De-Clutter, De-Stress Your Life
Through workshops, seminars and one-on-one coaching sessions, this lawyer, educator and clown college graduate teaches others that they, too, can enjoy fuller, more meaningful lives and feel richer than ever before by owning less. “Clutter fights for its own life, and you’re fighting for yours,” Volk joked lask week during a presentation . . .Besides her official honors and distinctions, Volk is also well know for her upbeat attitude. “You can’t take [clutter] with you. I myself have never seen a hearse followed by a U-Haul,”she laughed.
The Sunday Gazette, 2002
I took the most from Helen’s humor, comraderie and the workbook, breaking this huge overwhelming task down.
Great motivation and inspiration to go home and really tackle the clutter. I look forward to more workshops.
Darcy D., Menands, NY
Simple tips with a sense of humor made the clutter less overwhelming.
Heidi M., Albany, NY
The motivation! The instructors sense of humor and knowledge were the best part about the program.
Susan C., Clifton Park, NY
This was an informative, enjoyable, practical and necessary (unfortunately) course! Helen is an excellent presenter. Her ability to help us laugh lightens the stress and overwhelming feelings of clutter.
Amy T., Albany, NY
No clutter, no stress, no problem! Helen Volk thinks that change is possible for anyone who makes the committment. Volk is a living example of turning one’s life around.
The Tampa Tribune, 2001
I enjoyed your workshop at Saratoga this weekend so much! I went right home and started with the medicine cabinet. I am so inspired by you. We wanted a bigger house for so long. But why? We have three bedrooms and one child. We are staying put. Thanks so much!
April S., East Greenbush, NY
I took Ms. Volk’s class at our local high school and it was super. It will help you reorganize your life.
Grace T., Guilderland, NY
Thank you for the workshop. I came home and liberated my closet and dressers from the burden of the misfit clothing. There’s a LARGE box overflowing out the door as we “speak”… Your message was just what I needed to hear. I paid attention and did my homework.
Karen S., Saratoga Springs, NY
I just wanted to let you know how much I have appreciated and benefited from your help. I value the guidance and support, along with your expertise and recommendations. I am more at ease with letting go of the ‘stuff’ that no longer serves my highest and best interest. I am “dusting off and polishing” old dreams along with the furniture. I am becoming more selective about what I choose to take on and embrace. This really is a spiritual process, at least if you are open to receive the maximum benefits of de-cluttering…
Debra B., Rensselaer, NY
Thank you! This was so helpful and very reassuring.
Susan M., Albany, NY
I learned explicit steps to get my files organized more productively – can’t wait to start! It was great!
I appreciated that Helen drew out from participants what concerns and goals we had. Helping us make concrete plans and network is very helpful. I also appreciated her modeling of boundaries and holding us accountable, and time-management. The fact that she actively participated in worship was a plus.
Helen truly is gifted in what she does. It was a blessing to be here.
Helen challenged us, encouraged us, supported us and she was easy to listen to.
The program opened areas of awareness that I had never considered or examined, especially with spiritual enlightenments. Light bulbs went off for me all weekend.
Helen’s workshop opened my eyes to how I need to look at my material possessions and what my priorities in life are and how I am giving those the time they deserve.
Michele, Gainesville, FL
This program helped me identify and understand some of the feelings I have in my home (overwhelmed, frustration, etc.) and how to eliminate the source and benefits of dealing with my clutter.
Angie, Gainesville, FL
I’ve taken many workshops, here and elsewhere, and I think this was the most valuable one I’ve ever taken.
Loved the course. I spent several hours this weekend organizing my photos (been meaning to do it for a year!). I recently found my desk! And have been adamant on finding a place for everything immediately.
Liz R., DASNY, Albany, NY
Helen is the ultimate educator – a positive and uplifting motivator. She provides a comprehensive training program which includes problem recognition and guidelines to overcome them.
Julie L., NYNEX (now Verizon), Albany, NY
Lou took a huge industrial size garbage can to his office. It looks fantastic! No more empty CD cases. All of the old magazines are gone. It’s incredible!
Liz R., DASNY, Albany, NY
Your workshop for us was such a hit! On a personal note, your principles have sunk in for me and I have de-cluttered my house a great deal and am maintaining it pretty well!
Roslyn J., SUNY, Albany, NY
De-Clutter, De-Stress Your Life
Her De-Clutter, De-Stress Your Life is an invigorating mix of interactive workbook and encouraging quotations. Volk talks readers through the process of clearing out, organizing and then maintaining a lifestyle that is less cluttered and more energized.
Chicago Sun, 2003
I bought De-Clutter, De-Stress Your Life as a New Year’s gift to myself. Thank you for such an insightful and productive commentary! The most applicable statements for me were the “maybes” on page 41. “Revolution” would be an understatement. I amassed nearly twenty garbage bags full of clutter! My apartment feels like a home again. Thanks again for your very innovative ideas.Ê They are greatly appreciated.
