In this episode of the Happiness Hive Podcast, Catherine chats with Decluttering and Organising Coach Lauren Winzar. From a child that had to have everything perfect and loved the idea of schedules and timetables, to sorting through her Mother’s home after she fell ill, listen as Lauren shares with us how she caught the decluttering bug to help others access the power of moving stuck energy in your home, mind and life.
In this episode you’ll also hear:
– Lauren’s top 3 tips when it comes to decluttering
– why clutter is simply unmade decisions laying all over your home
– what to do with historical family photo’s you don’t want to keep
– how your home can be a reflection of your mind
– What Swedish death cleaning is and why understanding it can help you sort through belongings of a loved one who has passed… and so much more!
Join Catherine’s membership The Happiness Lounge here
Connect with Catherine here:
Connect with Lauren Winzar here:
This podcast is produced by Nikki O’Brien from Quintessential Being
Well, I've recently met today's guest Lauren wins out at a recent concert concert God conference that
we went to the pop your business conference with Vic McFarland. So we met through a mutual
business friend and Lauren and I got chatting, and I'm really excited to chat with her today about how
she does life. Lauren is an organising and decluttering coach. So I want to find out all about how
Lauren does life but also some tips about organising and decluttering. So Lauren, welcome to today's
Thank you so much for having me, Catherine. And yeah, it was kind of a concert sort of vibe that we're
was a concert, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. And for those, I might just do a really quick I don't
normally do this, but a quick plug for pop your business and picnic fall. And the conference was really
an awesome experience and connecting with people that I hadn't met before. So I love that we had
chats Lauren, and we have some similar things, approaches, I think, to life and to business. Yes. Tell
me what's an organising and decluttering. Coach, and how did you get into this?
Okay, how did I get into it? I mean, it's kind of a long story. So I'm going to try and cut it a little bit,
because it really is a lifetime that's led me here. It's how I've always done live. That that kind of pushed
me. You know, as a kid in school, I was always the kid that had like matching everything. I like to
coordinate my highlighters with my pens, and my folder had to match and everything needed to be
pretty. Yep. And complimentary. And I loved the idea of schedules and timetables and making things
perfect. Yeah, it's always in my head that it had to be perfect. And if something wasn't working, it was
because I needed a better system. I needed something with more structure, I needed more to dues and
there was a perfect list somewhere, right? There had to be anything from a kid like it's not from a kid
seriously, very, very young. And I'm sure that there's something going on there. But yeah, definitely
from quite young. That was who I was. And it didn't always work out so well for me. And as I got older, I
had my children, I was only 21 When I had my first child. And so that meant that my plans didn't really
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Have kids and life can throw some curveballs. And sure those curveballs beautiful curveballs. But
yes, and because of that I was then you know, as quite a young mum, anyone who has had children
knows that in those early days, you are all about tracking things and making sure everything's perfect
and getting the timing right. And, you know, we become sort of obsessed with things being as they're
supposed to be, right and then and also looking for ways to make things easier, or get the most out of it
or be better in some way. We're looking for that next thing that's going to make all the difference. And
so I had, you know, I spent most of my time going down rabbit holes trying to find the planner that will
do this, or the new diet that's going to stop my son from being a pain in the ass. You know, what, what
can I do to be better yet constantly. And then there's a lot more behind this part of the story, but it's it's
quite heavy, and it's not all my story. So I'm just going to go with my mum got quite sick. And at one
point, the decision had to be made to have her move into state to be closer to our extended family. And
I was left to pack up declutter her whole house.
Oh my gosh, I got goosebumps. I feel I can feel that but we'll talk more about yet. Yeah, a little story.
Okay. So mom had a three bedroom house with a garage and it was packed. Now, it wasn't like you
would see on TV with like Hoarders and stuff didn't have piles of newspaper or rotting anything. It was
clean. It was just really, really full. Like I you couldn't see the walls because every wall had a bookshelf
on it. Like the whole wall. Every bookshelf was stacked to maximum capacity. And I just don't mean
from like left to right. I mean, left to right, top to bottom front to back. Things were hanging off. And in
some cases, the shelves were actually bowing with the weight. Now if that's not a metaphor, I don't
know what it is.
It's powerful, isn't it? It's a powerful that so much clutter so much, that bowing under the weight in
depression. I have so much stuff. So yes, very powerful metaphor.
