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76 Is a decluttering community key to success
Episode 7613th March 2020 • The Declutter Hub Podcast • The Declutter Hub
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In this podcast we discuss whether surrounding yourself with like minded people in a decluttering community is critical when embarking on a declutter. We also chat about APDO's Spring Clearing Week that is happening 16-22 March which focuses on the impact of fast fashion. For detailed show notes go to


Intro 0:07

Welcome to today's episode of The declutter hub podcast, your channel for super easy, no nonsense advice on how to declutter and organise your home. Please welcome your host professional organisers, Ingrid Jansen, and Lesley Spellman.

Ingrid 0:31

Hello, and welcome listeners to Episode 76 of the declutter hub podcast. I'm Ingrid.

Lesley 0:36

And I'm Lesley.

Ingrid 0:38

If you have clutter and want to sort it out, this is the show for you. Now, before we get started today, I'd like to chat about a couple of things going on in the culture hub. We are now on day 17 of our 40 days, 40 items challenge, and we are absolutely loving it. And so are all our members in our Facebook group. So if you're not in the Facebook group yet, please come and join us because we still have people joining our challenge. And they're catching up if they want to. So it's a lot of fun. And Lesley, we're loving it, aren't we? Oh, yeah.

Lesley 1:13

So much. I mean, it's inspiring us, isn't it as well. And when we are obviously we have to pick an item ourselves to talk to you guys about but the things that you're coming back with are incredible. So if you're taking part, thank you so much for the inspiration. It really is something else, isn't it? It's like nothing we've ever done.

Ingrid 1:29

I know I know, we've got so many people joining in and motivating each other and kickstarting each other and celebrating each other's wins. It's been absolutely epic already. And we've even had a challenge face off the other day in the group

Lesley 1:45

that we had a kind of a voice style challenge together do a battle a voice style battle between England and now who had the better item. So if you've not seen it, you can go and watch our item battle over in the Facebook group to the 40 days 40 items challenge along with something else which we're going to talk about in a minute. as inspired as for today's podcast topic, which is all about whether a sense of community a doing things together as a group and motivating each other is the key to successful decluttering. So we wanted to really focus in on that today to see whether we are stronger together. So our for today's 40 items challenge was one part of that and the other thing is that next week is the start of Aptos spring clearing week. Now Ingrid as the immediate past president of Abdo, can you tell us what updo is all about and what it is because some of our members won't even know what Abdo is.

Ingrid 2:39

the UK. And it was founded in:

Lesley 3:46

Next week, they are hosting spring clearing week two times within the year where Abdo host a special event almost one is national organising week, which is normally in November and one is spring clear in weeks. It's not cleaning, it's clearing, as you know, because we clear out rather than clean as professional organisers. So that starts on Monday next week. And so there is a focus this year on the impact of fast fashion.

Ingrid 4:13

Yes, I think we're all shopping so many more clothes than we did a couple of decades ago, even a decade ago. And because the stock in the shops change so often these days because they get so many quick items of clothing every time in you're kind of almost even tempted more than in the past to buy more and more and more clothes but that fast fashion has an incredible impact on our planet and on our environment and on sustainability and all of those things. And I think Abdo really wanted to put the focus on that fast fashion and also show there are other ways to enjoy your clothes and I think they've got some focus on things you can do other than having fast fashion and keep buying clothes right

Lesley 5:00

Yeah, so I think certainly some of our Abdo members are hosting events up and down the country out there, swishing events, most of you will be familiar with what swishing is. But if you're not, it's basically where you bring items of clothing to an event, which you then given they then exchange those for tokens, which you can then use on buying something new, is decluttering items out of your house that you don't want and swapping them for something that you do want. So the whole idea is that you start to wear more of the items that are in your wardrobe. So it's not going to take that it's not going to take the volumes down necessarily, if you if you swish like for like once you've decided that you no longer want something you can go and swap it out for something different, which is absolutely fantastic. So if you take a look at their social media, there will be details of the swishing events that are going on up and down the country next week. Some Abdo members are also promoting Project 333, which is to wear 33 items or less for three months. I think that would be quite hard, don't even read.

Ingrid 6:05

You know why it will be hard for me. Because I actually don't have a very good I kind of by always an outfit complete and I find it quite difficult to mix and match things together. So I'm always in awe of the people who actually do three, three. Not that if you have a lot of clothes, but I'm not very good at combining that I'm not a very stylish person. I think I can I don't know, I just always think I just want to sit on the mannequin and like, Okay, I'm gonna buy the whole house was a no, now it looks good. So about a trouser and the toe and the necklace. And like, right, okay, and then I might have another necklace at home or another talk that I can wear. But actually put outfits together have only three, only three items that have to kind of mix and match together, I would find very, very tricky.

