Living Clutter Free Forever - decluttering tips, professional organizing, minimalist living

How decluttering and organizing saved me time, and how it can do the same for you #94

March 19, 2024 Caroline Thor - Professional Organizer - KonMari® Consultant
How decluttering and organizing saved me time, and how it can do the same for you #94
Living Clutter Free Forever - decluttering tips, professional organizing, minimalist living
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Living Clutter Free Forever - decluttering tips, professional organizing, minimalist living
How decluttering and organizing saved me time, and how it can do the same for you #94
Mar 19, 2024
Caroline Thor - Professional Organizer - KonMari® Consultant

Feeling like your house is too messy to handle? Are you tired of having too much stuff everywhere and just want some space to breathe? Well, guess what? I get it!

In my latest podcast, I'm chatting with Radhika Lucas about how organizing can totally change your life, especially if you're a mom or feeling overwhelmed by clutter.

We'll unpick stories, like how I got inspired by Marie Kondo and helped people  turn chaos into happiness. It's time to get your space and your sanity back!

But here's the thing: we're not just talking about cleaning up. We're also talking about the feelings that make clutter worse. This episode isn't just about tidying—it's about making a calm and supportive life.

And if you're ready to do something about it, I've got the perfect thing for you: a six-week group program called Clutter Free Ever After™. It'll help you create the life you really want without all the stress.

All the details here https://caroline-thor.mykajabi.com/clutterfree

So, are you ready to get rid of clutter once and for all? Hit play now and let's start the journey to a peaceful home together! 🎧✨

I would LOVE to hear from you. Text Message me here.

Thanks for listening! For more organizational motivation, support and free resources:
Join my online membership Clutter Free Collective
Join my podcast Facebook group Living Clutter Free Forever Podcast: KonMari® Inspired Organizing | Facebook
Visit my website www.caroline-thor.com
Come and say 'hi' on Instagram @caro.thor
Follow me on Facebook @carolineorganizer

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Feeling like your house is too messy to handle? Are you tired of having too much stuff everywhere and just want some space to breathe? Well, guess what? I get it!

In my latest podcast, I'm chatting with Radhika Lucas about how organizing can totally change your life, especially if you're a mom or feeling overwhelmed by clutter.

We'll unpick stories, like how I got inspired by Marie Kondo and helped people  turn chaos into happiness. It's time to get your space and your sanity back!

But here's the thing: we're not just talking about cleaning up. We're also talking about the feelings that make clutter worse. This episode isn't just about tidying—it's about making a calm and supportive life.

And if you're ready to do something about it, I've got the perfect thing for you: a six-week group program called Clutter Free Ever After™. It'll help you create the life you really want without all the stress.

All the details here https://caroline-thor.mykajabi.com/clutterfree

So, are you ready to get rid of clutter once and for all? Hit play now and let's start the journey to a peaceful home together! 🎧✨

I would LOVE to hear from you. Text Message me here.

Thanks for listening! For more organizational motivation, support and free resources:
Join my online membership Clutter Free Collective
Join my podcast Facebook group Living Clutter Free Forever Podcast: KonMari® Inspired Organizing | Facebook
Visit my website www.caroline-thor.com
Come and say 'hi' on Instagram @caro.thor
Follow me on Facebook @carolineorganizer

Speaker 1:

Hi there, I'm Caroline Thor, professional organizer, konmari consultant, teacher and mum of three. I started off my life as a mum feeling overwhelmed, disorganized and desperately trying to carve out some time for me amongst the nappies, chaos and clutter. One day, one small book called the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying changed everything and I began to learn strategies for making everyday life easier. Today I have the systems in place that means life can throw almost anything at me, and I want to share them with you. If you're an overwhelmed mum struggling to keep it together, then this is the podcast for you. Grab a coffee and settle in for a quick chat with someone who gets your reality. Hello, and welcome back to the latest episode of the Living Clutter Free Forever podcast. It has been the most crazy week for me. I've been holding my three day live workshop from Chaos to Calm home organization for busy women. Maybe you were there. I hope you were. It has been phenomenal and the feedback has been amazing, and I feel really blessed to have been able to spend time with these incredible women who are working on trying to take the first steps towards making changes in their home and in their organization. So if you didn't manage to catch the workshop this time around. Don't worry, I am very sure later on in the year I will be holding it again and I would love to see you there.