Exactly. And, you know, despite the fact that everything looked nice, like everything had it or appeared
to have place, she actually had multiple copies of some things that she wasn't aware she had. If I
opened a cupboard, like out of sight, I opened a cupboard, it was chaos. utter chaos did not make
sense to anyone, including her. And I was finding weird things like empty DVD cases, as in the CD or
the disc wasn't there. Nor was the cover. It's just empty, but they were everywhere. Because she
thought she had to keep them just in case. So I'm not equipped to diagnose hoarding. But there's
definitely some tendencies that were there. That whole experience, you know, she couldn't take
everything with her. And I had to declutter for her and in consultation with her over the phone. And that
that was, it was hard. Yeah, it was hard for me. And I could see how hard it was on her. There was a lot
of emotion in that there was a lot of pain in that. And by the end of it, my husband had taken two weeks
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off work to look after our young kids, so that I could be there at least 12 hours a day, doing this job for
two weeks, we had a weekend long garage sale, and I say garage, it was the whole house, we packed
everything. And then I just opened the doors, and I said come in, you know, take what you want.
Basically, we donated as much as we could elsewhere. And I still ended up with enough of her clutter
back at my house that I felt I needed to keep so much. So we had to build a new shed. So all of that
was very, very stressful, right? It was a lot for everyone involved. But once that was done, and the keys
were handed back, and I came home, I had this sort of unsettled feeling like it wasn't anxiety, there was
just this energy in me that I had to keep going like an itch that I couldn't scratch. I kept decluttering my
own stuff. And I started to run out of things to declutter in my house, and I started to bug my friends.
Because they'd be talking about having too much or they were inspired by what I'd been doing. And I
was like, I can help you with that. Let me tell you what I've learned. Because in amongst it all, you
know, because I had always, as a child been interested in productivity and organisation and stuff. I've
been absorbing that information my whole life. And then when it comes to these being decluttering for
my mother, and then for myself, I was absorbing even more information, I'd read anything I could I
listened to as many podcasts as I could, I just sucked it all in. And then I was just ready to distribute it to
anyone who would listen, you cannot shut me off about this stuff. And eventually, one of
my friends list the decluttering a little
bit. I love it. Eventually, one of my friends was like, I think it might have been her way of saying, leave
me alone. I don't want your help. But she did. She had, she did want my help. And we did work out
some things for her at her home that I believe she still uses. But she said, you know you can charge for
this, right? Like people want this. I'm like now I'm just I'm just tidying up like I'm just throwing stuff out.
Like it's not. It's not that hard. But you know what it is? It was hard for me.
Yeah, absolutely. Oh my god, can I just because I know there's more to your story. And I think that I
think we you know, we're how people come into your life and you connect with people. What you have
just described is similar experience that I've been through my brothers and I have been through with my
father, my father was an only child. My mom was an only child and she passed away when I was
young. So he had a lot of her stuff. Then he inherited his parents stuff. And he didn't know what to do
with it. And the same sort of thing. Like, I'm not equipped to diagnose the hoarding, but it wasn't, I
would say inverted commas an illness for Dad, the same sort of thing he had multiple when we were
clearing up multiples of things that I think that he had just forgotten that he'd had it and it was a really
tough, stressful process with the emotion was like how do you remove things? How do you organise
things when we've got our own stuff at home and give honour to what was important to dad, but also
about how do you go through because it brought up a whole lot of emotions and even you talking about
it now? It's like, oh yeah, but John's mom's just passed. My husband's mom's just passed away recently
and it was a very different experience because she had there was still a lot of stuff to go through. But
she had done a lot of that organising herself and there wasn't for my dad. I think it was a lot of he had
things because it reminded him of the past. He didn't want he was hanging on to stuff. Whereas John's
mom, in a very different space and not hanging on. So the amount, it was so emotional, so sorry. So I
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can absolutely feel. And I think our listeners, there'll be lots of listeners that I know in my world are
going through similar things or about two. So pick up where I cut you off in, you can charge for this.
Oh, that starts to get into the the idea of it being a business and which was very exciting. And I mean, I
could talk for ages about how I went from just this thing that I love doing to a business that I that I love
doing as well. But I do actually want to go back to talking about your experience that because you're
right, it's not just you, like, everyone goes through this at some point, to one degree or another, we all
have to deal with the loss of a person. And okay, to be fair, my mom has not passed, but I did have to
go through a grieving process. And there is so much more to that story that is just not the time or place.