Lesley 6:50

Yeah, I think it's fair to say some people are much more creative, aren't they with the kinds of things that they were. So I know last year, in the declutter hub Facebook group, we did a May wardrobe challenge, which was a very similar thing, wasn't it, where we asked people to do is to look at wearing something different each day that you've not worn for a while. So to encourage those items that sit languishing in the back of a cupboard that you know, at the bottom of your wardrobe that you're just not using to try and encourage people to start wearing those things. And actually, if you do look at them, pull them out, decide that you don't wear them, or even if you wear them for a day and don't feel comfortable in them, you can make a more conscious decision then on decluttering them whether or not they're going to serve you well. So there's lots of things going on within Abdo for spring cleaning week. So do follow along and see what's going on and see if you can get involved yourself. But I think the combination of the 40 days 40 items challenge. And after spring clearing, which got us thinking about whether doing things together, helps people along in their decluttering journey. So what do you think Ingrid,

Ingrid 7:55

you know what I truly believe. And of course, now I have the proof within a wonderful group and in a wonderful membership. But I knew this already, when you're doing something together with friends or people who are on the same journey. It's so much more fun. And I know I'm for example, and now going to the gym with to two or three friends of mine. And something that hadn't been wanting to do for a long time. It's certainly more fun because you do it with your friends. And I think it's the same when you're in a group or in the community. And you actually work together, you can motivate each other, you can inspire each other, it really helps you to go Yeah, I'm going to try another item I'm going to do another day, I'm going to have another look and might not fill up for today. But I'm feeling inspired because I seen in the group something else that somebody else has been doing. And that's given me an idea to also then look at that. So for sure, I'm a firm believer that community is really, really crucial in your decluttering journey.

Lesley 8:59

And the thing to have that kind of structure. So to use a challenge type structure is definitely working for a lot of people and doing things on a small basis. So the for today's four tasks was challenge really is working, because it's not too taxing. We've just asked him people find one item a day to declutter from your house, which is not that difficult, but people are then finding more. The interesting thing about it is that people are giving other people ideas about what to declutter. It's quite funny, isn't it? If you look at some of the comments, people are saying the cupboards are calling to me. And someone said, I think it was Cathy wasn't saying one of our members in the declutter community said, your next she's like going around the items in your Nexus. So the other interesting things that got me thinking about a sense of community and sort of challenge and all that was last year when the beginning part of last year when Marie Kondo and her Comrie method was on the TV, the books came out and everybody was joining in and talking about it. Those kinds of methods have been around for a long time. There's something captivating about a movement happening together. And that certainly was a big part of the growth of the professional organising industry in the UK. We've been there a long time, as Ingrid says, We've been going for 15 years as an association. But Marie Kondo certainly sparked people's interest. And people realise that doing things together or following something with other people, really, really helps. I am with you, Ingrid, I think community is absolutely critical to success, because it's a hard journey on your own, isn't it?


You know what, and I think what's also really, really lovely and that was one of our members in our Facebook group posted is that she said, I'm slowly but surely starting to see where 717 days in now, I'm starting to look at my house with a different pair of vise. Like Kathy said, the cupboards are calling me now they're like, because of the 40 days 40 Atom shell. And so they noticed to have another 23 days to go. But also some of our members are realising Wow, they started to look at their house in a different way that come in, and because slowly but surely, random bits of clutter are disappearing. So they're almost starting to see through the clutter. Now, instead of the clutter, all being one kind of blurry stuff on surfaces and piles in the corner, they've kind of their brain has ignored. It's so interesting, and other people are responding to that in the group gone. Yes, I've got the same thing. I've got that too. And that really kind of starts to cement that group feeling that you help each other and that you motivate each other? Well, it's definitely


a problem shared is a problem halved. Sometimes I think in the decluttering journey, people who have been judged a lot in their life think that they're the only people who feel like that. And so sometimes you need to go into a safe community of people who are like, it's okay, I've had that as well. And I turned a corner on that, or my home was like that before, but it isn't anymore, because I've worked on it. And so it's really important, isn't it to see other people's progress? Even if just to ask a question about recycling or anything like that, or there's anybody in this area that's got an idea about that, anything like that, that's really going to help is going to be critical? Because if you're trying to do it on your own, you think about that question. You don't ask it. And then it just gets put to one side and people stop. You know, if there's no one responding to you, and no one's saying yes, or answering back. It's hard, isn't it? So I really do think whether that's just one person that replies to you. It's a really critical part of the process. Community is absolutely key. We did a live q&a session a few days ago, didn't where where someone was really struggling with her progress, because life had thrown lots of stuff in her way, you know, the kinds of things that life throws in your way. And that was distracting her from her decluttering journey? Well, decluttering, or any of any other sort of self challenge is difficult and involves an awful lot of focus. Sometimes you need other people to bring you back on track, whether that's other fellow challengers or fellow members, or whether it's people like you and I, whether it's a professional organiser that you're working with, you really do need to do it with someone else. I think we've answered the wrong question. Yeah, I think we both know what the answer is because we've created communities around the declutter hub that do exactly that. And we know that it's the most critical component of what we're trying to do.


