We’ll try to address questions here, but if you’d like more information please contact us through the form on here, or by email, phone or social media.
- What changes are in place because of Covid 19?
- I am now visiting clients in their homes (though not those who are shielding or are classed as clinically ‘vulnerable’).
I also offer virtual decluttering and organising sessions, which are shorter than usual and aim to give you the tools to work with your possessions more effectively. We’ll discuss new ways of thinking about your space and possessions, so you can put organising systems into place and start to make your home a place you can truly enjoy.
I will wear mask and gloves as appropriate, and you may need to wear one too. We’ll keep a 2m distance wherever possible, work side by side, keep windows and doors open, tie back hair, and avoid direct contact. If either of us is symptomatic/Covid positive or has been in contact with someone who is, we will cancel or postpone the session. I’ll take full payment in advance to avoid close contact in person.
Please get in touch to discuss your requirements or with further questions. I deal with this in more detail in my Terms and Conditions.
- Are you Insured or part of a Professional Organisation?
- Yes, I’m a member of APDO, the UK Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers. I continue to add to my skills through their training sessions and annual conference. I’m DBS checked and fully insured for professional indemnity and personal liability.
- Are your services Confidential?
- Yes. I’m registered with the ICO. The only exceptions relate to my personal safety. I don’t wear business – branded clothing and will be discreet. Everything that’s said or happens during the session won’t be shared, unless it’s anonymously, eg. ‘H said sorting into categories first really helped’.
- Do I need to be there during a session?
- Yes. We’re sorting your possessions, and you choose what to keep. I don’t dispose of anything without permission. By asking how you use items I can determine how to organise the space best to suit your needs. If you’re in the flow of decluttering, I may for example sort books into categories while you carry on.
- Will you make me throw things away?
- Absolutely not. This is your stuff, and what you choose to do with it is your decision. I provide help and guidance, but have no set idea of how much you ‘should’ let go. I may prompt you to examine choices, remind you of your goals, ask how you feel or point out the number of similar items you’ve chosen to keep, but the final say lies with you – it’s your home!
- I’m anxious about the idea of going through and discarding things
- It’s easy to hesitate when making a change, and it’s normal to feel anxious when starting a new project. It’s surprising how quickly clients focus and get into it though, especially when there’s a plan or goal in mind. We’ll work at your pace, one decision at a time, and adapt depending on our progress. Each decision helps us move forward. It often helps to think about what’s making you nervous, visualise it and break it down into small pieces, then hopefully it’ll seem less scary and more achievable. You may still feel anxious, but that’s ok, we’ll tackle issues as they arise.
- What if I do become upset or emotional?
- Going through personal belongings can be difficult. It’s normal to be hesitant about opening up with another person, but I have experience working with people in various emotional states, and from all walks of life. If unexpected feelings surface or you’re upset while I’m there, what happens next is up to you. If you need a breather and a cuppa, some time by yourself, or even to end the session there, that’s what we’ll do. A break or a chat about what you’ve found might be enough to clear the way to carry on. If you have particular worries or trigger points please let me know and we’ll plan an approach together that will suit you.
- Can others be there to help?
- Yes, family and friends who are on board with the process can help with going to the charity shop or tip, providing child/pet care, support and motivation. It’s best not to have others there while we go through your things though, as it’s your stuff, the decisions are yours to make and it reduces risks to myself.
- Can children be present during my session?
- Ideally I’d like to have your full attention, particularly for a first session. Children (particularly young ones) can be very distracting, so it’s best to arrange childcare. If this isn’t possible please be aware that we’ll work at a slower pace and likely achieve less in the time.
- What about pets?
- If pets are around it’s best that they’re kept in a room we won’t be using, or are contained. This is for their safety and ours; animals can be unpredictable, particularly when a stranger picks things up and moves around the space. Animals can knock things over when they’re not in their usual places too; we’ll make a temporary, ordered mess while we work! Support animals are welcome as long as it’s safe for them to be with us.
- Can I arrange a session for someone else?
- Yes, but only with their permission. I need to speak with them to discuss their wishes and make sure I’m the right person to help. If you’d like to give sessions as a present, please get in touch and I’ll send you a leaflet. Once they’ve agreed to a consultation and session I’ll take payment in full, then I’ll get back in touch with them to arrange suitable times.
- When arranging sessions for children it’s good to speak with them to explain why I’ll be there, and involve them. It can be traumatic if toys are removed without their permission, so it’s best to be open about changes. It shows they’re being included and valued in the process, even if they can’t keep everything they want!
- Can you declutter and organise with older children and teenagers?
- Yes, the time to start good tidying habits is now. Involving children in decision making about belongings is generally a good idea; they learn for the future and can enjoy it too. A parent/guardian should be there, to keep track of where items are stored, and provide support.
- Do you clean?
- I’m not a cleaner, but as we remove belongings, I can quickly dust, wipe down surfaces or vacuum. We’ll use materials you have to hand. If you prefer to use the time to declutter and organise and clean things yourself later, this is fine. Sometimes I’ll wear a mask/gloves/other equipment to protect from dust etc. Please feel free to do the same.
- Do you move furniture?
- Yes and no. If we need to move an empty chest of drawers for example, I’ll help you with it. I don’t lift larger items such as beds and wardrobes unless they’re light, (eg. a bed frame) there’s enough space to move them safely and it’s within a room or on the same floor.
- What about Breaks?
- Advice at the moment is to take regular breaks outside where possible if working with another person indoors, to reduce transmission risks.
Also, giving your brain a rest from decision-making can help speed things up and tends to make the experience more pleasant. We’ll chat over a cup of tea or take time individually to re-charge before continuing on. How often we break is up to you, but if the pace slows or we’ve had a difficult session I may suggest a quick breather.
For full days, a lunch break isn’t chargeable but is important, and we usually take 30 minutes. I bring my own food and drinks due to Covid related advice. Also I should eat alone outdoors wherever possible at the moment.
- Before and After Photos
- Even if you aren’t happy with the space as it is, photos provide a useful comparison and help us see what we’ve achieved. It’s surprisingly easy to forget how things were before! Often people see the end results and wish they had taken photos to document the process. This will only happen with your permission, but I advise that you allow photos to be taken. If you consent, we’ll discuss how they’re shared; only with you, or if we can post them (anonymised) online.
- How long will I need to wait for a session?
- It depends on your needs and my schedule, please get in touch to find a suitable time for a consultation.