But yeah, there's a there's a process that is sort of gaining a lot of popularity, especially in the ageing
population, and called Swedish death cleaning. Yes, yeah. So that might be what your mother in law
has done. Or
explain that because I'm familiar with that some of our listeners may not?
Well, at its at its worst, it's essentially accepting that at some point, you're going to die, and you don't
want to leave the crap in your home for someone else to deal with. So it's considered a responsibility
and a kindness to your next of kin, that they don't have to question every tiny little thing you own. You
know, there are some people who do treasure the tiniest little things, and that's okay, you treasure
whatever works, like whatever means something to you is a treasure. But, you know, I've got heaps of
stuff. I'm not a minimalist, I have heaps of stuff that I love that I find beautiful, but I don't care one way
or another. If anyone keeps it after I'm gone, it's there for my enjoyment. And that's it.
Oh, I love hearing that. I love hearing do I love hearing that, that you've got a lot of stuff. I think
sometimes we think you know, people who are organised and decluttering experts that they don't have
anything in the house. But it's what you've said there is about the meaning that it has for you. And it has
for you. It's not about the rest show for kids to do stuff. Actually, there's a company, I'll keep that in my
mind for a minute, because I want to ask you about some of that term that you mentioned to me about
heirloom decluttering. And that's exactly what we've been going through my grandmother, gosh, some
20 years ago in the lead up to her passing away. She very practical. And she would go through all the
important things in her house, like all the tea cups, and she would say, I was given this by so and so on
my 21st birthday. I was you know, I want this one to go to you. I want these ones to go to your brothers.
And even though we kind of think we really want them. But the thing for me was that she was able to
share that meaning about what they are some of the things that I'm going through with dad. I'm not
sure. It's kind of like get stuff that looks nice. Yeah. I don't know where that's come from. I don't know if
that's a thing of importance or not?
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Well, I suppose the question then is okay, if even if it did hold some importance to dad, if he didn't tell
you about it. And if neither you nor any of your siblings or anyone else close to him has any connection
to it. It doesn't hold that meaning anymore.
So what do you do with this stuff? Like we've given some away? We've marketplace stuff. What do you
do with photos? Lauren? What do you do with family photos that look like they're historical? I mean,
they are 1800. And you go, who the freak is that in the photo? Yeah, well, there's
all sorts of things you can do with it. Firstly, I want to say that you can actually throw them out. A lot of
people gotta come to that. Because like, similar with books, if you see a really old book or a really old
photograph, you're like, Wow, that must have some significance, especially in our old books and
photos. They weren't cheap. They weren't easy to get. They're rare, right? So we feel like we can't get
rid of them. With something like books. Yeah, you can donate them, you can give them to libraries.
There are definitely things you can do. But photos are really hard because they only mean something to
the people in the photos or the people who knew those people. You know, I can even see a photo of
like my great great grandmother, assuming one exists. My great grandmother I've definitely seen
photos of and I can guess who she is based on who the other people are in the photo and maybe
somebody's once upon a time told me a story about this particular photo are off. But really, as sad as it
might seem, really doesn't mean anything to me. You know? Yeah, I can't tell you anything about her.
And that that is really a hard pill to swallow. Because we want to think that our lives are important. We
want to think feel like we're leaving some sort of legacy and that people are going to care about us long
after we die. You know what, some of us that might be true. And some of us might have amazing
families that will continue our stories forever. They're going to get twisted, they're not going to
remember us exactly as we are. They're just not. And if you pick up a photograph that you found in your
dad's stuff, and you don't know any of the people in there, and you can ask your brother and he'll say,
no, no idea. It doesn't matter.
It's, I think they're I get that. No, I really, like hearing that part of me goes, these are all photos they
possibly have some, maybe you've just answered that start talking about historical importance. Am I if I
throw it out? Am I making a decision on something? I don't know where that.
