MT, December 2016
I wanted to send you a spontaneous thank you.
I was just figuring out what I felt like doing in the few ‘dead’ hours between now and the countdown to New Year’s Eve ‘proper’. And suddenly it dawned on me that I wanted to do my receipts. Not HAD to do my receipts, but WANTED to do them.
I mean, clearly I don’t want to do my receipts in quite the exact same way as I want to visit Iceland, or own a property with a wet room, or sleep with Robert Downey Jr.
But I want to do my receipts in the sense that thanks to working with you over the past 12 months, I now have a clear and established process for doing my work finance admin – one that is tailored to me, and doesn’t cost me any extra money, additional stress, or fancy software that simply compounds the fiddliness.
I’ve realised that retaining and accumulating mountains of paper is what keeps me stuck in Overwhelm Mode endlessly. So now my formula for beating Receipt Stress is that the sooner I can digitally capture the data and get rid of the paper, the calmer and more functional I feel.
With your early help in clearing the years-old paper backlog, and encouragement to start creating new habits today, not One Day In The Magical Unicorn Future, I’ve now experienced the state of what it feels like to be in balance and on top of things, more than 3/4 of the time. Now that I’ve finally experienced that state a certain number of times, and the calm injection and confidence boost it brings, I actively want to do what it takes to return, or as Tina Fey’s character in 30 Rock would say, ‘I want to go to there.’
I think this is just one example of why you would hire a Decluttering Coach, rather than just get a cleaner: the “teach a man to fish” analogy is absolutely what you’ve done for me.
Thank you again for all your help this year, and with this long-overdue Finance Admin foundation in place, I’m (genuinely!) looking forward to mastering more organisational challenges in 2017.
AK, December 2016
Just to say a big thank you for the three week programme, it inspired me to tackle quite a few areas in the house!
PM (Declutter Club member), December 2016
I’m chuffed to bits! My home-office works so much better. I found the lead to my backup drive, which has been missing for two and a half years. That means I can finally update my computer’s operating system so it’ll work much better.
I’ve got the space [I need] and I didn’t realise!
Mara, September 2016
I get so much out of our sessions and the ripple effect afterwards helps with tons of everyday things.
Vanessa Kettner, August 2016
During our session on Monday, as you know, I corralled all my bracelets, and arranged them on the mantle on my fireplace so that I could see them – before they weren’t all together, and there were a few that were scrunched up and out of view.
I don’t consider myself a big bracelet wearer, but on Tuesday, I selected a simple but beautiful bracelet to wear that my lovely friend Eliza gave me, and then on Wednesday, Thursday, and today, I decided to wear the bracelet my sister got me only this month. So – now I am a daily bracelet wearer apparently!!! Who would have guessed it? And I’m loving them. So this is really great. Simple, but great.
Similarly, ever since I got all my scarves together and folded them in a way that I can see them all, I’ve been taking the time every morning to choose which scarf I think will go best with my outfit and with the weather. I am loving this.
I’m continuing to read a lot more! This is truly amazing. I think by getting rid of my books that didn’t ‘spark joy’ and then by making sure all the titles are facing outwards, they have almost been screaming out at me to read them.
Gillian Franks, August 2016
I’ve been raving about the help you gave me organizing my hard drive.
People who know me are surprised that I needed to have an organizer help me with this. Indeed it has taken me several years to understand that that’s what I needed.
The fact that in 15 minutes you had summed up in two words what I needed to do, could have made me feel that I was paying good money for nothing. Instead, I wish that I had paid twice this money a couple of years ago because I would have saved so much aggravation.
Your ability to ask simple penetrating questions that gave you a clear viewpoint of how I was working meant that your solution was swiftly and completely implemented.
Thank you so much.
David Pimpernel, July 2016
I was one year into an estimated three-year decluttering project when I discovered your website and seven-bag system and I have since progressed twice as fast…Thank you! I really am very pleased with your inspirational help, and have recommended you to several people.
