With the School of Home Ownership-Expertise of a Professional Organiser(to add value to your home)

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Transcript of of interview


Christina Hi, my name is Christina Jamison and I’m from the School of Home Ownership

Welcome to our series – Advice worth its weight in gold.

My aim with these podcasts and interviews is to give you good advice in regard to your home, making your home better and purchasing your own home.

Today I have a special guest Jane from get this, Zing Home Organising – I love the name. So maybe I’ll just give that to you, Jane what things do you do?

Jane – I will come to your house and I will make it better. I will make it so that you are happier in your home whether it’s to sell it or to just make it more liveable while you’re there. And I’ll help you declutter. I’ll help you organise, and I’ll help you release stuff that you don’t need any more in your home. And do it in a sustainable way so that only the minority of stuff goes to landfill.

Christine -That’s really good, I think that’s a really important thing that we just don’t throw things in landfill all the time that we can reuse them. So that’s a great idea and I’ll go straight to it.

So, I do property buying and selling property. I guess the two points in terms of that is one, deceased estate comes to mind in regard to cluttering. So, if I give an example of my mother-in-law who’s a lovely lady and she was very sentimental but that also meant that she kept a lot of things over a lot of years. So that’s one of the issues that you deal with. Can you take us through an example of you know a deceased estate and how you helped people with that.

Jane I’m doing a deceased estate at the moment. Lovely, lovely family, and the father has passed away and the family are selling the house. They need it to look good for Real Estate pictures. They need to get top dollar to support the rest of their lives. And the father bought very well.  Really good quality stuff but over the last 40-50 years and he’s kept the stuff in very nice condition. But he hasn’t let a lot of it go so we’re finding stuff from his career in the 60s. And it’s important to try to pass that on as ethically as we can. The family don’t want to keep it all. The family are moving, you know, five hours up the coast. So, there’s a cost in moving too much stuff just willy-nilly to the next house.

So, we’re trying to give a lot to charity, recycle electronics and just reduce the amount of stuff that has to be moved and make the house look really good for Real Estate photos.

Christine yes and I guess on that point in other podcasts you’ll hear me talking about how important is to see beyond the furniture and the potential in the property. However, when I see clutter, I get very very concerned. I actually will be turned off by that even if it has a lot of potential. Why I’ll give you an example where I had a tenant in one of our properties who was a hoarder and when he left, I can tell you the damage build was $40,000. So that’s the issue that you can have with too much stuff.  You cannot see the damage that it does, but it does do damage. So that’s a very key thing when buying a property. If you want to sell a property, get rid of it (clutter).

What other (things) I was going to talk to you about is making it a home. So, a lot of the times we see a lot of the work is done in preparing for selling. That means you won’t get to enjoy it. So, what sort of things do you do with people who just want to be able to enjoy their home.

Jane Honestly a lot of the enjoyment you get from your home is to have things organised. (That is to) be able to find things.  One of the statistics out in the interwebs is that we spend 6 months of our life looking for lost things. Now we don’t want to waste that time. If we know where things live, we can SEE them. When there’s a lot of clarity in your life, you can be calmer in your house.

There is a lot of people that I work with, when I leave their house, having done my work and hopefully done my magic, that tell me it’s like a weight has lifted from their shoulders. And I think it’s really important that people release the clutter that they can, because it’s not making them happy.

Stuff, more stuff doesn’t make you happier. It’s just one of the things in life I think we’re getting to know a lot more about.

Christina Yes having, you know, coming home to a clean house. I think one of your articles on your website was talking about that’s what we like about holidays. Because when you go on holidays in motel rooms it is minimalist. And it has that form of luxury and freedom when you don’t have all your stuff, I guess, thrown around you.

Now we were also looking at some stats. before, so I’ll have to acknowledge that I am a minimalist. I also am really big on finances and having financial street smarts. So, here’s a bit of a controversial thought, we were looking at about how much money is spent on gifts and how much gifts do we actually want. So, you know have we got the stats on that?

Jane So the stats are- & this is a really interesting study on clutter in Australia and what people tend to do with gifts (they don’t really want) is that 49.4% just store them. And we just don’t think that’s a good idea because you’ve got to have a very good memory to store them and possibly re-gift them. I don’t think re-gifting is a bad thing, but you really have to be good at remembering. Because no one wants to receive a gift back that you’ve given them.

Christina And culturally I think we’re still not there yet. 

Jane Yes.

Christina So I usually go to the op shop to donate them, and I feel really bad when someone gives me a gift. And I go “I don’t want to use this” and “I don’t want to store it” so we’re getting a bit tricky like that it gets a bit uncomfortable. I usually suggest to people (to gift) rather experiences or flowers. I used to love chocolate but now I can’t eat it. But (I’d like) something that you know I don’t have to end up storing. And with gifts unless it’s something that you know somebody really really wants, I find it a hassle. Because you do have to end up storing it and finding a place for it, so it becomes a burden.