So are you denying somebody else? Yes, in some way, well, potentially, but it's very unlikely that
anyone's ever going to not notice, like, if you don't know who it is, nobody's going to come knocking on
your door one day and say, you will have a photo from you know, 1820 of this person who I've just
tracked down through ancestry or something like that, you know, it's one of those things that if you find
it, and you understand it, it can be really cool. But it's very unlikely that anyone's going to come looking
for it. So if you would like it to go somewhere that it's going to be useful, you can talk to historical
societies in the area that they may be grew up in. So a lot of local libraries are connected to historical
societies. If you have a photograph that you think might be related to some sort of war effort, or a
particular event, local museums like to have those kinds of things. It's especially handy if you've got you
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know, in grandma's writing on the back some sort of details, because even if those details mean
nothing to you, they might help the people in the historical society and people who do that kind of thing,
really love this sort of mystery solving aspect, you know, they might recognise a uniform or a face or a
sign in the background and connect it to something else. And, and then you might be able to find out a
little bit about it, which is really cool. But it doesn't necessarily mean you have to keep it in your
possession forever and ever and ever.
And that's what I think that's what I really love hearing there. And what the me, it's taking a lot of energy
in going, I don't know what the frick to do with this. I don't want to if I dispose of it. I mean, I could quite
easily throw them out, burn them. If there's a part of me that goes, I don't want to do that. But for me,
it's about moving them on. Because the energy energy of them being here, for me is a stuck. Yes. And
that would be something that you would experience a lot. Isn't it that so often that benefits of
decluttering? Actually, yeah, yeah.
So that's stuck energy, like, Okay, we were talking before we hit record, I'm in my bedroom recording,
because this is where we get the best sound. And at the moment, my bedroom is not neat and tidy. I
have piles of notebooks because I'm in the middle of a project, I have another pile of things that came
out of my suitcase when we came back from holiday. And I just haven't gotten around to it yet. And
that's what clutter is. It's unmade decisions. Right? It's, I'm putting this here for now. And I'll get back to
it later. And later, it's kind of a generic, sometime between now and forever, you know, there's there's
no set time, right? So that kind of overwhelming stuck feeling like I can't use this space for what I
intended. Because this is in my way, clutter is something between me now and what I want to do. Yeah,
so the stuff you're going through with, with your father's stuff and your your mother in law's stuff. You
know, it's not necessarily that you dislike it, but it's not contributing to your life, and it's actually getting
in your way. And that's true, whether it's sitting on front of your desk and like you couldn't see the
camera right now. That's that's in your way. But it's also in your way if it's in the garage, and you can't
park the car anymore, because then you're not using that space the way you intended. You don't have
to see it for it to be clutter. Yeah. And I feel like I might have lost your question in that.
You know, you're exactly because I was talking about moving it on and that stuck anything at all? Yes.
So he's been in the, the clutter. I love what you said there about clutter and quotes to unmade
decisions. And for me the energy so there's physical clutter For her, there's the mental and the
emotional, so that we're hanging on to that and getting in the way of where we want to be.
Yeah. And you and I actually touched on this a little bit when we were speaking in person, because so I
got into this in terms of the physical clutter, like there were physical things standing in the way of myself
and the people in my life. Those are relatively easy to deal with. They're not easy, they're still hard.
we've just discussed how some of them like Alien clutter is really hard, really hard. But it's hard to get
rid of anything, everything came into your home for a reason, you know, so it's hard to get rid of it. It's
lots and lots of decisions. I often use the example of like a receipt. A receipt is one tiny scrap of paper,
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right? But if I pick up a receipt, and I think, do I need to keep this? Firstly, I need to look at where did it
come from? How old is it? Do I need to return that item? is do I need it for tax? Do I need it for
insurance? Do I need it for a million of it? That's like, like 10 questions already on one piece of paper?
So how do we deal with 1000 questions on 1000 different objects in our house that's complicated. But
that is so much easier than dealing with the emotional clutter that has been built up inside us our entire
lives. Like we started by saying that I needed everything to be perfect. There is some clutter going on in
there that I am still dealing with. There's been clutter in my head as there is in everyone's there's the
stories, we've been told, there's the stories we tell ourselves, there's the negative thoughts, there's just
the flat out lies, there's all sorts of stuff and that is hard to deal with. Because you can't see it, you can't
hold it up and say, Do I need this for tax purposes? You don't.