Katja Cook, July 2016
MTT, April 2016
From what you said on your masterclass about one person’s trash being another’s treasure, I know that you understand. I’m in the zone – the clearing out zone. Amazing what you find. Some small treasures but yesterday I found a boxed bottle of champagne which I had tucked away probably as a gift for someone else. Before Christmas, I donated to a small local charity bags and bags of things for their bring and buy sale. I took the time to wrap and present each item and they went down a storm. Since Christmas, I have tackled what I called the clothes mountain and have washed and ironed and given away huge amounts of clothes. I have worked my way though mounds of paper work. I have many craft hobbies and your masterclass helped me focus on my ultimate goal of being done with the clearing and able to focus once more on my hobbies. I have to say just signing up for your emails gave me renewed momentum and I tackled a big dusty chunk yesterday. Thank you Rachel.
MT, April 2016
To my surprise, the one decluttering gift that keeps on giving is the session we devoted to clearing the under-sink cupboard. Functional household jobs like wiping, disinfecting, laundry, changing bins are hard enough to keep up with, but so much easier when at least all the cleaning products and kit themselves are finally in order! This is one previously-cluttered storage area that hasn’t ‘relapsed’. The payoff is too great to risk it. Thanks again!
MT, February 2016
I enjoyed the 21 Day Declutter! I like having a new task be delivered to my inbox each day, something about it made me stick with it all the way through. I was able to clear enough space in the kitchen cabinets that I was finally able to move my cookbooks from the living room shelf to the kitchen cabinets. I have been wanting that for quite a while. I also got rid of so many bathroom things that I removed an entire bookcase from my bathroom and it is much more open now and feels great in there!
There were some resources that helped me determine shelf life of both things in the kitchen and different bathroom toiletries. This helped me purge. Origins accepts makeup and toiletry containers for recycling and I donated unopened lotions and body washes to the homeless shelter. I also composted much of the things that came out of the fridge and pantry. So, there has been very little going into a landfill!
Mara Tyler (December 2015)
For the past week, I have been worrying about a looming overdue house-clearing blitz. I’ve just finished a long job, and have finally come home after spending most of the past 8 months away working.
So, during my last few days at work, I did some online research, bit the bullet, and booked 2 hours with a professional decluttering coach. Being self-employed and erratically paid, I can’t always afford to do things like this, but I am SO glad I tried it this time.
We focused on one area – my giant bedroom unit in which all daily-use clothes, towels and accessories are kept – and the difference in just 2 hours has bought me weeks of stress reduction.
Rachel was great company, really chilled, totally non-judgmental, and highly experienced in working with people with anxiety, depression, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADD, or other non-neuro-typical profiles.
I will definitely be doing this again, and I’ve already booked her for a half day in the New Year, to help me deal with longer-term clutter and post-Christmas detritus.
It feels good to admit that sometimes you need outside help. Sometimes it’s not so much the tidying itself as having a sounding board for decision-making and thinking out loud about the best way to store things, based on your typical routines and preferences.
There was no pressure to throw anything away that I didn’t want to, nor was there any coercion to do things her way. It was all about her listening to me and us figuring out together what was going to work best.
If any of you are still stuck what to ask Santa for, and you don’t mind an unromantic gift, I highly recommend doing this as an invaluable ad-hoc treat!
Ms L, October 2015
I am feeling very relaxed…house all tidy. I am so happy with what we achieved today. It has lifted me no end to get all those clothes sorted.
Everything feels accessible and neat.
It was great to get that real mess done with you.
Thank you for keeping me motivated and being structured in getting the job done.
Dee and Crispin (August 2015)
We’re very glad we found Rachel to help us clutter-clear our home. We’d both done a lot of dejunking in the past but had got very stuck in a number of areas around the house. She made several visits to support us as we focused on these.
Her system is clear, thorough and unfussy with a structure that works well and having her here as we worked through our stuff made a real difference too.
Rachel is friendly and professional and listened patiently to any stories we needed to tell before we could let go of things, but without being overindulgent. She gently challenged without pushing us to get rid of anything, encouraged us and celebrated our successes.
Between sessions we found that we naturally got on with clearing stuff on our own and are still very motivated to continue decluttering as a regular habit.
We wholeheartedly recommend Rachel and will definitely invite her back if we ever get stuck again.
Four hour shed transformation (August 2015)
Dyspraxic client (August 2015)
Three hour session in child’s bedroom. The next stage is to get rid of all this furniture and replace it with a new bed and a hanging/shelving unit.
TL, Hove (July 2015)
I live between two homes and am very organised and tidy but I had got stuck on a few areas in my main home. Due to lack of time moving between the two homes, and travelling a lot this year, I had lost motivation to sort these areas out and felt I needed some help to get back on track.
