Powerful lessons on letting go and the habit of hurry: APDO Conference 2016

APDO Conference 2016: Colette Robicheau, Carl Honoré and President Ingrid Jansen Conference speakers Colette Robicheau (left) and Carl Honoré with APDO President Ingrid Jansen

As professional organisers, members of APDO are looked to by our clients as experts who will help them sort out their stuff, their homes and their lives. We love our work, but that doesn’t mean we have all the answers, which is why our annual conference is such a valuable time in our year to take stock, reflect and learn something new.

There were powerful lessons to be learned at our 2016 Conference in London on March 15 and 16, both from our inspirational international speakers and insights from APDO members.

This year’s theme was The Power of Letting Go, and keynote speaker Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slow and globetrotting ambassador for the Slow Movement, had a timely message about the value of putting the brakes on the cult and culture of ‘busyness’, decluttering our daily timetables and working better by working less.

“We need speed limits on the information superhighway,” he told APDO delegates. “People are yearning for permission to slow down.” Potent food for thought for time-pressured business-people!

Our other keynote speaker was Canadian organising guru Colette Robicheau, who generously shared some of the lessons she had learned in her business career as well as useful tips from her experience of helping older clients move house or get their homes in order.

Delegates at APDO Conference 2016 APDO members at our 2016 conference

Back by popular demand after its successful launch at last year’s conference was our Q&A session with a panel of experienced organisers. Once again it proved a big hit and provoked both interesting debate and laughter – especially one organiser’s story about an SOS from a desperate and very pregnant client who said she had no space to put the baby …

Other sessions were designed to help APDO members develop their businesses and knowledge, covering topics including websites and workshops as marketing tools, styling property for sale, the health hazards of a cluttered lifestyle, and working with clients from different cultural backgrounds.

A late extra to our conference was a visit from consumer champion and money-saving expert Jasmine Birtles of Money Magpie, with whom APDO joined forces to promote the first National Clear Your Clutter Day on March 19.

Further evidence of our growing reputation as the voice of the UK decluttering and organising industry came with coverage of our conference by Reuters. We were also joined by researchers for a new TV show which will focus on families who need help to make their homes and lives run more smoothly, and another delegate was a university academic investigating the psychology of clutter.

APDO’s President Ingrid Jansen highlighted what an exciting time it is for our organisation with a look back at the achievements of the past 12 months including fast-growing membership and our first training programme, and a look ahead to our new-look website, launching very soon, our Level 2 training programme, our third National Organising Week (November 6-12) and next year’s APDO Conference, already set for March 21 and 22 2017 – watch this space for details!

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