Juliet Landau-Pope of JLPCoach is a certified coach and professional organiser, based in NW London. A leading member of APDO Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers, she helps busy people to declutter their homes and also trains teenagers to manage time and get organised before exams. To find out more, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 078178 33319. In this guest blog for Hamilton Chase estate agents, she shares her tips on decluttering before putting a house on the market, to ensure a quicker sale.
Clarify what you want to achieve and think about why this really matters. Rather than talking about ‘getting rid of stuff’, frame goals in positive terms. Focus, for example, on what you’ll gain by creating space and order in your home. Visualise the outcome – imagine what an uncluttered room will look like and what impression it will make.
Deciding where to start can be a challenge. Pick an area of your home that will make a visible difference, such as a hallway or kitchen. Focus on removing larger items such as excess furniture. Leave very personal items such as photos till later in the process because they’re more likely to distract you.
Do you avoid decluttering because it seems overwhelming or you expect it to take too long? Instead of waiting till you have an entire weekend available, make use of smaller chunks of time. Break down the decluttering project into small and manageable tasks. Set a timer and limit yourself to a series of 15-minute sessions so you don’t get bored or tired. You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish in short bursts.
Find meaningful ways to part from things you no longer want or need. Let others benefit from your quality clutter by donating to charity shops or giving things away via community reuse websites such as Streetlife. I’m in touch with several local charities and advise clients how to reuse, recycle, donate or discard in ethical ways. Decluttering can also be quite lucrative, whether you sell stuff online or at boot sales.
It might seem that each space you clear is ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ but take time to notice and celebrate your achievements. Taking before and after photos can remind you of progress. And if you’re enthusiastic about decluttering and set an example, other family members are more likely to join in.
Decluttering on your own can be daunting, especially if you’ve avoided it for some time. It might be fun to ask a friend or neighbour for help and offer to return the favour. Another option is to hire a professional organiser to provide practical help and emotional support. Since the organising industry in the UK is unregulated, do check credentials. APDO members are all fully insured, registered for data protection and committed to a professional code of ethics. Find an organiser near you here.