I am so glad I found Rachel. She was very professional and could see clearly what I wanted to achieve. I loved the way she got on with the task – she is very hands on and has great energy. Together we achieved so much on the first session.
My top floor, which was an office and storage area, had become a dumping ground. I could not believe what I got rid of out of that one room, we completely decluttered it. Rachel helped to structure the cupboard space so I could easy find items when I needed them.
Rachel was very constructive with the job and understanding about some items I was not ready to throw out just yet. She says you have to be realistic not ruthless, which was a nice approach.
The top floor looked so good that it has since given me motivation to change it into a TV room for my children. This has meant that I am utilising the space more efficiently and have another room.
The second session, we decluttered my dining room which looked transformed! I again got rid of so many items I had not used in years. We went on to do the utility room and the cupboard under my stairs.
In just two five hours sessions I had achieved to declutter all the areas I was unhappy with. I would never have managed to do this without Rachel. I felt so happy, it was like a weight was lifted off me.
I told Rachel she was worth every penny. Best money I have spent all year!
HD (July 2015)
Dyspraxic client (July 2015)
Two hour session clearing a bathroom which was to be converted into a bedroom for a lodger.
Trish (Workshop participant, March 2015)
Thank you so much for yesterday!
I attended your Time to Let Go workshop because clutter is an issue I have always struggled with and can verge on a hoarding difficulty at times.
I have a daughter with epilepsy and learning disability who, although aged eight, has challenging behaviour at home.
I know it affects my son as well, as I find it very hard to put things away, so there are piles of things which pile up around the house, and it is hard to find things.
I work part time, and have some health issues of my own, but often feel too exhausted to tackle the clutter, which can be overwhelming at times.
Now, I am invigorated and very motivated to get going!
I picked up six cardboard boxes first thing this morning, and have made a start on sorting – necessity dining room table first, but I have also got down three big boxes of photos of children which I really want to get into albums and frames, which have been sitting in boxes in the loft loose for last 10 years!
So that’s a project for me and I am determined to take control of the situation.
Workshop participants (March 2015)
I enjoyed all of the workshop.
I really enjoyed understanding the psychology behind keeping things.
It was useful to hear other people’s stories.
Can’t think of any improvements.
A good airing of our issues.
Laughing gives perspective.
Good handouts and useful advice and research.
DG (February 2015)
So grateful for our meeting just now – love working with you. And thanks for tidying my brain (a little) 🙂
EW (February 2015)
I have a generally quite ordered house but there were some areas that I felt were ‘hot spots’ that weren’t working for me and I couldn’t work out why, e.g. the kitchen food cupboards.
The areas I worked on with Rachel have enabled me to have a system and to understand what I am looking to achieve and how I can do that. So for example, I realised that the way I shop in the supermarket only makes the problem of my overcrowded overwhelming kitchen cupboards worse. It’s now been streamlined and everything is clear to see, so I can buy what I need as I need it.
It sounds very simple but sometimes you need someone external to point out something you can’t see for yourself when you are in the middle of it.
Rachel has a lovely calm and non-judgmental manner, but she manages to combine this with being very purposeful and maximising the support she can give in a session so you feel really pleased with what you achieve, and that motivation stays with you to make additional changes on your own.
I’m starting to get compliments on my flat! Some people ask why I need a clutter coach but, for someone like me, you can try to declutter but unless you have that support, you’re always going to be working in the same way and it’ll never make any difference. (January 2015)
Finding you was a turning point. For the first time in the 20 years I’ve lived here, I feel house proud! (December 2014)
Eugenie Teasley (November 2014)
On the personal side, we were just about to move house and I wanted to pare things down and get things organised. On the works side, I was being really disorganised with admin and paperwork, and needing to set up better systems. I was really inconsistent – I would let things go for months and then have a panic and try to fix things but I wasn’t very thorough, leaving me with a mixture of guilt and frustration. Paperwork and admin felt really tedious to do.
Now, I’m not a tidiness angel, but I’ve got loads more order and systems for my work stuff, like spikes for receipts so they’re in chronological order and get sent to the bookkeeper regularly. I’m far from being on top of everything but I’ve got new habits, like taking stuff where it needs to go as and when I see it.
Even if everything’s not perfect, it’s closer to where it should be.
