That was the rallying call from visibility strategist Ruby McGuire to the business-owners in attendance on day one of the annual conference for the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers (APDO) in London. What followed was two days of motivation and inspiration with keynote speeches, plenary sessions and workshops delivered by industry-leaders from across the globe.
Perhaps you’re wondering what professional organisers found to talk about for 2 days! Or maybe you’re thinking about starting up your own decluttering business but haven’t yet taken the leap. I’ve rounded up some of the main takeaways from the event;
On arrival at the venue, Resource for London, it was immediately apparent that the people that I’d only ever interacted with online were just as friendly, welcoming and supportive in person. The inclusive and collaborative nature of the delegates shone through and the place was soon buzzing with introductions and conversations. There is definitely a collective drive and enthusiasm to learn more about how we can enhance our offerings to clients, whilst developing professionally and nurturing our businesses. The positivity was infectious!
2. How the Industry is Growing
APDO was formed in 2004 and now has 281 accredited members, but the statistic that really stood out was that the membership has grown by a third in the last year alone. It is so exciting to be part of such a rapidly growing industry — it is particularly reassuring to be sharing the journey with a thriving community of such professional and supportive business-owners.
3. The Breadth and Depth of Professional Skills and Services Available to Clients
Life coaching, counselling, social work, housing, lawyers, PAs — one theme that struck me was that the organisers I spoke to all seem to have spent their working lives in roles that have primarily been about supporting other people. Now, they use their expertise to help clients on a practical and emotional level by assisting them to get better organised at home or work.
In addition to general decluttering services, some of the gathered consultants specialise in empathetic and long-term assistance for people with ADHD or hoarding tendencies, others provide assistance with relocation and some give hands-on help to people who are clearing out a loved one’s belongings after a bereavement — the ways in which organisers help their clients are certainly many and varied and it was so fascinating to hear others’ stories of what has led them into this field of work.
4. How Perfectly the Content was Tailored to the Audience
Leslie Josel of New York-based consultancy Order Out of Chaos delivered a powerful keynote speech about demystifying executive functions & ADHD. One key point she made was that understanding how your clients think is the only way to instil change. Well, the voluntary board at APDO had clearly understood the way their members think, as they had identified topics that are at the forefront of their members’ minds. We were spoilt for choice when it came to workshops, with topics including how to film and edit compelling footage on smartphones, the development of business workshops & webinars, supercharging social media content, readiness for GDPR and how to declutter your business ideas to avoid burnout.
5. What I’ll Do Next
I’ve already done it! I’ve cleared my diary to make sure that I will be attending next year’s conference.
I love being part of this industry and seeing the growth that my business has achieved already. Working alongside my clients and seeing them reap the benefits of getting better organised is so satisfying and rewarding. As Cassie Tillett, the founder of APDO, has said, ‘when you know you’ve made a positive difference in someone else’s life, there’s no other feeling like it!’
Better Organised provides productivity coaching and professional decluttering & organising services for the home or office. Please visit www.betterorganised.uk for details of services and client testimonials, or head to Amazon to order your copy of A Better Organised Home in 30 Days.
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