Speaker 1:

Today's episode is a little bit of a departure from any that I've done before. I have a friend, redika Lucas, who I actually met online in a business community and she coaches women on finding their visibility to promote their business. And we had been talking and she suggested that it might be a good idea for me and her to sit down and have a chat about where my business started and why and how I try to help people, just to really help me, try and focus in on what it is I am offering to people. So Redika was asking me questions and we were just having a chat about it and we did record it and what came out? What came out was just amazing. It really clarified for me what my story is and why I do what I do and how I can help people. So I decided to put it out as an episode this week because I thought you might really enjoy hearing how it all began and I hope you enjoy it.

Speaker 2:

I want to know as sort of being the truth that you wish that more people knew from the work that you do. I mean, it is about helping people get organised from that chaos to calm, but what have been your observations with that? So what do you know as being the truth for those that you help?

Speaker 1:

Well, I think it is always true for people that have massive transformations is that they hadn't realised that their home was a manifestation of the clutter in their head and that they were having issues that they were really struggling to deal with and that their home had become sort of a symbol of that, and that by going through and decluttering and organizing and actually holding objects in their hand that perhaps have emotional significance, the stories start to come out about what happened, and then we talk about it and why they can't let this thing go, why they're holding onto these things. It's like they're holding onto the past, almost, and that by letting them go, you are giving yourself permission to live in the now, and I think that's what comes out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's actually pretty massive. What's been? You know what is usually that tipping point for people, I think there are two things.

Speaker 1:

It's either that the overwhelm of the situation that they're living in just becomes too great that they just feel like they can't cope anymore. They don't even know where to start. We're not talking about hoarders and what we would call messies in Germany. These are people like you and me who perhaps have a slightly more disorganized home than we do, but it's still causing them to feel majorly overwhelmed because there's other stuff going on. So that's the one thing. And then the second reason is usually they reach a point where they've realized they're just not having anyone over anymore. The embarrassment level has got to such a high point that they just don't feel they can invite anyone into their home and they've realized they're sort of cutting themselves off and they don't want to be living like that. But they can't work out how to even get started on organizing it on their own and they need that support to take the first step.

Speaker 2:

And so, with people who are like you and me and they just have a little bit of messiness in their lives, what are the transformations you've seen from people who are just the ordinary person who's going about their daily life and having this home that almost becomes like a secret space to come back to and decompress? What have been some of the things, anecdotally, that you've heard from your clients?

Speaker 1:

I've had one lady who actually was in my online course and her children actually said it was like coming back to a different home. A three-boy said and again, their home wasn't at all bad, if I don't like using that word, but perhaps there was organization and storage that needed to be optimized and in some categories they just had too much of things. So they were all finding it difficult to put stuff away. They were feeling a little bit overwhelmed by it all. So by doing the decluttering, you're able to make it easier for everybody in the family to stay on top of it. So that's one of the transformations. I think the main transformation for people is moving from living in a space where you are storing your belongings, which is basically how most of us live. We have four walls and we're storing our stuff in it, around us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

To living in a home that is organized to support your ideal lifestyle.

Speaker 1:

And that's the shift when you walk in and you know that every cupboard, every drawer, the kitchen, your basement if you've got one your garage it's all organized to make your life easier and support the things you want to do, Whether that's do some yoga once a day, so you haven't got a clear space on the floor to get yoga mat out, or maybe you've even got a space where it permanently lies now, or that the kitchen's organized so that you can come home from work and you can just cook without having to clear up first, or you walk in the front door and the kids have actually learned over a period of time this is where my shoes go, this is where my coat goes, this is where my school go bad goes, and you're not just faced with a pile of stuff when you come in.

Speaker 1:

These are all things that take time, but that is the result that most people, or all people that I work with, end up having. They have a home that supports their ideal lifestyle and therefore they have time to do the things they want to do. They're not having to waste their time tidying up the amount of people I know who spend ages tidying up each week before the cleaner comes.

Speaker 2:

Oh wow, that's a whole new level of pressure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I've got several friends in the UK and I remember years ago when I was living there. They're like oh, I've got to tidy up today because the cleaners coming tomorrow, so just to be able to make it so that they could clean round. And it's never that bad, but it's just a bit too disorganized that other stuff can function.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so yeah, it's a real life transformation in many different ways, because I think there are so many other things that I'm kind of now sitting here thinking Well, as a person who is really busy trying to juggle so many different things, I think the thing that would take up and if I'm just thinking about my life as well, I could quite easily spend on some days not every day, but on some days I could end up spending 15 minutes looking for the right thing to wear because I just don't know where I put it. Or I could spend 15 minutes looking for I don't know like a public transport bus pass, because I don't know where I put it, for example. So that whole time thing, that the half an hour that you could have actually had back in your life, that you don't already have, you actually gain that back, which is huge and massive in itself. So my next question was a point in time which was the catalyst for you to adopt this lifestyle. What was that for?

