Before & After

Before and After

Martine wanted help getting to grips with her paperwork and memorabilia. Bank statements, health records, utility bills, greeting cards, photos … they were stashed in drawers, tubs, shelves and cupboards, making it hard to find a document when it was needed.

Martine took these photos beforehand for motivation.



Marty decided she wanted to tackle paper work first.

We took it a drawer at a time, and devised a system for sorting and storing her paperwork. This makes it easy for Martine to decide what to keep, and how to organize it for easy access in future.

By the end of the session we had shredded and re-cycled a lot of paper, and neatly organised and filed the rest. Marty now has 3 ‘new’ drawers, which we labeled to hold the stationery supplies we’d found during our session, memorabilia ( to be tackled in our next session), and her now neatly filed paper work.



We will be tackling her photograph and memorabilia next. I’m looking forward to seeing the smile on Martine’s face when she can show her little girl the their family album made from the scattered pieces.


Marty’s friends are the most amazing correspondents. She has a wonderful collection of post cards, birthday cards and letters. Throw in tickets, posters and travel mementos, and it all adds up.




We took it a box at a time, and decided to be brave and start with the biggest box of all. I showed Martine a simple system for sorting and storing her memorabilia so that she can easily pop it into an album. I also gave her information on photo safe pens and acid-free paper so that her treasures will stay safe.

It is so easy to get bogged down when sorting through this sort of stuff on your own. Martine and I came up with rules of thumb about what she wanted to keep. I did a pre-sort as everything came out of the box. Martine could then quickly confirm the ‘dump it’ decisions, and further culled down the 'keepers'.

We had a laugh over her friend who had kindly posted Martine her dreadlock at the end of a hippy phase, and took a minute to find an envelope (from the newly established stationery drawer) and post it back to her (and yes, we took it ALL the way to the mail box rather than leaving it lying on the sideboard to ‘get around to’).

There were letters that Martine wants to read before shredding, so we put them in a file beside her bed so she can enjoy them for bedtime ready. She’s going to throw them out next Wednesday if she hasn’t read them by then.


By the end of our session Martine had a folder of memorabilia ready for putting in a scrapbook (the fun part) and a folder of ‘read then dump’ letters. We’d also found some stray paperwork that had ended up in the box, so put that into Martine’s new paperwork system. Items to donate went straight into the donation bag then off to the charity shop that afternoon.

If Martine can tackle that huge of box of memorabilia, she can tackle ANYTHING.