I think we can all agree 2020 was not at all what we’d anticipated it to be this time last year. That is definitely true for me: it was to be my biggest and best year yet as a professional organiser, things were coming together for Better Organised and I had big plans.
Needless to say, things did not turn out the way I was hoping, however, I have taken my own advice and worked with what I had available. Turns out there are silver linings in dark times and while the year turned out to be different, it has still been an opportunity to grow, develop, learn and discover. An opportunity to build new skills, make a small difference where possible, find new creative ways of doing old things and make fantastic new connections. As we say farewell to a challenging year, here are a few personal highlights for 2020:
With so much of my work being face to face, things immediately ground to a halt during lockdown, which – as for many of us this year – was heart-breaking. But over the summer I had the pleasure and privilege to work on three big projects where I worked in isolation to declutter, organise and ultimately empty two houses and a storage unit.
It was fantastically rewarding to once again be hands-on as I physically went through every item and liaised with auctioneers, charities, shredding companies, book dealers and a house clearance company to ensure that items were dealt with sensitively and sustainably.
It’s probably worth noting that the average household contains 300,000 items, so if you ever find yourself in the position of emptying a property or unit, it really makes sense to bring in some help. You can read more on the home clearing services I offer in this recent blog on decluttering after bereavement.
While in-person networking was no longer the norm in 2020, I continued to explore opportunities to build brand new connections through virtual and remote networking. A personal favourite is Kelly Houston’s Club Synergy NetWalking group. These revitalising sessions include brief group discussion and intros on Zoom, then a virtual chat 1-2-1 with a walking buddy. Great for networking on the move. I highly recommend you check it out here.
Other highlights of the year were interviews on podcasts and YouTube, where I discussed productivity tips, gave advice about storage solutions and revealed how getting better organised has saved clients time, money and stress. One of my favourites – an ideal watch during this quiet time of the year – was with Fiona Wright from Wright Country and Character Homes – watch it here.
One of the last in-person events I attended was for Women in Journalism Scotland – it was the perfect way to kick off 2020, as new year resolutions were still very much in everyone’s thoughts! Here are some of the tips that I shared for decluttering your space, managing your time and focusing on what’s important;
After that, all events went virtual and the home-schooling juggle began. As many people struggled to find their footing with working from home, keeping organised and productive, I partnered with Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce to deliver a free 90-minute Working from Home masterclass, sharing tips with those who were adjusting to it for the first time. You can watch the presentation here.
Later in the year, I delivered a 30-minute talk on The Gentle Power of Decluttering with That Ilk.
If you are looking for a presenter please get in touch.
As part of the Better Organised events programme, I launched a series of Boost Your Productivity workshops. The first one was A Better Organised Diary Masterclass, which has now become a regular fixture in the Better Organised events programme. The next one takes place on 12 January 2021 and you can book here.
This year was an opportunity to stop and reflect upon the sustainability of our lives. Better Wellbeing is an idea that I’ve had for a couple of years but I was unsure exactly what it would look like…until 2020. As nature blossomed and bloomed when cars stopped, I decided to make an old dream come true and launched the Better Wellbeing online store. So if you are looking for a treat for yourself or a few basic cleaning & toiletry supplies, simply head to betterwellbeing.wikaniko.com to have a browse around the lovely planet-friendly goodies and place your order for direct delivery.
In 2020, I expanded my virtual offering to include Better Organised in 90 Minutes, which is a 90-minute coaching session via Zoom to tackle a specific organisational challenge, Better Organised in 30 Days that includes 4 one-to-one coaching sessions via Zoom, including appropriate tools and techniques, actionable advice and personalised recommendations for further resources, and Better Organised Bite-size sessions. The Bite-size service offers a 30-minute one-to-one virtual session to help you on your decluttering journey and it’s ideal if you are looking for a kick-start on a decluttering project or want professional advice on a tricky category. Discover more about my services here.
In 2020 I had the privilege of making a small charity contribution throughout October, November and December by donating all the profits generated by the sale of my book, A Better Organised Home in 30 Days as well as 10% of the value of every order placed through the Better Wellbeing store and 10% of all gift voucher purchases in December will go to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. A very small gesture to thank our precious NHS during a very tough time.
Looking back, 2020 has offered me and my business some unexpected challenges – anyone who had to work from home and keep children educated and entertained might recognise some of this year’s struggles. It was hard to stay positive through a period of such uncertainty but the year also offered opportunities for reflection. I recognise how precious time is and had a chance to practice what I preach about decluttering digitally as well as physically. As a consequence, I deleted my social apps from my phone and made a rule to not use them during weekends at all. I am not missing them one bit!
I will leave you with a quote from a recent productivity training I’ve attended, a lovely reminder for those days when we really need one:
“Realise that you’ll never get everything done. That’s not the game any more. Be safe in the knowledge that you’re in control, selecting the right things to do, and that you’re doing as much as one human being possibly can.”
– Graham Allcott – How to Be a Productivity Ninja
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