Talking through my thought processes out loud, with Rachel helped create systems that made sense for me. Rachel helped me learn new patterns and habits aren’t so tedious to maintain. Rachel’s process of sorting stuff into seven categories really helped me to be smarter about where things needed to be or whether they still needed to be around at all!
CV (September 2014)
My flat was messy and without order. I was desperate and overwhelmed by not knowing what to prioritise.
Now I’m on the way to being very organised. I can’t wait to bake cakes with my daughter. I can be a real Mum now. It makes me cry to think of it!
Rachel knew what to do. She took the bull by the horns and got on with it. “Right, what’s your worst bit. Let’s start here”. I followed her lead and it just got easier
CE (August 2014)
I was feeling overwhelmed by the decluttering task and the complexity of life. Anxiety about a house move and the difficulty of preparing for that – to downsize from a seven bedroom house to a three or four bedroom house.
Now I feel encouraged. You’ve helped me to make visible progress, which gives me hope that the task isn’t totally impossible – which is what it felt like before.
I find you very patient and there are no recriminations about the state I’m in. I don’t feel demeaned or belittled or got at by you – which I do by members of my family! My family want me to let others do it for me but I can’t because I know there are all sorts of hidden treasures.
You’ve shown me HOW to tackle it. And your psychological insights make a real difference.
Eugenie Teasley (July 2014)
[Eugenie kindly, and without me asking, wrote this lovely blog post about a session we did together. Thank you! And well done!]
CO (July 2014)
My best find… A spare key for my husband’s car, which will save us a couple of hundred pounds buying a new one!
[The photos below were taken during one of the two free Virtual Clutter-Busting Jump Starts (2 hours of Skype/phone support) that came with CO’s participation in my ten-week programme, Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter Free and Live The Life You Want].
MC (July 2014)
My declutter was a total success. You changed my life. With a heart full of gratitude, MC.
SK (June 2014)
I moved house, my Mum died, everything got on top of me. Before I could do anything about it, I had a flood and I had to go into hospital. Everything had to be stored in the spare room and the loft and I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. I needed to have building works and redecorating done but I couldn’t get it done until the room was cleared.
It got to the stage where I was at stalemate: not going forward and not going back, but not knowing where to start. It felt exhausting and I felt down.
Now I can go forward. I’ll never let it get in that state again. I can start afresh. I’m in the swing of it now. When I sort through papers, I’m throwing out things I would have kept before. Next I’m going to tackle the garden!
You were very kind to me but you were firm. There were times when I would have said. “Let’s put it back in the bag and do it later” and you said, “No, let’s do it now”, which was good as, if we hadn’t done it, then it wouldn’t have got done. And we could laugh together, and you listened to my lifetime stories.
You’re a lady Stelios Kiosses!
[NB: The above photos show what we did in six four-hour face-to-face sessions]
TT (March 2014 – three weeks into Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want)
I really enjoyed the Virtual Clutter Busting Jump Start.
JB (March 2014)
Before I did Do It Day, it was Mission Impossible! Now, I can work at my desk with purpose, grace and ease – and love life again. I’m all set to create my next enterprise.
CR (January 2014)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your 21 day programme. It’s been brilliant. I’ve found myself talking about it to loads of people. I’ve loved the little a day approach and I now have a manageable pile of mending by the telly and some Very Tidy Drawers.
Katja Cook (January 2014)
[Katja kindly wrote this fabulous blog post completely unsolicited. Thank you!]
Betty (January 2014)
The 21 Day Declutter has really got me going! Daily doses of decluttering tasks have had a fantastic effect on my home and my self motivation. It’s great to get a different task a day. Not too daunting either. It’s been manageable in my busy life and when I’ve not made time one day, I’ve caught up other days.
I love it!
My car looks FAB, I found some clothes I’d been meaning to give to a friend’s son, and I found some money!
One of the daily tasks helped me save £115 a year!
I feel uplifted. A great start to my decluttered new year.
Look what you inspired! The best part was that it all got done while I was waiting for the curry, made last month and frozen for dinner, was heated in the oven. Twenty-five minutes from decision, through dumping, cleaning the drawer, putting it all back, and tossing the useless stuff. And, within two hours of buying the organizing boxes!
Beverley Gooding (November 2013)
I can honestly say that signing up for the ten week declutter course was the best decision I have made for years.
