Chatting with a decluttering and organising coach
Conversation with a decluttering and organising coach
Here at The Avid Organiser, I am all about giving you the best tools to become more organised. Here’s an interview with Lauren Winzar, a professional decluttering and organising coach.
Last December, I attended a fabulous event called Network & Chill hosted by Janita Lloyd and Rebecca McFarland. As a relative newby in Canberra, it was a great opportunity to meet some new like-minded business ladies. It was at this event that I met Lauren Winzar. Lauren is a Decluttering and Organising Coach based in Yass, NSW. Lauren’s focus is on helping people declutter and organise their living space.
Recently, Lauren and I caught up over Zoom with a cuppa and had a chat about all things organisation. Because Lauren and I work in similar fields and share some of the same fundamental views, I thought it would be great to have her provide some insight into the world of professional decluttering and organising.
So Lauren, why did you start a business as a decluttering and organisation coach?
Well the short version is: I saw the cycle of clutter and stress in my own life and became passionate about it. I helped my family and friends and they encouraged me to ‘do this’ as a career… so I did!
What do you think stops people from being more organised and clutter-free?
There are probably as many reasons as there are people, but they usually fall into ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I don’t know how’ to do it. I can tell you right now, being organised and reducing your clutter GIVES you time. And if you don’t know, that’s okay – you can learn.
Are you like Marie Kondo?
Yes and no. We both are passionate about changing people’s lives through better relationships with the ‘stuff’ around us. But I don’t typically talk to the home I’m in or the objects. Having said that, there are definitely parts of her teachings that I find helpful for some people, myself included. But I don’t think her method is the best or only way to do it. I don’t believe in one size fits all!
Do you just make people throw things out?
No way! I tell my clients that they can keep anything and everything they want… if they want… BUT they do have to make a decision about it. To keep for a real reason, not just because it’s too hard to decide.
How can you tell if it’s time to have a clean out?
For me personally, its when I feel frustrated with an area. When I get cranky at other people in my family for not putting something away or when I can’t quickly and easily find something or put something away. Basically, if a quick tidy up at the end of the day isn’t simple and enough to make me feel calm and comfy at home, that’s a warning sign that I need to go a bit deeper.
Do you think people are basically organised/disorganised and neat/messy? Or is there more to it?
Absolutely not! I think that everyone has a different capacity for managing clutter and everyone has a different tolerance level for it. Nobody is born organised. I like to remind my clients that cave women were not sorting their bones in order of what brought them joy! We learn from each other and through our own trial and error. If you don’t think your tolerance and capacity are matching up, you probably just haven’t found the right strategies and habits for you. You’re not broken, just still learning!
What are your clients like?
Honestly, I’ve got quite a range of clients, though most are women who are just sick of all the stuff! This feeling hits everyone at different stages of life. It’s that feeling you get when you have too many balls in the air, all the commitments you’ve made and people you feel obligated to seem to be pulling you in different directions and you have just had enough. That’s when people come to me – because when we start working through the physical items and our reasons for holding onto them (or not), we start to see the rest of our lives differently too. That’s where I see that ‘life-changing magic’ happen.
Do you have any tips for how I can motivate my partner to throw crap out?
I do! Stop telling them to. Stop asking or hinting or offering to help. Work on your space and stuff first. Be proud and enjoy your own accomplishments – if it’s important to your partner they’ll come around, if it’s not important to them you might need to work on some communication with how YOU feel about their stuff.
What’s your number 1 piece of advice for someone wanting to DIY declutter and organise their home?
Stop looking for the right tools and products. You don’t need more stuff you need support and accountability. If you can’t get the support you need from family or friends, it’s time to hire a professional that you like and trust.
I hope this has been useful to you and provided some insight into how a professional decluttering and organising coach can help you.