Anywhere within the public transport network up to 1.5 hours from Romford
Anywhere via Zoom or phone (virtual organising)
Tidy Beginnings grew out of my existing work cataloguing the books and papers of artists and writers. Some clients asked me to help them organise materials outwith the usual remit of a private librarian, and I looked for information about best practice in decluttering and professional organising, which, of course, led me to the APDO website.
As well as in-person services in my local area, I offer virtual organising services, and have used my background as a librarian and educator to develop the Tidy Beginnings Virtual Organising Space. This makes use of cloud-based coaching software to provide an individualised set of agreed milestones for virtual organising clients. After enrolment, you can access your personal tasks and resources relevant to your project, as well as links to our next Zoom meeting. You can upload and share comments and files, and we can both access all of the virtual elements of the organising project inside this private webspace.
I also offer the Tea and Tsundoku experience, a package designed for people whose shelves are groaning under the weight of their To Be Read (TBR) pile. Part of my Virtual Organising service, Tea and Tsundoku invites you to sit down with a professional librarian for a guided chat about your book-buying habits, your reading aspirations, and strategies to identify tsundoku (the books you thought you’d read but never will) and tame your TBR. T&T clients receive a welcome pack including a reading journal, post-its, a pencil and two sachets of Fortnum and Masons tea. You also have access to your own Tidy Beginnings Virtual Organising space, with a personal action plan and resources tailored to your needs.
In-person bookings cover mainly wardrobe organization and basic book and paperwork decluttering and organising. Apart from the Tea and Tsundoku package, I prefer to quote by project, which saves most clients money. My ethos is that if I am providing a service available from most personal organisers, I like to provide a fair rate. However, as the author of the core textbook on Cataloguing, my knowledge and skills in that area are highly specalised. When I am using these professional skills and my knowledge of the rare books world, my hourly rate is higher. Most of my projects involve a mixture of generalist and specialist skills, so I believe it is more ethical to charge accordingly.
My clients come from a wide variety of backgrounds and book me for a range of reasons. Although my services began with a core group of artists and writers, more recently I have worked with other professionals, busy parents and, increasingly, with people who are living well with dementia. Following a friend’s diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer’s, I began helping them out, and have since become very interested in how daily activities like tidying can help people retain their sense of identity and purpose. Tidy Beginnings is a Dementia Friend Organisation, and I am working on dementia care qualifications – having completed Level 1 and a Level 2 TQUK Certificate in the Principles of Dementia Care, I will be continuing with Level 3 after submitting the next edition of Practical Cataloguing to my publisher. I am always very happy to hear from people with dementia and their primary carers regarding the day-to-day services we offer to assist in gentle tidying and gardening.
The Tidy Beginnings website provides information on the services available, and a link to book a free discovery meeting. Alternatively, you can email or phone using the contact details above.
I hold a Masters degree in Information and Library Studies and wrote the core textbook used to teach librarians how to catalogue. When I’m not organising people’s books and papers and helping them declutter, I’m working on the new edition (following a major change in the international cataloguing rules).
During my Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, I focused on blended learning, using online delivery to supplement and consolidate work in class. As well as running in-person training for heritage professionals, I run monthly seminars and online courses, so I may be one of the newest virtual organisers on the block, but I’ve been using technology to teach and support learners for over a decade.
Following a friend’s diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer’s, I have become increasingly interested in working with people who are living well with dementia. I have completed my Level 2 TQUK Certificate in the Principles of Dementia Care and will be progressing with Level 3 this summer.