Jane Yes.  I agree we don’t want a gift to be a burden and I read/heard a lovely tip about the fact that it’s actually very good to have a list somewhere written. It might be in the cloud. It might be a Google doc. It might be a booklet or something. It’s a lovely thing you can do for your family to give them a list of 10 things that you would like to receive as a gift. And they just pick from that list. And it might be an experience rather than a thing. I subscribe to the idea that giving experiences is a fabulous idea.

But in the society, we live with now, it’s really tricky to know what people want. Because usually we’ve already bought it. If we need it, we go out and buy it. We don’t wait until Christmas to have it. So if you can give someone a list of the things that currently you haven’t bought ye,t it’s a lovely thing you can do for your friends and family.

Christina Yeah, some other things. Let’s talk about what rooms get cluttered. So, my best bet (is your) garage and there’s a spare room. There’s always a room. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing that you just throw things in and then shop and get guests come over. That may be more of a mess room I suppose. But, yes, there’s rooms where we just have for storing. And I think that is such a shame to have a room dedicated just for storage especially garage where you can have your car in it and protect your car. Have you got any thoughts on that.

Jane It’s so common. We get overwhelmed. We don’t decide on something. We look at something and we go “Oh I don’t know what to do I’ll just shove it in the garage or spare room” and then it builds up. And this is where I can come in and really talk through why you might want to keep it. There’s a lot of guilt and people really want to know that they’ve got value out of an item. Some people buy foolishly for whatever reason, and then they I’ve spent so much money on that thing “I can’t bear to part with it”.

 So, it’s good to get away from that thinking and say “Well I have spent that money there is nothing I can do about it I will now let that go to someone else. We have lots of ways of disposing of things through:




Facebook Marketplace can be a very good way to gift or to sell for a minimal amount of money. It really depends on how much time you have to devote to that selling procedure. And it can be a great way to get things off your property.

Christina I even remembered we built our house, and I did have sentimental (thoughts about) with our Cottage. It was a little cottage, so we basically gave it to people. You know even our windows because they were you know antique windows.

Jane lovely

Christina And you know even agapanthus because we had great agapanthus. So, we did that to the horror of our builder. He just wanted to build and we’re saying, “Oh wait a sec somebody might want that”. And that’s just re-gifting I suppose.

So have you got any other tips or anything that you say.

Jane Yes, I’ve got this because I do spend some time just getting rid of stuff on Facebook Marketplace. I find that’s useful at the moment. That may not stay the same forever.

But at the moment I’ve just been getting rid of a treadmill and like a big weight set up for a client on Facebook for free. And often it’s easier to get commitment from the person who’s picking it up if you put a very nominal amount of money on it like $5 or $10. It seems to sharpen up people’s responsibility to follow through and come and pick it up when they say. You get a lot of people, your little tyre kickers, for things that are free. You’re inundated. But I’ve been very successful with that, with putting just a nominal amount and then people come and pick it up. And you’re not really doing it for the money you’re just getting people to be committed to taking it away. And especially with something like a treadmill which is heavy. You need the right equipment to take it away. Tt’s been really good to be able to do that.

Christina that’s interesting actually.

Jane Human nature.

Christina Yes so and I did find that when we were trying to put stuff on there, that would get someone who wants something for free. And then the questions that they ask! It’s like “Well this is for free whether you like it or you don’t I don’t really…………………

Jane You get questions like, “Can you deliver it can you deliver something for free” and you’re like, “no you actually need to come and pick it up because it’s free” or very small amount.

Christina yes and you’re there’s another thing as well with electronics so we have a lot of, you know people, go through TV’s and whatever. Interesting that’s one of the points in the data that was the most ridiculous things, that we actually store is appliances. So, I know with the local Council in Georges River there’s E-Waste and you were saying there were some other places.

Jane So I’m in Ryde Council and they have a centre in Artarmon and where you can drive to. It’s a drive-through so it’s very easy. And you can drop off electronic wastes which is great if you’ve got a car but also there’s a lovely social Enterprise in Sydney that does Community Collections in a lot of suburbs. You know they go all over Sydney at different times of the month, and you rock up with your car. And they will help you put it into their van. And they take anything that’s got a cord they say. So, it’s a terrific way to get rid of your electronic stuff easily because it needs to be easy, or we don’t do it.

Professional Organisers are terrible at remembering to take the before shots. We are so excited to just get stuck in and then we go halfway through, and we say “Oh I didn’t take the before” so some of the before ones could have been worse but the after ones hopefully are very good and enjoyable. We love it! We as a human we love seeing before. We like to see the change, yes and we like it looking more organised. We like it being more minimal, less cluttered, more stylish and less noise, visual noise, so we can see “Oh that’s great stuff”.

Christina so thank you for speaking with us today Jane and if you want more information on Zing Home Organising, just go to her website ZingHomeOrganising.com.au (if that’s right) and all her details are there. There are some tips there as well. There’s some great before and after photos.

And of course, the SchoolofHomeownership.com.au for more tips podcasts and video interviews about property and finance.

Thank you.

Take a look at my story of the treadmill here

Emotional Lessons as a Professional Organiser (zinghomeorganising.com.au)

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