But what you can do is, how is this benefiting me in life,
you got to be able to see it first, you have to be able to recognise that it's there. And so often, we're not
even aware of the clutter that's happening in our minds, in our emotions. So that is definitely something
that has taken me a bit longer to deal with than the physical stuff. But by learning how to deal with the
physical clutter, it started to open up space, physically and mentally for me to recognise the patterns I
see in my own life in my in my head, or in my behaviour. And I can talk to myself as though it's an
object I can have, like I can pick out, this is a patent, I'm saying, Why? Why did that come into my life in
the first place? Do I still need to keep it? What can I do with it? Now, it is a more complicated process,
but it is the same process.
It is elements that are the same, and it's about the stuff that's in the way exactly where we want to be
and the stuff it can be physical, mental, emotional, you know, a whole range of things. And it's
recognising also the energy that it takes with that stagnant stuff that we're not doing anything with the
unmade decisions, the things that are just sitting there. To me that stagnant energy. And for us to move
forward in life, we need to actually declare it to movement and clear it. And I, I know, when I have a lot
of stuff, I have a lot of stuff in my house too. And I would like to remove some of that. But when it's all
out of place, I feel overwhelmed. And it's almost like a reflection of my thinking. It's like when my house
is really messy and tidy. So my thoughts, my thoughts are kind of all over the place. So sometimes the
clearing up will help my thoughts to get clearer. Sometimes getting my thoughts a little bit clearer, I can
also help with the physical,
absolutely, I find it has, it kind of has to happen hand in hand. Because if you focus too much on I must
clear this space, you're kind of blocking yourself from clearing your mental space, right? So you've got
to do both, you do a little bit out on the external and a little bit on the internal sometimes they happen.
At the same time. Like while I'm doing it like you can do it as a mindfulness activity while I'm washing
the dishes, and also clearing away negative thoughts like you can you can consciously choose it that
way. But for a lot of my clients and my students, it sort of comes more accidentally than that, like they
found that they focused first like this part's really important. I must clear my kitchen bench like that's
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where I'm starting. So they clear that kitchen bench and then then they can stop and breathe. And
suddenly there's new ideas about other things that have been bothering them but they couldn't really
pinpoint that. That sort of
the next bit for them.
So then they can work on something new that are not new but something that they've just noticed it's
new to them. They can work through that they can journal it out, they can talk it out with a group they
can move on, like they can declutter those thoughts, right. And then they have the mental energy again,
to go back and do the next part of their home. And it just becomes this wonderful cycle. And it is a cycle
because there's no finish line, no finish line, like I said, my house, like, at the moment, it's not perfect,
but I do know what I need to do to get it back the way I like it. And like you said, the longer I leave it
messy, the more complicated my head is going to get, I'm going to start to make mistakes that I haven't
made in a long time, you know, I'm going to start to forget things, I'm going to start to lose things. I'm
going to start to get frustrated and snappy. And all these things that seemed normal once upon a time,
and they're normal for a lot of people to be, you know, short tempered, to be forgetful to be late, just to
be overwhelmed and stressed all the time. That's actually not normal. And it doesn't need to be that
Yeah. You know, there were two things that popped into my mind. I can remember one of them. And
one of them was about decluttering became kind of trendy with the Marie Kondo, you know, process,
you know, Marie Kondo I find that process a bit restrictive for me, then I what I loved when we were
chatting off air, is you said whatever works for the person. Exactly. Tell me more about that. Because I
that appeals to me.
Yeah. So I very much think that. Okay, it's kind of like, like diets. Okay, everyone has been on a diet at
some point. Everyone has had on it,
or like, I was speaking for a friend.
I mean, if you lived it all through the 90s, you know, that that diets were life, right? You're always on
some kind of crazy restrictive diet. And fortunately, that kind of culture is shifting now, which is
wonderful. But every diet works for somebody. Yes. It doesn't mean that there is a diet that works for
everybody, because there's not, you know, you and I could eat exactly the same food, we could do
exactly the same movement. And we're still going to have completely different body sizes, shapes,
whatever, there is not a single diet that will work for everyone. The same is true for frankly, I believe
everything. I do everything. If something's not working for you, it doesn't mean you're broken. It doesn't
mean you're not doing it right. It means that wasn't the way for you. Love it. So when the Marie Kondo
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books came out, I did read the first one quite early on, and I found it a little bit cultish. I did enjoy it.