What really hit home was the fact that overeating, overspending, over cluttering and, oversleeping all seem to be interrelated. When the spending was out of control, it lead to the over cluttering which made me overeat and, with depression, I overslept.
[The course] has had an enormous effect on my life.
So a big thank you Rachel – you are a wonderful, supportive friend.
This is a shortened version of Beverley’s testimonial. Read the full version here.
The bits of your brilliantly written programme I used to great effect were your psychology insights, and it helped me see where I was stuck and also how I could facilitate others.My daughter was in desperate need of help. She is 18 and her room looked exactly like some I’ve seen on Hoarder Next Door. What doesn’t come across in these programmes is the rancid smell that emanates from such a room! You are not afraid to tackle the subject of dirt but you do it in a lovely way, not a shaming way.I have tried many times over years to help my daughter but with very limited success. This time, using your advice about overwhelm and visualisation, we were able to cut right through it.The change in my daughter is amazing; she is sooooo much happier. And of course, the whole house feels better too, as we knew it would. She has also made some money…enough to encourage her onwards.As we were working, my husband began to make some headway into his stuff too – no prompting required – it took me about three days to get over this amazement!My son is actually not a collector of things at all and generally has a minimal lifestyle but he still did a spontaneous edit – such is the power of moving the energy in your house.
As we were doing boot sales and Ebay, I took the opportunity to get rid of things too and we have a 100% nicer house altogether.
I have also been talking differently rather than nagging and, as a result, I have noticed the family bringing much less stuff into the house. This is due to your writings.
I love the way you examine the actual feelings related to one’s life, the visualisation, and really getting into the corners of what you want your life to look like so there is nowhere to go but forwards. I have found the way you write very empathetic and LOVE your emails – so inspiring. It feels as if you have really been inside my head/life and I’m sure I’m not the first person to have thought that.
The Google Group…was a fantastic idea. I loved the day when someone had the insight that none of us seemed to like the places we were living in. It’s the sort of shared moment that is really important when you’re on a journey like this.
Thank you hugely for writing the programme.
AB (September 2013)
I loved Rachel’s use of humour, and different media, like video and audio clips. And her sharing of her own experiences, and sharing of useful psychological tools along with the practical ones. And the fact that she is very efficient technologically, and always quick to reply. And very generous with her free info on the site, and good reduced prices for her course. And always coming up with new and innovative ideas around how to motivate people to get green and tidy-it really shows that it is her passion! But mainly the fact that her site is so uniquely a reflection of her personality and passions. And her upbeat efficiency and positivity. She is open about her life and shows that she lives her work.
GF (August 2013)
My best declutter tool and advice? Green and Tidy! And why? Because it comes once a week in small doses and makes me feel that there is a:
- group of people out there that wants to know about Affluenza
- an individual who understands the need for gentle reminders
- a person out there with a messier boot than mine! [Not mine by the way, haha! – Rachel]
Thank you for the work you do and the difference you make.
AB (August 2013)
Before I did the course, I was feeling very overwhelmed with my unsorted and undone stuff, and half my house was overstuffed and chaotic.
Now I have a clear to-do list on my phone which I am working through, some every day. And my house is tidy apart from boxes of things I need to sort through in garden shed, three boxes of books in sitting room, boxes and bags in a storage space above my office, too much stuff in kitchen cupboards, and boxes of kitchen stuff stored in other areas which I need to sort through and let go of a lot of. So I have the plan of using this method to sort through one box/ kitchen area at a time.
I loved how the action sessions were scheduled along with the sorting. And the reminder of rewarding myself after each two hour session, and not trying to have longer sessions than that.
And the reminders about Top Dog and Underdog, that really helped bring humour to the situation and compassion to myself.
BC (August 2013)
Rachel helped me clear my clutter before I moved house. She was very friendly and helpful, and let me make all the decisions about what to let go. The process was relaxed and not at all stressful. Now I am really happy in my new clutter-free room. Thanks very much Rachel!
RMG (July 2013)
I’m moving again this week and I’m so pleased to have so much less stuff. The removal man quoted £140 less than last time so I have definitely made back your fee!
CH (July 2013) [Four weeks into 10-week programme]
No one knows my motivation behind the changes I’ve been making, I think my family is just glad that I am making changes. I’m just really glad I found your site!
