Kate Ibbotson, A Tidy Mind, features in Fearne Cotton's new book
Kate Ibbotson, A Tidy Mind, features in Fearne Cotton's new book
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Yorkshire Declutterer Called Upon By Fearne Cotton

A mum of 2 from Ilkley is celebrating this month after being called upon by much loved celebrity Fearne Cotton, as a professional contributor to provide tips and advice in her new book, CALM, out on 28th December, after being handpicked for her expertise on creating organised clutter free homes and work spaces.

Having been featured in media such as The Daily Mail and Good Housekeeping and currently in discussions with publishers herself, Kate, founder A Tidy Mind, who grew up in Ilkley and is now based in Menston has a strong profile in the industry, and is further respected for her role on the board of the industry body APDO [Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers].

With the busy festive season in full flow, CALM is Fearne’s mission to ‘find the simple things that can inch us away from stress and over to the good stuff.’ Including expert advice, conversations with wise friends from all walks of life, easy ideas to try, activities to complete - and the little things that have made a difference to her own, sometimes-bumpy life - this book is a friendly reminder that Calm is a place that exists in us all, we just have to find our way back to it. * Kate, 36, a declutter expert, home organiser and life simplification coach has contributed to a chapter in the book around our environments and the impact they have on our mood and wellbeing, discussing how we can all make a few changes at home or work to create a stronger sense of calm.

With statistics showing that 80% of people in the UK admit their mood is influenced by the state of their house, with a less cluttered living space making people much happier, Kate, who has a background in psychology, mental health and coaching, provides a service to help overwhelmed people simplify their lives and organise their homes. From clients suffering with anxiety and depression to busy parents juggling family life, to those moving house and struggling with attachments, to people with hoarding disorders, Kate’s services are used in varying circumstances.

A busy mum of twins, Kate has experienced stress for much of her adult life. She has overcome challenges of eating disorders in her 20s, then struggled with infertility in her 30s, before mothering twins, one of whom had a serious medical condition. Simplifying her life and helping others to do the same has provided her with the direction she needed in so many ways.

She said: “I was my own first client. The process and journey that I encourage my clients to take – I went through that myself. I have had various anxiety problems over the years to deal with but when I became a parent I needed some order in my life and to refocus and to strip things right back. It felt like life was a rollercoaster and I just wanted to get off. I needed to simplify my life. That’s when I started to go through life analysing the possessions, pastimes and people within it and asking questions such as ‘does this add value?’ ‘does this bring me joy?’ It allowed me to let go of what was dragging me down and perpetuating the feeling of not being enough. Whether that was clothing I’m never going to wear or a relationship which is all take and no give, or a job that was causing me stress “.

“I was working as a probation officer before the kids and was due to go back after maternity but this was just too much to deal with, so that was the first thing I changed, and then from there I worked on turning my home into a haven. When we’re stressed or anxious we need to know that our home is our ‘safe, happy place’ so creating a stress-free environment, and one that promotes calm makes such a huge difference to your mood. Getting rid of things that you don’t need to create more space, by default gives you more mind space as the removal of physical clutter also helps remove mental clutter.”

“I had a lot of stuff - just in case’ items, ‘keeping out of obligation’ items, ’delayed decision items, ‘fantasy self’ items. I had them all. Eventually there was a point where I reduced my possessions down by about 70%. It was freeing, cathartic and empowering – all the things of which I sing the praises regularly.

She adds: “The physical decluttering was merely the tip of the iceberg though…It’s never, EVER just about the stuff! I had to face my demons too and address the negative thought patterns and behaviours which had formed and developed in my early years. And tidying my mind assisted me in doing this by dealing with many of my insecurities.”

“At its crux, decluttering is about a shift in mindset. It’s about streamlining your environment and letting go of thoughts in order to feel better. Ridding yourself of unnecessary baggage which takes up space and time helps create a sanctuary – both in your home and in your head. I’m so excited to be able to share my advice with Fearne’s audience, as it gets this topic into the mainstream to raise awareness on the need to simplify our homes and lives. If you can control your home in a positive way and create a calm environment for yourself you can be in a better place to deal with life’s challenges.”

“I’m passionate about helping people to avoid the stress and anxiety that comes with mental and physical clutter. In Fearne’s book she says that she “realises that Calm is a place that exists in us all, we just have to find our way back to it” and I feel proud that my services enable people to do this”.

Kate added: “On average we can cope with mess for nine days before it becomes overwhelming - this is not a lot of time, and for many their feeling of spiralling out of control goes on much longer than that. I’ve no doubt that Fearne’s book will reach a lot of people, and if it can help those people feel more in control by creating calm in their lives we can hopefully start to see more of a wellbeing culture being embraced across the UK”.

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