Here are answers to some questions people often ask. If you have any other questions, please do get in touch with me directly - details are on our Contacts page.
1. How far will you travel?
I am happy to travel up to 30 minutes from Reading (each way) at no extra cost. Any additional travel time will be discussed and agreed with the client beforehand. Petrol costs will be charged at 45p per mile.
2. Do you mind pets?
I am happy to work in a house that has pets but it is very helpful if they can be kept out of the room we are working in whilst we are decluttering. Doggy paw-prints are not the best addition to your important paperwork!
3. What if I have young children at home?
I am very happy to come and work with you whilst there are young children around, but would prefer to know in advance as we may need to modify the amount we expect to achieve in a session. It might, however, be best if older children were otherwise engaged so we can work efficiently together and make the most of the decluttering session.
4. Do I need to be there with you?
Quite simply - yes! It is very important that your belongings are valued and that any systems or improvements we suggest will work for you. I also will not throw any item away without your consent. All of this means that it is best for you to be there.
If it is difficult for you to find a weekday slot, I am happy to work evenings or weekends for an additional fee, or you could try my one-hour consultation, following which I will write a full report on my recommendations for you to proceed with at your own pace.
5. What will you bring with you? What do I need to supply?
I will bring black bin liners, rubber gloves if necessary, and a selection of different storage containers/ organizers to show you the sort of thing I think you might find helpful. I will also bring my indispensable labelling machine - my favourite organizing tool!
A cup of tea would be lovely (milk, no sugar). If you have a favourite way of sorting things or organizing your filing, some spare containers/ files would be useful, but you might find it is best to wait until I have visited to know exactly what to buy.
6. I'm embarrassed by my mess and couldn’t let anyone else see it.
Please don’t be embarrassed. I am not here to judge you or comment on your current situation; I am here to help you move forward and feel more positive and uplifted at the end of our decluttering session than you did at the beginning. It genuinely gives me pleasure to be useful to others, and it's probably easier to let me see it than it is to let some of your friends see it!
I can also assure you of complete confidentiality with my work: no-one will ever know if you don’t want them to.
7. What happens during a decluttering session?
Initially we will talk on the phone/ Skype to discuss the area(s) you wish to tackle and what your desired outcome is. I will then assess how long I think the job will take us.
Once I arrive, we will tackle the task in two ways:
(a) by looking at your clutter and deciding what needs keeping, what needs throwing away, what can be recycled and what can be reused;
(b) by looking at your available storage and how best to use it.
I will try to keep any buying recommendations to an absolute minimum, and you are under NO obligation to buy anything I suggest. However, I can send links if you would like to follow up any of the ideas I suggest, and typically I bring a range of storage containers with me to give you some ideas.
8. Can you do my filing and office paperwork regularly for me?
I am very happy to set up a filing system that works for you, with your own preferences taken into account, and to get all your existing paperwork into the new system (or disposed of if we mutually agree it is no longer necessary).
If you would find it helpful we can discuss regular return visits to help you keep on top of your paperwork.
9. Do you clean the house as well?
To some extent, yes; to some extent, no. I am not a cleaning lady and I will not bring cleaning materials or vacuum cleaners with me. On the other hand, as we sort we will obviously wipe down and dust containers and surfaces before we load things into or onto them. And having your vacuum cleaner to hand is often useful as we work.
10. Do you take the stuff away with you?
I am registered as a waste carrier, which means that I can dispose of items on your behalf (within reason). I am also happy to advise on how you might best dispose of other items which it might not be practical for me to take away.
11. Do you work in office situations too?
I am happy to work with individuals who are self-employed, working from home, or in small companies. However, the majority of my experience, and hence subject knowledge, is in working within houses.