VG (June 2013)
I wanted to avoid my house becoming like my mother’s, knowing tendencies to collect can run in families. Plus, I wanted to learn more skills to help her with her clutter, one day, when she is ready. I learned more skills in Rachel’s class, for sure. Now it is not as hard to throw away that piece of paper I want to cling to. 🙂 I definitely made more room in the closet, and have high hopes for future use of these skills on my husband’s storage barn (yes, he is willing). Plus, I cleared a desk drawer at work, and plan to do all my drawers.
Rachel can find good in me, no matter what I do, and she voices it, making me feel better about myself. Thanks, Rachel. I have hope now, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You know, the tunnel made by piles of stuff on either side?
CH (June 2013)
I am not a person to just write a note and send it off unless it has a specific purpose. That being said, I feel the need to share what I guess you call a breakthrough.
I am working on the first Module [of your 10-week programme, Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want] this morning and just finished the exercises through 1.4. Upon completion and then rereading all I wrote, a complete calm and peace is what I feel. But it’s almost an indescribable calm. A really good feeling. Very powerful. I think this is going to be one of the best investments I have probably ever made.
I am making headway in my home! And have also realized that waiting on “help” may have been some of my problem. Geez! I can’t believe some of this stuff I have been keeping for years and in a week of starting this I can start letting a good bit go.
Thanks again for what you do! I think reading your psychology angle of this problem is what’s helping me the most.
Gillian Franks, Vermont, USA (June 2013)
I am decluttering successfully, partly because every week this real sounding woman sends me a fun and relevant email that keeps me thinking about discarding stuff, reorganizing stuff, having the good stuff to hand, and not being hard on myself when I slip up.
And BTW, I’m not easily impressed or encouraged: you really hit the right note!
Ms B (May 2013)
I was surprised by how much I got done in my Virtual Clutter-Busting Jump Start. It felt really, really good. What was great was the way it got me to focus so that I didn’t get distracted. I found it very helpful – especially because it gave me clear things to do in each part of the session. It got me to organise the stuff without thinking too much.
CF (April 2013)
Oh Rachel — you always know all the right things to say in your inspiring messages!!
AW (April 2013)
Wow, can hardly believe it’s a year since I did the course with you! I’m beating the clutter all over the house. It feels good. I FEEL GOOD! Thanks +1yr
JA (March 2013)
I feel so much happier about tackling stuff, rather than just worrying about it.
I SLEPT so much better last night because there is simply more AIR circulating. It feels so much airier.
Things I thought I couldn’t bear to part with: now it’s easy. I can see they’ve served their purpose.
I’ve actually enjoyed it. It’s been really, really good – really, really helpful. All sorts of things have changed. For example, I needed to make a room presentable to host a meeting in my house, which I’d never done before. I did it, had the meeting and now it feels normal!
Thanks so much for the programme and your help.
[JA had lots of sentimental items, including cartons of jewellery, inherited from three generations of both sides of the family, including someone who probably suffered from hoarding disorder.]
VG (March 2013)
Thank you for making the impossible totally possible!
ET (March 2013)
After years of having a small box room stuffed with stuff and good intentions to use it as ‘my own space’, I’m finally getting close to clearing it. When this is done – this weekend! – I’m going to paint the walls white, put up my favourite pictures, sit, think, read, doodle, wrap presents, write cards, meditate, maybe listen to the radio, and breathe!
DE (February 2013)
Before I started your ten-week programme, I was just managing to keep my house under control – no unpaid bills, etc. but it would not have taken much of a crisis to tip me over edge. I also wasted time looking for things I should have been able to find quickly. That made me feel frustrated and depressed, and I would clear up the appropriate area, but the clutter kept coming back.
I have not yet decluttered the whole house, but the areas and spaces I have tackled are staying that way, and I am enjoying being able to use them as functional spaces rather than general dumping grounds. I am still working on the rest of the house, but I feel equipped to do so much better after doing the course.
The course was a helpful balance of clear practical advice I could apply straight away, along with standing back and taking a long term view, so that clutter clearing is not just a crisis management issue. Doing a course in weekly chunks was also a much better option than just reading a book – I have tried reading books on clutter clearing, but gave up on them. I also enjoyed Rachel’s cheerful positive style, and would recommend this course to anyone in a similar situation to me.
