APDO Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers is a professional body that represents, trains and supports its members across the UK. APDO members specialise in assisting people to clear their clutter and organise their homes, but they can also help clients declutter mental negativity from their lives. Some professional organisers have backgrounds in life coaching or mental health, whilst others are experts in interior design. Whatever the slant, the common theme is an ability to motivate and inspire.
APDO’s annual NOW National Organising Week encourages the UK population to beat procrastination and get organised, and this year it took place from 7-13 November 2016. DfS Greater London were delighted to be part of a brand new initiative for NOW 2016, when six hardy APDO Professional Organisers volunteered to team up and help a local charity.
Fionnuala Shannon, Director of Operations & Programmes explains: ‘The stockroom at our new premises in Hobson’s Place was overflowing with more than 300 boxes of clothes, shoes and accessories stacked up to the ceiling. We were still struggling to deliver our usual professional service to our clients from our new HQ several weeks after the move. When we received a call from Katherine Blackler of SortMySpace Ltd suggesting her “Donate-a-Day” idea, I jumped at the chance to use APDO’s time and expertise.’
Nancy DeBroka (The Zen Home), Julie Stevens (Younique Designs Ltd), Sarah Bickers (Free Your Space), Caroline Rogers (Room To Think) and Ingrid Jansen (Organise Your House) joined Katherine to blitz the stockroom on 8 November 2016.
In order to maximise the team’s contribution on the day, Katherine had spent an evening with Sheila Nilsson, our Boutique and Volunteers Manager, measuring and designing the new layout and checking shelving inventory.
‘We initially reached out to DfS Greater London to support them as we could see obvious synergies between APDO members decluttering surplus clothing in our clients’ wardrobes and DfS kitting out women to face the corporate world. However, once we arrived onsite and saw the extent of their inventory, we soon realised that what they needed more than anything was volunteer time, organisational experience and cash to reach the women who need them most! Even after our visit that need still applies,’ says Katherine.
The APDO team worked tirelessly for the day, moving, labelling, categorising and stacking numerous boxes, constructing hanging rails and shoe racks, organising clothing onto relevant racks and strategically fitting out the external shed for any overspill. ‘We loved the vibrancy that the APDO team brought that day; now we can quickly find any surplus stock items to sell in our monthly sales to the general public, which raises more funds for DfS Greater London,’ Fionnuala explained.
Ingrid Jansen (President of APDO) explains: ‘Being natural organisers, each of us spotted what she could do next and simply took on a role to keep us moving forwards. I was so proud to see my members working in harmony together like this, and for such a great cause. I’d love to do something like this every year, and to see similar charity events happen across the UK for NOW 2017.’
As Sarah expressed, ‘Most of us usually work solo with our clients so this was a great opportunity to feel a part of something bigger, get to know some APDO members more personally AND do something really productive and worthwhile at the same time.’
Caroline reflected that the day ‘typical of my own experience of working in the voluntary sector where organisations are often under-resourced. It felt very worthwhile to give our time to a place where it was so valued and relevant.’
And Sheila Nilsson, Boutique and Volunteer Manager captured our delight at the day’s experience by emailing APDO with the following praise:
I wanted to say a big Thank You to your wonderful organisation APDO. You have certainly allowed us to be more functional and practical, which saves us time, energy and frustration when looking for items for our clients.
Who would have believed when you all came to sort our space, de-clutter and organise our storage room that you would have achieved all this in five hours?
You are all truly amazing and we are very grateful to APDO for making Dress for Success a de-cluttered success!
As Britain’s experts in decluttering and organising, APDO are aware that some do need an encouraging push in the right direction. If you could do with a helping hand to get organised in your home, office or workload in 2017, do check www.apdo.co.uk for an APDO member in your area and start enjoying similar benefits that we have here at DfS Greater London.