CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

My Herts Life: Tracy Smith

PUBLISHED: 17:43 13 October 2014

Tracy Smith

Tracy Smith

Archant

People call Tracy Smith a lot of names. Tracy-will-sort-it, Tracy-gets-it-done, Tracy-the-catalyst. Patsy Hudson chats to the Hatfield down-sizing, de-cluttering and decorating guru about helping people deal with life’s stuff

What do you actually do? 
I help. Some clients want help down-sizing or de-cluttering their homes and don’t know where or how to start. Others want help organising a home-office. Many recent retirees have no idea which papers to file or which to chuck, having had secretaries to do that for them all their working life.

.

Why do you do it? 
I enjoy doing things others don’t want to, or don’t know how to, do. And I like it when people say ‘ask Tracy’– whatever it is they want done. It goes back to secretarial college training in South Africa.

With hindsight, I realise I was trained in project management and being organised. Everyone did say secretarial training ‘will stand you in good stead’.

How did your lifestyle-laundering business begin? 
With the archetypal ‘nutty professor’ needing me to organise his home office and later a home move. Then another de-clutter and yet another reorganisation. He is now a semi-retired consultant with rock-star parking at a London hospital and gives lectures around the globe. He nearly missed his annual registration deadlines because he didn’t diarise those do-by dates!

.

Where does the decorating come in? 
That was a retiree who wanted his flat done up for letting while he was travelling abroad. I had to break it to him gently that among what he thought was ‘detritus’ he’d inherited and hoarded, was an Royal Academy artist’s oil-painting. He parted with his dad’s payslips (dating back to 1947) quite easily after that! Well, I kept one payslip – for sentiment’s sake. Sentimentality and that war mentality about keeping stuff because ‘it may come in useful one day’ is why most down-sizers need help today. Not everyone wants to inherit others’ worldly goods – but charity shops do.

.

When are you busiest? 
When people are having guests, like family staying over Christmas, and they have to make space for them. I don’t class myself as a decorating expert. I’ve been in advertising, wildlife management, stock exchange trading, conference event management and hotel house keeping, but I have a marvellous team of contractors I call on. So sometimes Tracy-gets-it-done by delegation. Whenever I’ve wanted to do something myself, like decorate my sister’s 40th birthday cake, I take a course in the subject. Or work out how to do it. I mean, how difficult can it be?

.

Why Tracy-the-catalyst? 
Occasionally, the outcome of the exercise is not what the original aim was. At the other end of the scale from world travellers’ big budgets, was a client who was feeling claustrophobic in her flat and said she needed help with the nitty-gritties of a move to gain space. After we chatted about her lifestyle, she realised she just needed to take up a too-busy floral carpet, throw rugs over lovely wooden floors, move some furniture around - and some out. That sorted her ‘unable-to-breathe-in-here’ problem. So I became Tracy-the-humidifier!

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

In the digital age, it’s good to know there are still skilled crafts being done by hand. Meet four Kent craftspeople keeping traditional methods alive

Read more
September 2018
Yesterday, 14:52

In the fourth of our series, we look at 20 facts, theories and mysteries connected with the always intriguing Garden of England

Read more
October 2018
Yesterday, 12:44

Spirit Yachts is a Suffolk success story. After 25 years of designing and building luxury vessels sailed all over the world, it has plenty to celebrate | Words: Ross Bentley

Read more
Yesterday, 12:40

To mark the centenary this month since the end of World War I, Stephen Roberts explores the impact the war had on Essex and some of the men that left this county to serve their country

Read more
Yesterday, 12:11

In the month when we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, STEVE ROBERTS highlights the terrible cost in human lives it inflicted on the county of Devon

Read more
Yesterday, 11:46

Fashion entrepreneur Siân Adkins found a new direction in life when her parents died, helping both herself and other women to get through the darkest days

Read more
Yesterday, 09:50

Academy Award nominee, beloved comedienne, and organic cattle herder: Dame Julie Walters is certainly a woman of many talents both on and off the screen

Read more
Mon, 16:30

She may have recently moved to the seaside, but Surrey still holds a uniquely “precious” place in the heart of legendary children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson – not to mention the crucial role the county played in bringing everyone’s favourite and newly-returning feisty foster-kid to life

Read more
Mon, 16:20

Our columnist reflects on the thousands of visitors who come each to the showground

Read more
Mon, 12:19

Buckhurst Hill’s Alexander Vesselinov who became a karate red belt at just four and a half years old

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search