HM (January 2013)
Well done on what you do. You have helped me so much. Your course made a big difference, and your emails always cheer me up. Since Christmas my own challenge in the flat has moved on apace. I am rediscovering my beautiful living space…and my beautiful self.
HH (December 2012)
Many thanks for your inspirational emails – like them a lot!
I was wondering how to ‘manage’ Christmas preparations this year, when your email arrived. The next day, whilst having the car MOTed I made a ‘to do’ list and planned when to fit them into my busy schedule. I planned everything on the list – even a time when my children were free to go and choose their presents. It’s going well…
EH (December 2012)
Whilst I am not a hoarder in the true sense of the word, I had become bogged down by my job and my evenings and weekends were me sat in front of the tv regaining my strength whilst I ignored the crap and clutter around me.
I am getting to a point now where I am almost there!
My parents come to stay on the 22nd December and I have a tidy and clutter free spare room for the first time in years!
I have even used your encouragement to help me at work. I have just undertaken a huge facilities shuffle of approx. 60 people around three offices (along with all their crap)!
So thanks. I am looking forward to an organised and clutter free 2013!
BS (December 2012)
Due to your coaching, I am making progress. I’ve found you to be the best source out there. Thanks again for your help Rachel.
DE (November 2012)
Here are before and after photos of two spaces that had become general dumping
grounds, but are now useful spaces containing things that are useful in that part of the house. And the things that are there are accessible immediately. Before, I had to rummage through the other stuff to find things.
Thank you for the Skype session the week before last. It helped crystallise my thoughts, and give me the determination to tackle my filing cabinet. I have decided that throwing out papers I haven’t even looked at for over ten years is not going to diminish what I have achieved in the past, and leaving them to simply occupy space is not going to add to any past achievements. The shredder will have earned its cost by the time I have finished the decluttering process! I have a lot of papers in cardboard archive boxes as well, but I am not putting them into any empty spaces in the filing cabinet until they have been subjected to the decluttering process.
This week’s topic of clothes and jewellery has some hilarious moments when I look at
some things I used to wear. I was seriously considering getting a larger chest of drawers before I started this course. I now think decluttering is a much better option.
GL (September 2012)
No matter how small, I benefit from taking small steps several times a day. As I see progress being made, it motivates me to continue upkeep on the areas I’ve made so clean and nice. Leaving me less to do the next day, less stuff to clutter my mind and hinder my progress. Avoiding frustration and eventual burnout seems obvious, yet your skill at making me personalize your advice makes me understand this in a way I never had before.
Thank you again, Rachel – It means so much to me when I see your [regular coaching] email! It pushes me to keep up the fight against the CLUTTER!
Anil Barnes, Director of Indigo Design Architects (July 2012)
Since receiving your coaching I have:
Taken everything out and re-stocked my 6 square metre storage cupboard.
Reorganised and ruhung all shelving in the cupboard
Taken several sacks of stuff to landfill
Taken several barrowloads to recycling
Taken about 30 books to a charity shop
Removed everything from store no 2, reconfigured shelving and re-stocked the cupboard
Given away an inkjet printer
Photographed another printer ready for ebaying (may keep it for emergencies)
Photographed several other items for ebaying.
Packaged up another item to be sent off for repair
Sorted and re-filed all paper correspondence for all my current projects
Started new notebooks for some of my current projects
Deleted about 10 apps I had tried out but wasnt using
Put away my winter clothes.
The outcome is that I’m clearer about where I am with my business, and I am working more efficiently.
I intend to carry on with the dejunking as it’s now become a useful habit.
Thanks for your help.
HM (July 2012 – 1 week into Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want)
I’m really impressed with the style and content of the course – it’s already got me thinking and changing ingrained attitudes.
SW (June 2012)
22 years of living with a chaotic other half was driving my poor husband to distraction. Rachel’s initial visit and subsequent encouragement helped me to focus on clearing out a few of the bogey areas in our house and her help with the black hole under our stairs was particularly useful. She was patient with my obvious lack of enthusiasm for the task and marital bliss has now been resumed!
JMK (June 2011)
Before I joined Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the state of our home (to the point of tears) and felt too ashamed to invite anyone round. We’re not ‘there’ yet but I have made some progress and feel confident that, by chipping away at it and applying what I’ve learnt, I will get our home the way I want it, and be able to keep it that way.
