Monday, December 19, 2011

A Special Treat - An interview with Lissanne Oliver from Sorted!

I'm still working on all of my organising and de-cluttering at Chez CurlyPops.

Christmas seems to be the time of year when we all accumulate more and more stuff, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to interview the Master of Organisation, Lissanne Oliver from Sorted!

She even has some tips for the holiday season - perfect for us creative types!

1. How long have you been a professional organiser?

My whole entire life (43 years).  Started in kindy apparently - thank you Dr Maria Montessori! Montessori teaches organisation so I think if I didn't have the gene (which I do) kindy would have got me going.

I worked for 16 years in broadcast production; film ,video, stills photography.  I had loads of different roles that all involved organising, from reception and production assisting, to editorial assistant and stylist.  I also worked in props and wardrobe, produced websites and CD Roms (when new media was new!) and my last job before SORTED! was working as a theatrical agent, representing some big names in AUstralian film, television and theatre.  I *hated* it.  Ghastly workload, no respite, shockingly bad pay (the equivalent of a receptionists wages).  So I quit, and thought, I want to have a job that I love.  love love love.  I heart organising!  That's how it happened... and in February 2002, SORTED! was born.  It's been a brilliant 10 years!  (Tip:  we have lots of special free things and discounts and great competitions next year to celebrate, so we'd love you to join our mailing list!)

2. What are your top 5 tips for dealing with clutter?

  • Don't let it in the door.  Stop at the source (I often use a pic of a tomato sauce bottle for this one)
  • Don't put it down, put it away!  Clutter is sometimes just a visually busy space.
  • Don't wait for the organising fairies to come and save you.  Make time to deal with your stuff.
  • Do keep a permanent box or bag that is destined for charity.  Feed it regularly and scoot it away to the op shop.
  • Do make friends with your bin!  Clutter can simply be rubbish or recycling (think old packaging, outdated printed material).
3. If you walked into my house and only had one hour to make a difference, what would you do?

Love this question!  I would go straight to your tertiary storage space and help you discard .. no hang on... if I was dying, I'd remind my family, AGAIN, that I am an organ donor...


If I had an hour at yours, I would first identify what you felt the problem areas are, and/or ask you which space you were most avoiding dealing with (eg paperwork!).  I'd then hold your hand (not literally) and step you through doing something you really didn't want to do or felt overwhelmed by.  I would be non-judgemental, creative and you would have my attention 100%. That's my job. I love to help, and I LOVE my job.

4. What are your 5 favourite organisational tools?
  • A texta and a sticky note for labelling
  • (I swear I'm getting an Evernote tattoo!)
  • My brain for it's problem solving abilities.
I know these are not probably the tools that people want to hear about, so I will say I do love my Rexel shredder that will do 100 pages at a time.  It's such a strong piece of equipment and saves me time and energy.  Plus, I use the shredding in my cat's litter tray!

Sorry, that's not too many tools, is it?!
 5. Do you have any tips for the upcoming holiday season?

Yes, get in the car and go away for a week.  Then come back and look at your space with fresh eyes, and take at least 1-2 days to start creating positive change in your space.

Put away
Throw out

It's important to take time to get organised!

That's all for now!

Thankyou so much Lissanne.... if you pop on over to Lissanne's blog, there are some upcoming workshop details for anyone in the Northcote area.


Jasmine said...

Shredded paper in the kitty litter! I love that idea! I'm so buying a shredder now!
I loved Lissane on bh&g. I was sad when she left!

Naturally Carol said...

Hi Cam, this was a great post and very interesting to read about Lissanne.

Anna Bartlett said...

Ha! Love the bit about going away! I think I will do exactly that and face all of this mess again in the new year (oh, but I've just remembered my parents are coming to stay so it'll have to have a bit of attention b4 I go I guess!) . Will definitely follow the links!

Lotti said...

Thanks for your post. I always need a good post about organisation ... it's my biggest weakness. I need all the help I can get.

The Creative Beast said...

GREAT interview Cam!! I love the great tips here - they are spurring me on my continued project of cleaning and clearing in my little home. Thanks for a well timed post!!

Thea said...

Excellent! Now I'm even more excited about decluttering over Christmas as per our facebook discussion.

Jessica Lonard (The Crafty Librarian) said...

I love Lisanne's book, and I am getting ready to do a big declutter and tidy while on hols. Thanks, Cam!

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

I wish she could come to Hong Kong and sort out our apartment! I'd rather be sewing than sorting out stuff.......