But also as the, my mind kind of flashed back to one of our members who cleared a little shelf. And like a week and a half later, she posted a photo of the same shelf going, it is still empty. And it's just so amazing. And for her, that was such a big win, because probably that shell was kind of a catch all of everything all the time. And just you know that the love from the fellow members to go, yes, well done. That's amazing. Massive pat on the back on herself. Maybe maybe the people in her house were like, Oh, we didn't even know this was a big thing was for her. It was a big thing. And she celebrated that win. And I think that's really important to be part of a community as well.


Yeah, because you might not get that from your close family and friends, because everybody else in your close family and friends might be like, Oh, what's the big deal? You just get rid of the clutter? And that's the end of that. Why can you not be tidy? It's fine. They might not have those same feelings that you have there. Or they struggle to empathise. And so you need to be going on that journey with like minded people who completely get it. And that's the key, isn't it? You'll find in a community of people, whatever challenge that is, whether it's going to the gym like you're talking about trying to lose weight, trying to declutter, trying to eat healthily, all of these things. we challenge ourselves on you need to be going on that journey with like minded people. So community is absolutely key.


Yeah, for sure. So yes, I think you're right, Lesley, we have answered her own question. And that's why we love the Facebook group to declutter our community. And that's why we love our members area and our membership.


So yeah, I think we absolutely know that community is critical to get in the decluttering journey, right. Some people can do it on their own, but other people need more people on board. It's interesting to watch the way that Facebook groups work in general, whether it's a decluttering group or any other group, because there are some people who love to post and love to share. And there are some people who just like to watch and can be inspired just by other people without posting. But sometimes I think if you can push yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone and post something, I think you'll find that it's quite a rewarding thing to do. And it will really enhance your decluttering journey. So have a think about that, whether that's in this group or any other Facebook group, if you post things then other people will come back with useful information with inspiration, with motivation with support, and those kinds of things are really, really important. So just jumping back to spring cleaning week, then Ingrid, where can people find information about spring cleaning week from?


Well, they can go to the apdl website, a periodic COVID UK. And there's also several hashtags on social media that APO are using for next week. And clearing week runs from the 16th to the 22nd of March 2020. Just to be clear, and the hashtags are in my closet clearing challenge, hashtag spring clearing week, and hashtag spring clearing swish. So if you'd like to check those out, Abdullah has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. So if you want to know more, follow those hashtags.


And if you fancy doing your own closet clearing challenge, just a quick reminder that within the declutter hub, we have just released our six step wardrobe course, which is going to take you through every single component of a declutter and organise of your wardrobe in six easy steps. She says easy, is it not too easy, quite easy, but well put together and thought through Hey, Ingrid. So if you go to declutter We have a shop in there and you will find our wardrobe course in there along with our other annual, monthly and quarterly memberships. So go take a look and check out our wardrobe course people are loving it, aren't they Ingrid?


Yes, because we've got workbooks, we've got videos, we've got checklists, we talk about hangers, we talk about maximising space emotions involved in decluttering decluttering questions you can ask yourself, and also you can create the wardrobe of your dreams and you actually wear all of your clothes instead of having all of those clothes and only one 20% 80% of the time, we would love you to wear 80% of your clothes all the time, so you can get more wear out of it and you're more sustainable. And you don't have to keep shopping to find items but mix and match what you already have and own. So be


inspired by what's going on within the app community next week, and potentially tackle your own wardrobe.


So yes, Lesley, you're completely right with your big shout out for the Abdo organisers here in UK and I also wanted to say a big hello to all the organisers around the world that are listening in to this podcast weekly, and you asked us to put something together so keep your eye out for something special. Lesley and I have been developing for professional organisers coming soon. So good luck, everyone for spring clearing week. I hope it will be a very successful week for everyone. And if you are interested in doing your wardrobe decluttered come and check out our wardrobe course on the declutter shop. Thanks so much for listening today, and we hope you are inspired to have a look at your closets and your wardrobes. If you'd like to know more tips and advice come and have a look on our Facebook group to declutter have community have a look on Twitter or Instagram. We are there on all those platforms. If you don't want to miss next week's episode, subscribe to the culture health podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and we'll pop into your notifications each Friday. See you next time.


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