Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Secrets of Professional Organisers with Kirsty Farrugia

Brooke Lark

“Life’s messy, humans are messy. And that’s my job, to actually sit in the mess with them. To be OK with their mess, to be OK with them, and to help them see that it is possible to move forward.”

— Kirsty Farrugia

I have a confession to make. I’ve always had a bit of a complex about professional organisers, assuming that their super-human organisational skills would put me and my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants personality to shame. They’d highlight my failure to stick to routines and systems, revealing the fact that I was making it all up as I went along.

Over the past few years I’ve found my own way of making things work – simplifying, establishing rhythms, reprioritising and recalibrating what ‘enough’ looked like – but I still held on to this notion that professional organisers were going to make me feel inadequate and not quite organised enough.

That is, at least, until I met my guest today. Kirsty Farrugia is the founder of Feels Like Home professional organising, co-host of the podcast The Art of Decluttering, and she’s gracious and warm and kind – the perfect companion to accompany people on the vulnerable work of enlisting a professional organiser. In other words, she is perfect for her job!

This conversation really does put to bed a few misconceptions I had about professional organisers, as Kirsty really radiates both grace and vulnerability when talking about her job, and the full spectrum of relationships between stuff and people that she deals with in her daily work.

We talk about the misconception of decluttering being the solution to every problem, when really it’s often just the first step in a long process of creating change in your life. Kirsty also talks about how she gets started with her clients, and the questions she invites them to ask as they sit in the mess and start to deal with it. Just like I often talk about the importance of knowing your ‘why’, when it comes to decluttering, having a vision for your home and your life in it makes the process much easier.

Wonderfully, and much to my barely-disguised relief, Kirsty reveals that she is in fact not a naturally organised person and that it was only after she married an “uber-organised” man that she started to change her ways. This means that she can really connect and empathise with her clients, as she too has felt overwhelmed in her own home and has done the hard work to make changes. She talks about the idea of grace, and of the benefits of letting go and giving yourself permission to live the life you want to live, not a life dictated by the things around you. It’s a big, honest, vulnerable chat that definitely peels back a couple of onion layers around decluttering and professional organising, and I owe a big thanks to Kirsty for sharing so openly.

Excitingly, we also announce the first Slow Experiment of 2018 and I’d love to encourage you to join in. You can find out more about why we’re spending 60 minutes a day in nature by heading over here, and be sure to listen to next week’s episode when we kick things off.

Enjoy!

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

Rachel Jonat on the Joy of Doing Nothing

Nanda Green

Three-time guest Rachel Jonat of The Minimalist Mom is back! This week brings some real-talk to the topics of slow living as a family, as we catch up on the changes in Rachel and her family’s life since she was last on the show, as well as talk about her new book, The Joy of Doing Nothing.

You might remember way back in Episode 30, Rachel and her family had just moved to Vancouver from the Isle of Man, and she and I talked about the ways city living and slow living tied in together. That conversation had a big impact on my understanding of slow, simple living, as previously I’d always imagined city living in opposition to slow. But Rachel shared the multitude of ways that city living actually made simple living easier (public transport, closer community, smaller living spaces, less home maintenance, easier access to farmer’s markets) and the reasons it worked for her family.

In Episode 93, the talk turned more specifically to kids and slow living, how Rachel managed to declutter and simplify with three young kids, and the expectations vs reality. For anyone who has a young family it’s a realistic, helpful, practical episode that I’d highly recommend.

In today’s episode we flip the script entirely though, as Rachel and her family have recently moved away from the city to a small town.

The decision to sell their condo in Vancouver and buy a house in a small town in the mountains of BC was a well-thought-out one that aligned with the needs of Rachel’s family, and also her and her husband’s values. She and I talk about the reality of making this decision, what led up to it, and how the change in location has impacted her family’s lives.

Rachel talks about the shift in pace from city to small-town living, which, given her new book, The Joy of Doing Nothing, is utterly relevant. She was working on the book right before she and her husband made the decision to leave Vancouver, and felt inspired by what she was writing about to try and find a life that gave her the time and space she wanted. The book is about slowing down and simplifying, but rather than being about stuff, it focuses on simple, actionable ways to create quiet time for yourself to really unplug and just be. It’s not an extreme approach in any sense, but it definitely taps into that fear so many of us have of not being entertained, distracted or scheduled, and encourages us to hit reset a little more often.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Welcome to the great experiment of 2018

A belated Happy New Year to you and yours, my friends. I hope the holidays were good to you (as forever ago as they may feel) and that 2018 is off to a great start. We’re coming at you from the amazing Rocky Mountains in Canada, just over a week in to our year-long experiment, and in today’s poggie, the first new episode, we talk about the past couple of months and all they’ve entailed.

Since December, we’ve sold our house in the Blue Mountains, given away the vast majority of our belongings, packed up all that was left, said goodbye to family and friends, and flown off to the great unknown. And even as I write those words it seems surreal. As though I’m still imagining those things rather than living them.

In this poggie Ben and I go deep in to everything that’s happened over the past couple of months since we last recorded. First we talk about the head, heart and hard work that went into selling our house, moving out, saying goodbye and getting on that plane. The amount of energy and emotion involved caught us by surprise, and at times Ben found himself in a really stressful place, potentially taking tilting a little too far. We talk about the role that planning and organisation played in getting through that stress relatively unscathed, and the fact that so often we overlook the importance of the unsexy administrative and logistical work in living a slower simpler life, instead favouring the big, showy changes.

We also talk about the specifics of what went down during January, including our garage giveaway, having a super slow New Year’s Eve, the emotions involved with leaving our house (specifically the garden) for the final time, packing and the difficulty of saying goodbye (especially to our dog).

It’s been a big few weeks, with some really big emotions, but never once have we questioned whether we were doing the right thing or not. Two days in to our big adventure and we really are living in the unknown, doing the experiment.

And speaking of experiments, as we mentioned at the end of last year, the slow experiments are back! They’ll be happening every second month, and the first one will kick off in March, so stay tuned.

In the meantime though, thank you for your patience as we took some time to settle in to our new situation, and for the wonderful support you’ve given us this year already. I’m so excited to share our discoveries, mistakes and realisations with you over the coming months, but also wanted to assure you that the poggie is not going to become The Slow Travel Podcast! Starting next week we’ll be back on deck with some great interviews with people who have embraced a slower, simpler way of life.

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!