Wednesday, November 3, 2010

EARTHQUAKE - Rethinking how we look at our STUFF!

The range of the 7.1 Magnitude Quake
As many of you know, we had a massive 7.1 Earthquake here in my hometown, Christchurch, on the 4th September 2010. It was an incredibly frightening and leveling (no pun intended) experience. Since the main JOLT we have also endured over 2500 aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 1.5 - over 5 on the Richter scale.

Suffice it to say, things in Christchurch have changed, it is no longer the same city it was before September 4th, and it's citizens also have been changed forever. As a Professional Organiser I have taken particular interest in the change of attitude to "STUFF", I am talking about material possessions we all have in our environment. I have observed and asked people about how they feel about their possessions, and if anything has changed. The responses have varied but their has been one common thread, that is that Stuff really does not matter as much anymore.
I know my own personal feelings in the days immediately following the quake included the desire to get a huge rubbish skip and strip my home of everything but the basic necessities. They were no longer important and in fact many seemed to be an intrusion on my space and home, I have spoken to many others who feel the same. One even said, "What is the point keeping all this stuff, when you can wake up in the morning and it is all destroyed?".
When I have spoken to people who have lost previously precious and sentimental items, many almost seem nonplussed about them now, where as there would be no way they would have discarded them prior to September 4th. They are grateful to have a bed to sleep in and a roof over their heads, as we have many displaced families now in Christchurch as a result of their homes being deemed uninhabitable.
Another this I have been seeking information on is how many people are rushing out to replace items destroyed and damaged in the Earthquake. Interestedly there are few who are shopping up big, they are using insurance payouts to replace items they feel are important in their home like re-framing pictures, replacing TV's, new bed and crockery etc. Most are opting not to replace "luxury" or "entertainment" items like Wii, Playstations, ornaments and the like.
As for shopping, people tend to be heading to the Malls less than pre-quake and retailers have been reporting a decrease in sales, as people spend their money on necessities rather than luxuries. Maybe the malls are underpopulated as the raw experience of the 7.1 magnitude quake make being in an indoor mall undesirable at the moment, this will change. Every aftershock over 4.5 rekindles a sense of fear in most residents, and it is something you think you are OK with then you have a big shake and you are emotionally back to square one (but that is a whole other blog post)
This has not been a scientific survey, just my observations of how people have managed STUFF in the past 2 months. As we lead up to the busy Christmas season it will be interesting to learn what the big selling items in Canterbury (Quake region) are and if the amount we spend at this traditionally boom time.
What is obvious though is we are all now looking at our STUFF in a new light, embrace it and simplify, this is a lesson everyone can learn from this experience.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Getting kids to help - Good or Bad??

My fab son Benjamin is always wanting to help. I think it is because he wants to earn money more than his desire to be helpful. So last week he took it upon himself to write some ads for Totally Organised Get-togethers.  We are looking for consultants at the moment to sell the products, so this is his attempt to entice prospective consultants:

The owner and founder Wendy Davie is a finalist for the "Most Innovative Organiser" at the Los Angeles Organising Awards and has won many awards. This business was the first organising business in New Zealand and she also has workers in Australia.
There are many reasons why you should work for Totally Organised, there is lots of work, you can start up your own business doing work for Totally Organised. There is no pressure so if you are in too much stress you can turn down a job.
Totally Organised was developed in Christchurch but now is nationwide and starting to build in Australia. She is open to have consultants all over New Zealand and Australia.
You can get in touch by calling 0800337137 or on her mobile if you want to email her its

I only changed some crazy 11 year old spelling the rest are his words. There is a little poetic license but it is nice to see what I do in the eyes of one of the kids. So the decision now is should I hire him as my ad writer or let him finish hist education first. I think I will opt for the latter.