There were a lot of points in there that I found very useful. And I still use with some clients, because
some of those points do work for some people. But I tried to follow the whole thing myself, I was like, I
can't teach this to people. If I don't know it myself. I did some of it thoroughly, like I did the whole get
every single piece of clothing you own out and throw it on the bed, get every single book you own and
put it on the floor in front of you. I did it. I followed her rules to the letter because you know, I really liked
to find a perfect system. And if it were perfect, I would be here promoting it. But to me, yeah, it was a
little too prescriptive. Yeah, I liked the idea of how it makes you feel, you know, the, the it's become
quite a meme, the sparks joy. And I but I like it. I like that, that works really well for me. But overall,
though, this is what you must start with. And this is how it must go. And then she kind of had some
backlash a couple of years ago when she created a store with some very high price items in it. Because
everyone saw her as a minimalist, and you shouldn't have these unnecessary things and expensive
stuff is unnecessary. But to her credit, it was totally on brand for her because they were things that
were very, very high quality that spark joy for her. That doesn't mean it's going to spark joy for anybody
else. You know, you don't need several $100 on a singing bowl. Unless you really love singing bowls.
And this one makes the perfect sound for you. Owning the scene bowl not going to bring you joy. Yeah,
that's so true, isn't it? And I think, for me, being so prescriptive, and I find that also with like my
coaching practice and with my clients. I'm very much about you, do you? Yeah, actually, my daughter
said this to me. Oh, God, I didn't know when however many years ago, she said, Ma'am, you do you
have do me. It's like, love it. Hold on. Yeah, yes. And that's kind of the philosophy in my coaching is
about, you know, be authentic to who you are. Don't do what works for you in life. You know that there
are some things that bring joy for you in life. There are some things that don't then you do that. It's not
up to me into being prescriptive in what you should do. And I do while we're on that a little bit I do have
a few challenges with Some coaches that have very structured approach, but that works for some of
their clients, I get Yeah, as well. So it's about that. Yeah. So I love I resonate with what you're saying
there about what works for the individuals. And you as a coach can kind of tap into that, and then help
the individuals to tap into their motives as well.
That's right, because there is no one size fits all. It just doesn't, it doesn't exist. And what works for you
is not necessarily going to work for me. But we can share information, I can say, this is what worked for
me, and this is what somebody suggested, but it didn't sit right for me because so I can learn from your
experience, I can learn from your mistakes. And then I can discuss mine with you. And maybe we both
come out with a little more, you know, you tell me that this didn't work for you because x y Zed, and I'm
like, Whoa, but I that that would actually really work. That's what that I'll give it a go. And, you know, in
my in my courses in my teaching, I talk about declutter DC ltr, dream, curate, learn, try and reset. And
the really important one there is reset. You know, if, if we just keep heading towards the exact same
goal all the time and keep trying the same thing that we learnt before. You're going to find yourself
getting stuck, you're going to start beating yourself up because, you know, I read the book that
everyone said was like the be all and end all and the book promises that this will be a once and done
and I'll never have to do it again. Bullshit. Bullshit. The only reason you were ever going to have to stop
dealing with your stuff is when you're dead.
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Yeah, no, I absolutely 100% agree. And it's interesting that we approach really, you and I are about
helping people to, you know, life and you know, and be the best versions of themselves. And you do it
through through a decluttering lens, I do it through finding joy and happiness lens, that the first part in
happiness for LiFE framework that I share with my clients is to create space for new beginnings. And
it's about how we do that. It's about looking at what you've got, where are you now? Where do you want
to be? What's getting in the way of you being where you want to be? And getting rid of some of that old
stuff and old beliefs, old patterns, old things, you know, things that aren't working for you. So really,
we're talking about same thing, same thing, but we're doing it through different lenses, which was
modelling what we're talking about, which is kind of super cool as well. Yeah. Yes. Because if,
if starting with the what makes me happy if you if you don't know, you don't know what makes you
happy. And there are some people who who don't. I know I didn't for a very long time. If you don't know
what makes you happy. Okay, so let's start with what what's in your way? Yeah. It's hard to know, like
you said, you need to know where you're getting to figure out what is like,
where are I? Where am I? Where are right, where am I? And where are we in? Can i The other thing
that I had sawed off and forgotten and then fall off again? Is you mentioned about on that quest for
being perfect. Yeah. Tell me more about perfectionism. Because I think a lot of our listeners will relate.