Amy D., Troy, NY
I want you to know that I have bought your book and am appreciating it mightily! What a masterpiece. I like everything about it – the format, the content, the practicality and the spirituality. It’s like having you at my elbow as I continue my de-cluttering and (ultimately) de-stressing my life. THANK YOU.
Mary B., Albany, NY
Your De-Clutter, De-Stress Your Life guidebooks are overwhelmingly amazing, wise, organized, logical, so helpful, well-written with personal experiences. There are not enough adjectives to describe and praise your guidebooks. We are so grateful to have them in our possession. Chapter 9 on rethinking time and importance plus the cross-examining techniques are gems.
I began to read your book. I read as far as page 35. I went home on my lunch break and cleaned out a closet and took seven jackets to a consignment shop. I am so motivated to de-clutter my life!
Rebecca H., Clifton Park, NY
I LOVE your book!!!!! You did a fantastic job!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!
Marsha S., Professional Organizer, Miami, FL
After reading your book, I cleaned out my garage, got rid of some stuff – including a large machine which I seldom used – and reorganized the remainder. See what you have started?
Bart C., Lakeland, FL.
I personally appreciate the “letting go” advice for my decade-old clippings on medical information. Chapter 9 on rethinking time and importance plus the cross-examining techniques are gems.
Joan S., Oskosh, WI
As a busy mother of two, I find there is no time to relax and enjoy life. This book is about simplicity and the freedom you can gain from it. It’s about paring down “things” and stop worrying about “things”. It’s step by step is easy to follow and you soon realize how much time you were wasting on the clutter in your house. Nothing makes me happier than walking into rooms once filled with old junk, drawers that wouldn’t close because of old paperwork, or closets that I couldn’t sqeeze another shirt into and seeing an organized, easy to live-in space. It definitely helps lower stress levels.
Sarah, Cambridge, NY
OK, I’d rather read about de-cluttering than actually do the work. But this is one book that inspired me to stop thinking and start DOING. Helen starts with her own story, guides us gently (but firmly) to confront the whys and wherefores, and get us moving – in an enjoyable, non-threatening, effective way. I thought that throwing things out made me wasteful – but hoarding when others are needy is far worse. Now, five words I never thought I’d say: you should see my kitchen!
Kathy the Writer, Loudonville, NY
I like to use this book with some of my clients, because of the integral worksheets, and the step-by-step problem solving. Its nice having the questions & the answers all in one place, so they’re less likely to be lost.
Helen’s breezy, upbeat style makes for an uplifting read, which can be helpful to clients who are feeling overwhelmed by their stuff.
Vickey Kaiser, Organizer, Fredonia, NY
Helen’s book is succinct, offers clear guidelines describing how to get started with the decluttering process, and explores reasons that keep people stuck. The exercises keep you focussed on the project at hand, and decluttering is broken down into small steps so that it’s less overwhelming.
There are a number of books that focus on how to de-clutter and become more organized. Some books address the psychological aspects of de-cluttering but they offer little in the way of helpful strategies. Helen Volk’s book offers the reader more than just helpful advice. Her book serves as a partner and coaches you through the de-cluttering process. She uses humor, support and practical guidance in order to help you to make progress in your de-cluttering efforts. If you’re unable to attend her wonderful groups and workshops you can certainly benefit from this book and gain some valuable tools that are culled from her expertise and personal experience. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to let go of “stuff” that no longer serves you and experience greater peace of mind and a more organized physical environment.
Debra Gugig-Bauer, CRC, CASAC
President, CATALYSTS FOR CHANGE COUNSELING AND TRAINING ASSOCIATES
I picked up many great tips from your Filing 101 booklet, and found great help with one of your more simple tips: to crease a new file folder at the widest score line near the bottom on the front. It had always frustrated me when folders began to “sink” and I couldn’t read the tab. This method ensures the tabbed side remains visible! Thank You!
Maureen Simione, Owner M.S. Solutions www.mssolutionsinc.com
Organize and De-Stress the Christmas Season
Author of the workbook, Organize and De-Stress the Christmas Season, Volk says the key is to plan and organize. “If you know what your priorities are and you get those scheduled first and finished first, what’s left over that you don’t get done doesn’t really matter. . . . If someone invites you into stress, you don’t have to go. You have the right to say no to stress.”
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 2000
Organize Your Photographs
What I like the most about Helen’s booklet, Organize Your Photographs, is that she suggests such a simple process of resolving a huge problem. I have pictures stashed in so many places – her sage advice has given me the motivation to get them all organized. Thanks Helen!
