Spring Cleaning Season: meet professional organiser Duda Does

Published on Dollymix in April 2012

How do you feel about the general level of tidiness in your life? Is being more organised a goal you aspire to, or do you prefer to live in beautiful chaos? I’m betting that the majority feel similarly to how I do on this one: wishing we could live a neater life and struggling with the mess that a busy schedule can produce – but not always knowing how to tackle it. And that’s where professional organiser Duda Does comes in!

After moving to London from her native Croatia in 2006, entrepreneur Duda Jadrijevic left a successful career in Marketing to set up her de-cluttering, life-organising and ‘Home PA’ service after spotting a gap in the market for helping out hardworking urban professionals who don’t have the time to get on top of their life admin. The service had existed for celebrities and other VIPs for some time, but Duda could see that London was filled with enough overwhelmed working men and women to build up a customer base.

I spoke to Duda to find out more about how she helps people organise their busy lives, and to see if I could learn a few of her tricks…

Why do you think that having a ‘life organiser’ is still relatively unknown in London when it’s popular in places like new york?

Although a huge fan of the Brits, I believe it lies in the culture of “keep calm and carry on”; not wanting to show you need help. Americans tend to be focused on the goal and if they need help they will ask for it straight away without wasting time.

Having said that, I’ve recently had an enormous influx of clients and I dare say it is linked to the more entrepreneurial spirit of how we live in this city these days. more people are taking a u-turn in their careers, and women in particular are starting businesses or have families and realising that the ‘superwoman’ trend is not really cool but pretty unhealthy and pathetic so they ask for help.

What are the main benefits of de-cluttering (either at home or at work)?

Getting back in control.

Any task that is unfinished (which includes putting aside one piece of paper for sorting out later) is noted in our brain. it builds up as a to-do list in our human computer, and the result is without exception, guilt. Some people find it makes them angry, but they also feel saddened and guilty over getting themselves in such a mess.

Once the physical clutter is out, the mental mess is out instantly. It works miracles! Another benefit is ‘me time’: we recently introduced another approach to de-cluttering whereby we invite clients to book put some ‘me time’ in their diary for a particular date and time. Then we choose music, get in nice coffee, invite friends and we have it done in a blink. Plus we have great fun! This doesn’t only happen at our clients’ homes: amazing fun can be had in offices too.

Do you think that disorganised people can learn to be more organised?

I personally don’t think they can, or indeed should. I strongly believe that being organised is a skill we are born or have learned at early stage of our lives.

People should focus on their strengths and delegate their weakness; I disagree with time-managament experts who give advice how to get organised and make people feel guilty if they are not. Instead of wasting your life trying to become someone you are not, people should get help with the areas they struggle in. This help them to succeed at what they are naturally good at, be it personal or business.

What are your most popular services? 

De-cluttering is very popular: people find it a huge relief to have someone help them out. It is a real eye opener for many people which then allows me to maintain their home admin once we put clients up to date and back in control.

We also offer more specific services such as mail opening, admin sorting, dealing with claims and customer service, booking appointments and travel. Most popular of all is the knowledge that reliable who thinks ahead for you is dealing with it all so that you can enjoy your free time a little more.

How many staff do you have?

I’ve built a team of four, which is then underpinned with a list of proven and reliable service providers, from events to cleaners.

What advice would you give someone who often feels overwhelmed and struggles to ‘get on top’ of tasks at work and home?

  • Every few days, write down on a piece of paper everything that is in your head. Don’t mix this up with a to-do list – forget about those! Consider this to be de-cluttering for your brain, so put everything down from “clean the bathroom” to “have more fun with Jonathan”!
  • Schedule everything that can be scheduled in to your calendar: everything on that list that takes 3 minutes or less do immediately.
  • Most importantly, delegate and share your workload: one man bands are not considered big players. Delegate what you can and what you are not very good at or motivated to do.
  • don’t think you are alone, and don’t think there is no one that can help. Services like ours are best described as a friend at hand when and for whatever needed. seriously! 😉

Any tips for keeping your home tidy when you’re working long hours?

  • Get a cleaner in once a week, preferably on a Thursday as it is closer to the weekend but gives you a fresh home mid week.
  • Organise your wardrobe so that it takes you 3 minutes top to choose what you are going to wear.
  • Arrange for your online shop delivery to come when the cleaner is in.
  • Create a “dirty corner” where you ditch everything you can’t cope with and where it won’t bother you so much. that way the rest of the flat will stay tidier.
  • Get some baskets in and ditch your mail and unsorted admin in. you can then deal with it on a day of your preferences or ideally you will get someone in to deal with it.