They might not want to be, they might be closet perfectionist. Yeah. Being a perfectionist mean for you,
and how does that show up in your life? Ah,
it shows up a lot less now than it used to. It's funny when you said that I've sort of had a quick spin back
to very early university, I studied economics. And one of my early I know, I get that look a lot. One of
my very early economics professors said he was It was basically trying to weed out those that fit in the
course and those that were not going to get it. And they said, You're not just a perfectionist, you're like
a mentally retentive and not the literal meaning but the meaning. Psychological meaning is, if I can't get
it perfect, I'm not going to do it at all. Okay, and that's where we end up with clutter.
Oh, my God that tell me more about that. I've got a client at the moment that has held herself back.
Because it almost the words that she said, If I can't do I kind of late I'm not going to do it. Yeah.
Yeah. So that the concept, so when he said that to well, he said it to the class, but it's definitely right
right at me. I can't get it perfect. I'm just not going to try. The problem with that is you're not going to get
anywhere because nothing is perfect. There's never going to be a perfect time. There's never going to
be a perfect place. You know, you can't like I mean, I wanted to plan a barbecue for last weekend but
the weather didn't look good. So I didn't do it where the was bloody perfect. And I put it off, I put it off.
And I mean, if you know something is definitely not going to work, like I'm not going to plan a barbecue
when I when the forecast is for like a snowstorm or something that would be stupid. But if I'm just going
to avoid starting my business, or avoid throwing something out, or avoid tidying my room right now,
because I don't have time to finish the whole thing, I'm never gonna get on top of it. So a smaller,
maybe easier to understand for everyone idea would be the dishes, right? We all eat, we all make
dishes like dirty dishes, we need to clean them so that they're ready for our next meal, right? If you
have a meal, and you know, say there's four people in your family, you got four plates for forks or
knives, whatever pots and pans you used to cook with. And you put them on the side of the bench and
you go, I don't have time to do that right now. Well, by the next time you look at it, you've had another
meal, and there's twice as much to do. Yeah, and you definitely don't have time to do two loads of
dishes right now. So if you wait until the end of the day, and you've got last night's dinner, you've got
this morning's breakfast, you've got the kids lunchboxes, it all piles up, you really have to dedicate a
huge chunk of time to getting these dishes done, right. Whereas if you stop in the morning, go, I don't
have time to do all of it. But I can definitely put some of that in the dishwasher. Or I can wash just the
glasses, or I can rinse one cup like doesn't matter if you do a little bit then you've got a little bit less to
do later. And then you don't have this mounting pile. And right. If you say I don't have time to clean my
room? Well, you probably don't because it's been months and months because you've left it Yeah,
because you've left it so you're not going to have time. But if you keep putting it off, it's never ever
going to get done. And I think I know the book you just picked up.
I just got that progress. Perfection. Have you got it there to Emma Norris little shout out to Emma who
was at the conference. But to me, that's my philosophy. And what I was also going to mention there to
Lauren is Mel Robbins about the five second rule. Yes, about just 54321 do it. Yep. I just that. For me,
that's been a huge game changer is to do a little bit. Yeah. And it's about not doing having to get it right.
All in one bit. It's about progress is better than perfection.
Exactly. Yeah. And that is a very nice summary of our progress. And there's many ways of looking at it,
you know, just a little bit. And I do go through this often with clients as well. It's like, we don't have to do
it all now. But we're just going to do some of that. And my best example of success with that is my kids.
So both of my kids are autistic. And my daughter especially really struggles with being given a direction
and then sticking to it. So at her worst, I can't even tell her go to your room, grab your shoes and bring
like your school bag because that's that's too many things. Too many words too much input. I just I say
shoes. She's like, right, got it. She can do shoes. But if I sent her to brush her teeth, and get into her
pyjamas she'll come out half an hour later, with like roller skates on. Yeah, what happened? Because
she got to her room and she couldn't remember anymore. So I'm not going to pick up her room for her
her entire life. In fact, I will not even I wasn't prepared to do it when she was five. I'm like if your arms
work, and your feet work, you can do this. Love it. You know, I am a very lazy person, Catherine, I'm
really lazy. And I'm not I don't want to change that I quite like lazy. So that means somebody else has
got to do it if at all possible. So for my daughter, I recognised that she liked repetition what kids don't
like, you know, a bit of a song and a dance. And so I basically just started chanting to her like a
cheerleader picks something up. Yeah. Where does it go? Yeah. And then okay, what next? And I can
get really like playschool pigtails annoying with this kind of thing. I can repeat that on loop for however
long it takes. Now, okay, to be fair, she's nearly 11 years I haven't had to go beyond pick something up.
