of last year a blogger, Judy Heminsley, called me up to ask if she could quiz me in her research for an article about decluttering sentimental items. Hopefully I gave her some useful tips and ideas. I also waxed lyrical about my profession. Judy thanked me for my time.
It’s delightful to be thanked, but, to tell the truth, I was thankful too – not just because it’s intensely flattering to be ‘found’ on the internet and asked for my professional thoughts, but also because I love talking about my work. The more I talk, the more I learn, and the more I reflect on my profession. So much so, I want to share – here goes:
1) Professional Organising is the fitness training of the future. Twenty years ago, if I heard someone waxing lyrical about their fitness trainer, a bit of me thought it was rather an indulgence. Today I think ‘of course you have a fitness trainer, they’re all over the place and it works – go you’.
2) Being overwhelmed with stuff is a common, universal problem.
3) People who employ professional organisers are completely normal. They’re not exclusively celebrities or high net worth individuals. They’re people who want someone with (to quote a client) ‘no shared DNA’ nor shared history. They want an experienced professional who will (like a fitness trainer) work alongside them and help them achieve their goal, whatever that is.
4) Professional organisers are also completely normal. We vary in personality, approach and working styles. I don’t know any member of APDO who wouldn’t advise a potential client check out other local organisers before deciding who to employ. Some fitness trainers are enabling, some more directive and prescriptive, most have some kind of speciality. Organisers are the same. It’s about finding the right one for you.
5) This is a growing profession and it’s nationwide. Membership of APDO increases exponentially year by year. I reckon that in the next decade the response to hearing a reference to ‘my professional organiser’ will be “good for you, I need one of those” and it’ll be widely known that APDO is the place to start.
Not based in London? We have APDO members all over the UK. Find an Organiser here.