We were delighted when Vicky Silverthorn agreed to be interviewed by us for our blog.
Vicky is a professional organiser and runs a business called 'You Need a Vicky', helping to clear your space, life and mind. Vicky is also the successful author of the book ‘Start with your Sock Draw’, which we think is life changing!
1. If someone wants to declutter but is overwhelmed by the idea, how would you get them motivated?
I would start by having a brief conversation with them to see what was bothering them and where their mind set was. Do they need more space, do they find it hard getting rid of items, or are they simply in need of a good declutter because life has taken over?
It’s always great for me to get a good idea of how people are thinking.
The key point to remember when feeling overwhelmed by the idea is breaking it down. Stop looking at it as a giant task and start breaking their home down into smaller and more manageable areas. WHO would want to start something that could take days of hard work to finish?
Instead start small and always complete the area you have started. Never take on too big an area. That feeling of completion is what will spur you on to start another area. From there the feelings it becomes addictive….you don’t want to stop!
It’s not so much a special service, more pinpointing that we work a lot with families shows people that we are very used to the challenges that come with a growing family therefore growing amounts of stuff in the home.
Rewiring the way people think is part of what we do i.e obviously you need a lot more stuff when you start a family but how much? Coping with Christmas and Birthdays and getting out of the habit of buying too much is a big part of our family days.
Not having enough is something parents worry about when it comes to their children – when I explain that children get overwhelmed as much as adults do with endless toys and games they understand that limiting the choices children have can sometimes be kinder than showering them with more and more.
3. How does decluttering a child's room differ to working on other areas of the house?
Children have many ‘bits’, much of the time even more so than adults. Controlling them is an art, and definitely a challenge.
One of the most important things to think about with kids rooms is that you need a system that means it’s easy to tidy away so even if the room becomes chaos after a playdate you don’t panic and a sweep round can be done as efficiently as possible.
In addition, everything needs a home. If it doesn’t then a home must be found. If there’s no space then more than likely there is too much stuff in relation to the space you have available (this principle works with every room within the home.)
Children should at least be able to start a tidy up themselves which means really simplistic storage and furniture.
4. Without doing a huge revamp, are there any little things you can do to spruce up a nursery or bedroom?
Absolutely. First, as always make sure everything has a home so it looks and feels organised. If something doesn’t have a home make it one and always be sure to check if you have too much within the room itself whether its furniture or contents.
Anything that’s been grown out of should be removed from your ‘daily space’ and stored elsewhere (for future kiddies?) making sure to be realistic about quantities and qualities that are being saved.
5. How does a tidy, clutter-free home enhance your wellbeing?
It can help keep stress levels and anxiety down – life is so full of hurdles so not letting your own home be one of those is a wonderful feeling.
Knowing where everything you own belongs helps the feeling of being in control of your life.
The less you own, the easier it is to keep control of where everything is.
Life is also full of choices and decisions – for me personally work takes up my allowance of decision making so when I am in my home I need straight forward choices and I have found this makes an enormous difference to my headspace.
I don’t’ care enough about the colour socks I wear or the style of the notebook I use. I don’t waste my headspace on decisions in the morning that make getting ready so much harder so it’s been an invaluable journey to separate where I do need to make important choices and where I don’t.
6. How is a clean, tidy nursery, bedroom or playroom beneficial for a child?
In the same way that we feel overwhelmed when we feel we have nothing to wear, or if we have too much choice in our wardrobes children can get overwhelmed with their everyday choices. It’s important to understand though that they can’t verbalise or digest this in the same way we can.
Children not only stop seeing the choices they have because there are too many but they can feel inner anxiety. There have been interesting studies proving this. It’s a pretty fascinating subject and to think we may be doing more harm than good by bombarding our children with everything we think will make them happy is a pretty interesting topic.
Order is part of life and children learn from our behaviour, so I believe giving them a good start in life regarding being organised, by keeping everything in its place can only be a good thing. It’s important to say I am talking about a nice friendly level of organisation and not utter panic if something is out of place or in the wrong location.
7. We'd love to hear if any of our #littlepsringedit products have caught your eye.
I’m utterly obsessed with the Mighty Mouse pillow case (as I’m sure many adults also are let alone the kids!).
When I was a nanny I was always also taught about the importance of learning through play, so the UK wall map is a must for any kids room!
Lastly, and most obviously I love the storage tubs and rainbow storage cases. The yellow feather baskets are perfect for organising toys during a spring clean and the larger wicker belly baskets would be ideal for soft toys.
8. What spurred you on to launch your business?
I wanted to make sure I spent my work life doing something that I absolutely love doing and that always ends positively. I feel lucky that I found out about this career as I feel it suits me perfectly.
I’d seen a fantastic fashion stylist organising a wardrobe and was in ore and I thought I could do that, what a difference it would make to do that to the whole home and not just on clothes.
I couldn’t believe it was an actual career. After much research and seeing how popular it was in the US I knew I had found what I wanted to do. When I started the business 8 years ago it was relatively unheard of – I love a challenge so this added to the overall excitement. There was no way I was going to let the idea be a failure.
9. Do you have any words of advice for women who have an idea for a business but lack the confidence to take the plunge?
We get one chance at life and for me I would have regretted not trying but feel confident that I will never regret trying!
I think growing a business organically and trusting it what you’re offering is key as well as getting to the point where you just know it’s not going to fail. Believing that is a big part of it. You can’t have doubts - you have to push them aside. When you get to that point there’s no stopping you.
Doing a mass of research is key too – and asking any other business owners for a coffee, pick their brains and get as much info out of people as possible.
For me writing a business plan would have stalled me in starting the business so although many think it’s wrong I didn’t actually write one. Sometimes you know more than anyone what works for you….
Thank you so much Vicky.
To find out more about Vicky, her events, services and fantastic book please visit: www.youneedavicky.com