Speaker 1:

you. It was, as a mum of three young kids, just feeling incredibly overwhelmed and stressed all the time, and I felt like my home needed to be of an acceptable level when people came around. Luckily, as I've got older, I've stopped caring what other people think, but in my early 30s, when I had my kids, that was a real thing for me. If people came around, I wanted them to think I'd got it all together and I was in control of everything and my kids were being well looked after and all the things. And so I was just permanently chasing my tail and I remember sitting there playing with them on the floor and thinking, oh, I haven't got time to be doing this, I need to be tidying up, we've got so and so coming around tomorrow. Or if we were having friends over, I was running around gathering up piles of paper and hiding them in drawers and all the rest of it and God forbid, one of the parents came to stay. I mean that would be like a weeks thing of tidying and cleaning and making sure. It was all amazing for when they came in. But I hadn't realized. I don't think that that's what was really stressing me out was the home. I just thought it was being a mom and having three kids and having no family nearby and all the rest of it and being in a foreign country and not actually being able to speak German at this point when my first child arrived.

Speaker 1:

And then I happened to read an article. My sister sent me a copy of Good Housekeeping from England and I happened to read an article where a journalist had read the book from Marie Kondo which was relatively new at the time and had applied the method in her home and her article was about whether it was useful or not and whether it was worth doing. She'd found it really useful and definitely worth doing and I just got, having read the article, I got on Amazon and ordered it. I thought this sounds great. And the book arrived and I started applying the method and the rest is history. And there was a point partway through the whole process because it took me about a year to do our whole home, because I was having to fit it in when I had pockets of time.

Speaker 1:

But my middle daughter one day said to me why are you a nicer mummy now? Ooh, that is powerful. Yeah, and she was. How old was she at the time? Four, four, four or five, yeah, and she'd realised that I was obviously calmer, less stressed.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I used to get in a right state trying to get three of them out of the door in the morning. I didn't have a car, so I was having to pile them all into a bike trailer and cycle them around the place and it was all just really. I just always felt really, oh, where did you leave your shoes, where did you leave your car? I can't find the keys and don't know where my phone is and all this sort of stuff. And then if someone makes a mess in their nappy, then I've got to remember where I put the spare nappies so I can change them before we go out and all this sort of jazz. So that was basically the catalyst, for it was an article in a magazine which I hadn't realised was what I needed, but there was something about that article that made me think I just have to, I need to buy this book. So I did.

Speaker 2:

That's amazing. Well, that just goes to show you the power of stories. Firstly, yes, that just one story can actually impact somebody's life, and until you put it out there, you actually just don't know how it's going to be impactful. But what you've just shared with me right now actually whilst you were talking about and having worked with you before and knowing a little bit about your program as well is that I know that you are a natural giver, that you are bending over backwards for people, that you are just built in a way that was meant to be the giver, the person who went out of their way to make people feel welcome. That felt bad if something wasn't done exactly the way in your mind it should be.

Speaker 2:

And so what I've actually heard through this phase and this transformation about you is and I think how others can see themselves in your story is actually that a lot of us suffer from the same syndrome, especially as women. I think we are conditioned to be the nurturers, the givers, the listeners, the healers, the carers whatever right Always the ones checking going last, eating last. Do you like what I've cooked? Does it taste nice? Would you like me to make you something else? So our needs are always second only to the ones that we are caring for, whether it be our clients, whether it be our children or our family, extended family, friends.

Speaker 2:

And I think that the transition that I've heard is actually that of self-love is when you move through the phase of actually taking control of not just your environment but actually more what was going on inside, and that systematically, you actually created a haven for yourself where what you felt on the inside was obviously starting to project on the outside, and obviously the big transformation was actually in the gift that you actually had, which was basically a one-liner was you're a much nicer mummy, right, like that. I mean, that's a massive gift in itself. So, yeah, that's powerful stuff. That's powerful stuff, and I think so I'm really keen to hear about you, know what is your program and how is that going to help people.

Speaker 1:

So my program has moved from being a course to a group coaching program, because I suddenly realized it already was a group coaching program but I was calling it a course. So it's six weeks where people have a live session with me once a week and there is a Facebook group for the entire time that they are in the course for the six weeks and there is daily interaction with me in the Facebook group. So there's always something where I'm supporting them and the course basically takes them through five modules over the six weeks where, first of all, they really think about visualizing their ideal lifestyle so they know what they're aiming for. How does their home need to be to be able to support them? Because unless you know that, how are you going to make the right changes? So do you want somewhere that you can do sewing or do you need someone I'm just thinking someone in my membership at the moment where you can pot, plant, you know, get your seeds all potted up and all the rest of it, and then we go through a few of the categories from the Konmari method we go through.

