Decluttering FAQs

I have been a member of APDO (Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers) for some years now and was delighted to be asked to join their Board in 2012. My role within APDO is Head of Mentoring to any new members that join, advising and guiding them to become great additions to our profession. I am also part of the Training Team 

Don't be embarrassed. We are here to help you, not judge you. The hardest bit will be picking up the phone and making that first step towards a more organised home.

You can do it yourself, but when learning any new skill, everyone benefits from time spent with an advisor. It makes the job easier, faster and more efficient. And, because the time is scheduled in your diary, there's less chance that it will slide to the bottom of your priorities.

We charge an hourly rate of £35. We'll bring inexpensive storage boxes with us that we can use if needed but, more often than not, you'll already have ample storage in your home.

After a decluttering session, you'll spend less of your valuable time searching for things you have lost, less energy cleaning and tidying around your clutter and less money buying things you already have. You may even find things you can sell.

Ultimately, the benefits of being organised, feeling less stressed and being in control of your environment again are priceless.

Some people are quite happy to tell friends and family about their decluttering projects, especially afterwards because they feel so uplifted and proud of their home. Others prefer to keep things private. The Clutter Fairy is a completely private and confidential service. There are no advertising logos on cars or uniforms and we will never discuss clients with a third party unless agreed. Occasionally, we will ask if we can take before and after photographs but this is entirely your choice.

Following a phone conversation to discuss your needs we will arrange an appointment to come to see your home and the space you need to organise. We will discuss an action plan and get started either then or on another day. All decluttering sessions are done together as it is always your decision what to keep and what to let go.

Decluttering sessions normally take around 5 hours, as it can be a physically and emotionally difficult task. However, there is no set time on how long a particular project will take. It all depends on how much needs to be done and also how quickly you can make a decision. We will keep you focused on the task in hand and help you to prioritise - you won't be distracted by that box of family photos or old letters! Together, we can make huge progress in a day.

An open mind, uninterrupted time to work together and the desire to maintain the system we help you set up. By working together to organise your space, we'll create a system that specifically meets your needs. This will also help you keep on top of things, since it will fit in with your daily routines and habits. We can work out a manageable plan for other rooms you are concerned about that we feel confident you can accomplish without our help.

We will clean shelves and under cupboards where it will assist the decluttering process, but we don't offer a full cleaning service. If this is required we can make suggestions about what companies you could use.

The best place to start organising is the area that is bothering you the most. Once that area has been tackled you will feel a sense of accomplishment and relief that will inspire you to continue being organised and tackle other areas.

This is a huge fear for many people hiring a professional organiser. Things that are necessary or important to you will be incorporated into the organising plan, not removed just to provide a better "look." The goal is to make your life run more smoothly by creating an organisational system that fits around your life, not by making your life adapt to a pre-determined system.

Men, women, people working full time or part time, people with a disability, stay at home parents, retirees; there is no one type of person who is disorganised. It can happen to any of us. Quite often it is a significant life change that prompts a call. Moving home, having a baby, divorce, downsizing, losing a parent - these are all things that can leave us overwhelmed by our belongings. Working with a professional organiser is good for anyone who needs to regain a semblance of order in their busy life. If you just don't have the time or you can't get it scheduled, having someone to come in and help you with it means you'll get it done.

It depends on what you have already. Many people tend to have bought storage in the past to help them with their clutter but have just not managed to use it effectively. If you haven't and something is needed, we can help with suggestions as to what will be of most use to you.

Any items that you choose to get rid of will be recycled wherever possible using local charity shops and your local recycling centre etc. You may have things you can sell and we can advise you how to do this yourself. We are not able to take stuff to the tip for you due to Waste Carrier legislation but can take anything to the Charity Shop and will assist you to dispose of things on the day we declutter them.

We hope that you will feel inspired and motivated to maintain the organisational systems we have put into place during our time together but sometimes life just gets in the way! We can offer a maintenance package to keep you in control. We can arrange regular visits, which will help you stay organised or relieve the stress of things piling up when unexpected life occurrences happen.

Part of being organised is realising when to take action to get things back in the order that makes sense to you. Remember, being organised is not being perfect. It is being in control of your home so you can find what you want, when you want.

Yes. We can organise anything you don't have time for - we have recently organised events, booked holidays, managed a house move, project managed a property renovation, styled rooms, found a new property - the list goes on. Anything you need organising, just ask and we will let you know if it's within our area of expertise.

We have done so many paperwork declutters over the years that we have come across pretty much all kinds of documents. Today, technology means we actually need to keep very little but a paperwork sort out is all about keeping you within your comfort zone too. If you have historically kept 20 years of bank statements, you may feel nervous about offloading them all at once so we work with you to determine a system that makes you feel secure.

Increasingly, we work with clients with specific disabilities and special needs who are in receipt of Direct Payments or other benefits. Our input into the organisation of their homes and the maintenance of that has proven really helpful and has regularly been a service recognised as a legitimate expense by Social Services.

Home Staging FAQs

For the small price of an initial consultation you'll discover so many things you can do to your home where the costs are minimal - decluttering, cleaning, repairing, pressure washing. Even storage solutions and accessories to enhance your home can be inexpensive if you know where to look. The aim is to enhance your home at minimal cost. How far you wish to take it is entirely up to you. There is no obligation to start redecorating and buying new furniture but if your budget allows and it would be beneficial this is an option you can explore.

It's incredibly difficult to view your own home with the eyes of a highly critical buyer. We can objectively assess how best to use what you already have and determine if anything else needs to be added. You're emotionally involved in your home and the contents so it's hard to be completely objective. Have you stopped noticing that ugly wallpaper in the bedroom? We will look at your home with a designer's eye, going beyond cleaning and decluttering and into decorating and rearranging furniture, pictures and accessories.

Home staging is definitely an investment in getting a better return when you sell your home. For most people their home is the single largest asset they have and it needs to be sold making it look as appealing as possible. If you were selling your car, you would get it valeted first. If you were listing something on Ebay you would make sure your photo was good. Home staging is the same. If you improve the way something looks, it becomes more appealing and therefore more valuable.

Lesley Spellman, owner of The Clutter Fairy is trained by Ann Maurice of TV's House Doctor fame. So you can be assured that you are receiving a professional yet personal service from The Clutter Fairy.

Decorating may or may not be required - it is important to get the balance right and spend only where necessary.

Call Lesley Spellman 07973 638 003
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