Maureen, M.S. Solutions
Jane Morrison, who owns A Peaceful Place Wellness Center in Clifton Park says Volk “has helped her business already. ‘I think it makes my business more effective,’ said Morrison. Before she often had a hard time finding things. That’s changed since she set up a filing system that is working for her.
The Daily Gazette, 2002
Perpetual Motion: Coping with family life can take organization. Perched at a counter, workbook in hand, observing the domestic diorama, is Helen Volk. . . Volk zones in on what makes it work and what keeps their stress at a manageable level . . .”they’ve worked out a lot of the points I stress with my clients,” says Volk, who talks in bullets when she goes into organizing advice mode.
The Times Union, 2002
First in a series of eight articles on how families manage stress
Clutter buster. The last thing Helen Volk does is lecture people on their less than admirable habits. But you can be sure that Volk, a professional organizer, will calmly and firmly lead you down the path towards a clutter-free life, if you’re ready to begin the journey. Her business is getting people to organize themselves by reducing their possessions to the things that really count. Volk can begin with something as simple as helping a client organize a filing system or the top of a desk. But this is not just a clutter cop. Her concepts of organization and living simply encompass every facet of life.
The Record, 1994
Helen changes people’s lives!
Jane M., Director, A Peaceful Place Wellness Center, Clifton Park, NY
I am a noticeably different person and the credit is due Helen. I am much more organized and now follow what I’m confident will be a lifelong methodology of scheduling time and priorities. Best of all, there is a balance in my life.
Kevin H., Blue Shield of Northeastern New York, Albany, NY
As a working wife, mother and care giver, I have to get the whole thing together. Helen will show you how to have the organizational skills so you accumulate no more stuff. At the bottom of all my mess, I found me – and it is wonderful to reclaim my life!
Caroline W., Slingerlands, NY
It was great, well worth the hour – fascinating woman, motivator!
Sherri G., RN
Very thorough. I knew what should be done. Helen was the catalyst.
Terry S., Nurse Manager
My office looks noticeably better. I am aware of the need to schedule more time before and after I leave. I’m much more aware of scheduling my time better to have a more balance life.
Vicki D., Administrative Assistant
Thank you for everything that you have done for me and my sister. I could not have done anything without you. I’m glad we will be working with each other some more.
Betty S., Albany, NY
I was overwhelmed with cleaning out my condo so I could move to a retirement community. I attended Helen’s Elderhostel program years ago. When I called her, Helen came to Florida and helped me get organized at the beginning and made the process flow much smoother than it would have. I even held my own garage sale with her encouragement and advice. We kept in touch by e-mail. Near the end of my move, Helen returned, kept me on track, helped me pack and take care of the “left-over” items. I was overwhelmed until Helen came to my rescue. Thank you, Helen.
Bea W., Dunedin, Fl.
I went through “De-Clutter, De-Stress Your Life” on the train when we returned to DC and it, along with your Elderhostel Course is proving to be a great help in getting us started to downsizing our 45-year accumulation of things! As I go through the various household items, I can hear your instructions, “Magazine in – magazine out,” “Three piles: keep, throw away, give away,” etc. I have wanted to declutter and organize for a long time, so your course is really an answer to a prayer.
Marjorie, Accokeek, MD
We are appreciative of the fact that you were a lecturer at our Elderhostel and became our “coach.” As we put your advice into action, we will remember you and hope you are helping others at various workshops.
Relieve the stress caused by the mess! Volk concluded her four days of instruction by providing eight rules for clutter prevention. The eighth rule is one that Volk expressed repeatedly throughout her sessions – “practice, practice, practice.” The seminar taught that practicing de-cluttering strategies will help make the process easier every time one becomes overwhelmed by what is around them. “To me, the bottom line is action,” said Volk. “It’s never too late to start.”
The Shore Line Times, 2002
Helen Volk tooak a subject we take for granted and gave it wit, charm, humor and an army sargeant’s toughness. Very provocative thinking after the course.
Who wouldn’t enjoy Helen’s animated performance and all those practical ideas. Wow!
Helen Volk was interesting and helpful. The course content was all I expected and more.
I’ve been hoping to get to one of Helen’s lectures since 1992! I learned several tricks to help clear my clutter! I headed home with her books – to read and folllow – and to simplify (my husband’s envrionment!).
Very well planned. Instructor was excellent presenter. Her lively, humorous manner kept me attentive – no sleeping on her time. She is super.
Excellent! Makes me want to go right home and start to de-clutter. Instructor was lively, fun, funny and very enjoyable to listen to. This was the course I came for and fulfilled my needs on this subject.
Just what I needed! A fine program presented with humor and understanding of our needs.
Loved it. Needed it. It was one of the main reasons for choosing this Elderhostel.
Helen Volk’s presentation of subject matter was great – entertaining, meaningful, thoughtful, inspirational. Thoroughly enjoyed the five days with her. Ready to go home and get to work.