Speaker 1:

Then, in module two, we do clothes, then we do papers and then after that we have a week's break, because papers takes quite a while. So we give everyone time to sort of have a catch up and then after that we move on to the category which is basically miscellaneous things, which is kimono in Japanese, and we do kitchen and bathroom during that. Now there are lots of other kimono categories obviously in the home, like stationery, kids, toys, all the rest of it. But before I started this program I had really looked and talked to lots of women about what areas would help them the most in their daily life, and kitchen and bathroom were two things that they really felt would make a difference. So we focus on those.

Speaker 1:

And then the last module is actually the one I think is most important and it's the sort of piece that's missing in a lot of work that organizers do, and that's maintenance. So now you've done all this, how are you going to maintain it and getting the family on board if you happen to be living with a significant other or have kids in the home? So there's no point doing all this if there's not going to be a ripple effect through the family that everyone's going to support and know how this works and how we can all get on board. And I think I can say hand on heart so far with everyone that I've worked with and everyone that's been through my program so far. They've all had their families come on board. And one of my clients, in fact, whose husband was super skeptical, like really skeptical, he booked me last week to come and do his office with him. Oh, wow.

Speaker 1:

So I sort of feel like this is my, almost like my secret source, if you like. I'm really good at motivating whoever takes my course and so far it has only been women I don't mean to be sexist by saying women, but it is. But I'm really good at motivating and inspiring these women that it just becomes so infectious that it ripples through the rest of the family and gets everyone on board, which is really great. But then it's like how are we going to maintain this and what are we going to do? And that's the self-care bit that you were just talking about.

Speaker 1:

And in fact in my membership for the whole of February we haven't done any organizing. We've looked at self-care and how can we organize our time so we have time to do things we want to do, and habit building, because unless you change something that you were doing before you joined my program, in six months you're going to be back to square one. Something's got to change. You have to change your habits, and I do a lot of training on that as well during it. So that's sort of like the program in a nutshell.

Speaker 1:

Yeah a long nutshell.

Speaker 2:

It sounds so transformational because I think, if I'm just sort of thinking about it now and I know that there are so many people from so many walks of life where I think we're all kind of walking around feeling slightly disconnected, firstly, not only from others, but actually quite disconnected from ourselves in some cases, and I think that availability of time, which everybody is struggling with, is so real that I think going through a program which actually sets you up for changing habits in, I think it takes like what, 42 days to change a habit or a stick to a habit, yes, and I think it's like six weeks is around about 42 days, if I'm not mistaken.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. So I do start. I start talking about it in the start of the first week, but then everyone that is in my program gets to join my membership for a month afterwards as like a bonus, so that we can continue that journey and really make sure we get set in. You know, set in our ways and building new habits. So that's been really useful. That's incredible. So that made a bit of a change for me to be the one answering the questions on my podcast. That normally only happens when I'm a guest on somebody else's podcast, and it finished quite abruptly because we then went on to talk about more business sort of stuff that I didn't think you would be interested in listening to. But I hope it has helped. You see where I started from, why I do what I do and feel so passionately about it, and how the work that I do can potentially help you.

Speaker 1:

Now, at the last evening of the workshop yesterday from Chaos to Calm, I announced to everyone the doors for my group coaching program, plutterfree Ever After, are now open. I am really excited and passionate about this group coaching program. I have seen how it helps people. If you would like more information about it, you can follow the link in the show notes and there you will be able to find out exactly what the program is all about. You can read a little bit about what the content of it is. You can read some testimonials from people that have taken my group coaching program already and, if you're interested, please send me an email.

Speaker 1:

If you have questions, I am more than happy to have a chat with you about it. So all that information you can find in the link in the show notes. I would love to welcome you into Plutterfree Ever After. One thing you should be aware of is there is early bird pricing available until Thursday, the 21st of March, and after that the price is going up. So until next time, if you've enjoyed this episode, please send the link to a friend you know would appreciate it, subscribe and leave a review. I look forward to bringing you more organizing tips next time, but if you can't wait until then, you can go to my website or find me on Instagram, at carrowthor, or on Facebook at CarolineOrganiser. Thanks for listening and I look forward to guiding you on your journey to find your Plutterfree Ever After.

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