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Because if I stay at one. She knows that. Yeah, yeah. And I mean, she's not perfect. None of us are.
But most people who have seen her room are confused by the fact that I'm saying that she needs more
help. Because by most people's standards pretty good for a 10 year old girl.
But you know what I hear you there Lauren is that you understand your daughter and her needs when
you have been able to adapt and help her to be able to do things her self. And that's I guess, if we bring
that back to the organising and decluttering the process, there is the same for people that maybe do
feel overwhelmed. And as we've talked about in this chat, it can be tough, it can be really tough. And for
some people that do feel really overwhelmed and not even sure where to start. Having independent
eyes, I think is a great assistance to be able to help people to navigate that experience that journey and
whether it's the heirloom decluttering or just in general what you've got going on in your own life. Yeah,
I think that's a great support. Before we end up I just want to because there's been lots of there's been
lots of tips kind of woven through here. What would you say? Your top three are in relation to
decluttering and organising. Do you have a top three
number one definitely just just start where you can with as little as you can, like we were just saying,
and you know that champs that I do for my daughter, I shared that during lockdown on a Facebook Live
like as an off the cuff hadn't really planned to add it in. I had so many messages about that. I even had
one woman who messaged me to tell me that her husband had overheard it in the background. And
she'd caught him singing it to himself as he tidied the kitchen. And, and he never tidies the kitchen.
Sorry. Hang on, I'll do it as annoying as I can. Yeah, pick something up. Where does it go? Okay,
Yeah, the more annoying and like Elmo ish you are, the better I really get stuck in your head that way.
My next tip would be it never hurts to ask. Ask for help. If you're not feeling supported by the family, or
people in your home or something like that, if you feel judged, if you've if you're not feeling good about
your decluttering or organising efforts, then they're not the right support for you. Yes. And you need to
look for something. And I love that. I love that. I think that's the same with any support in your life.
Yeah, if it doesn't feel right, don't just do it. Because somebody said do it. Yeah. And don't do it. If you
feel that you've been judged, or and this isn't just the decluttering or anything, it's anything. Yeah.
So yeah, if you're not feeling supported, you're not getting support. So ask for help. You can ask for a
coach, you can, you know, call Catherine or myself ask her coach, you can outsource you know, almost
anything can be outsourced. So that I'm a huge fan of outsourcing, whatever, we'll get something off my
plate is a win. So yeah, asking for help, start where you are. And try and enjoy it. Make it as fun as
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It because it can be a bit of a slog and a chore depending on, you know what the process of it is? And
do. What I really like hearing to is about really practical. Seems like just do what you can do. And don't
put pressure on yourself. Don't don't expect that you have to have it perfect. As we said, progresses
you know better than perfect. And just get in and have a go and do it. So where can people find you,
I'm a bit everywhere. I think the best place is usually Instagram, all the newest stuff goes to Instagram
first. So I'm just at Lauren Windsor and Windsor is W I N Zed AR?
And we put that in the show notes if people want to follow that. Yeah, yeah.
You can also find me on Facebook, my website, which is just Lauren windsor.com.au. And, yeah, just
reach out to me. I'm a normal human person, you can send me a DM or text message or something.
And we'll figure out what's going on for you and how I might be able to help you.
That would be awesome, Lauren, and there's so much that got so much we covered and so much that
we didn't cover, but people I would 100% Suggest follow Lauren for tips. And also just to reach out and
ask for advice. If you feel that you want some advice around it. Some people don't some people got this
all sorted. And that's completely normal as well.
In which case send me some advice. I'm always looking for ideas for other people. If you've found the
perfect way to do something. I'm happy to admit I was wrong and there is a perfect way let me know.
Yeah, same. So Lauren, thank you so much for that. I really appreciate the time. Thank you for
happiness to you and we'll see you around