The main things I’ve discovered are:
- Where a lot of our ‘stuff’ comes from, which has meant I have been able to slow it down/stop it.
- What my particular ‘problem areas’ are and how to tackle these.
- The usefulness in identifying the function(s) of each room and of storing ‘stuff’ closest to where it is needed.
- How to move things on in the most environmentally friendly way.
- How to tackle each area of clutter and and the importance of ‘action sessions’ to deal with the things that have been sorted.
The lovely thing about working with Rachel is that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in terms of what to move on, what to keep or how your home should look. Rachel really understands the thought processes and emotions behind clutter and gently helps you to challenge some of the beliefs you hold about your possessions so that the decision to let things go is well thought through and can be done without sadness or regret.
I really believe that what I have learnt from Rachel will help me to become, and more importantly remain, clutter free.
AW (June 2012)
Before I joined your decluttering programme, I couldn’t see any way out of my cluttered environment. I had all but lost hope. Ten weeks on, at the end of it, I’ve got a whole tool box of tricks to keep putting into action. I also managed to break through the barrier of ASKING FOR HELP. The idea of ‘releasing’ things has been a big help to me and other perspective changing methods. Many thanks.
JB (June 2012)
As a result of one of my one-to-one coaching sessions during your 10-week programme, I finally dealt with a huge pile of carpet felt that had been blocking up my living room for ages. Now it’s been laid. Hurray! The programme got me to see that I can move stuff from one room to another, but it is still in my life until I let it go! As a result of participating, I’m giving up being attached and creating a home that generates freedom and ease.
JI (May 2012)
You’ve spurred me on to persevere until I have succeeded. Thank you, yet again – You’re a Wonder Woman!!!
HG (May 2012)
You come across as very enthusiastic and positive! Your approach seems to be empowering, gentle and considered. I have visited clutter clearing websites and watched TV programmes and you point out something that other professionals don’t, i.e. you have to consider the size of your space when filling it with possessions. What you said about choosing between the object and the (precious) space which it takes up brought clarity to the issue of clutter clearing in one sentence. I have never heard anyone express this fundamental point with such simplicity and clarity.
Also, what you said about one person’s scrappy piece of paper being another person’s treasured child’s drawing resonated with me – another very good illustration of an important point!
You are helping people make profoundly positive changes to their lives.
Katharine (April 2012)
Before Do It Day, I had a vague sense of loads of undone things hanging over me that would never end. I was aware of the underlying stress of this and felt it was blocking me from getting on with the things I really wanted to do. Now I feel more in control.
Do it Day ‘forced’ me to get every job I could possibly think of down on paper, so I could properly assess priorities and see an end to the list. It left me with a huge sense of achievement, and a sense of what I can continue to achieve. Reporting to others and wanting to share positive progress was a great motivator.
It was fantastic to wipe off some significant tasks that had been chaffing away at my peace of mind for years!
NA (April 2012)
Before I started the programme [Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want], I was at my wits’ end – tired of the constant build up of ‘stuff’. Rachel’s approach to this and the issue of clutter is thorough and methodical. My eyes were opened by understanding the underlying psychology and given a structured and sound approach to making a radical change by way of written exercises and practical tasks.
I wholly recommend this programme for clutter bugs who really want change and are prepared to stick with the 10 week course for a life changing result.
Ms B (April 2012 – 7 weeks into Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want)
For years now there has been an area of my hallway, where everything goes that no-one knows what to do with. It was encroaching further and further into my study, and it was a real embarrassment to me because clients have to walk through that area when they come to work with me. It had just built up and up over the years, I wasn’t even really clear what was there. It was a really scary prospect clearing it, and I definitely thought it would do it right at the end of this programme.We had a problem with our wireless router yesterday which meant I had to run a wire through the area. “In the old days” (i.e. before I did this programme), I would have just draped it behind the clutter (hidden, right?) But on the spur of the moment, slightly cross with myself at the state of it, I decided this was the moment to pull the whole lot out, tack the wire properly in position, find out what was in those piles, and reorganise them. And here’s the thing – I just cleared the whole area. I started last night, worked on it all morning, and finished it this afternoon (with a bit of sleep in the middle). I can’t believe I just got rid of most of it – a lot of paper to be recycled, a few things to be freecycled, and the rest to the charity shop (they are doing so well out of me at the moment).
It included letting go of several things I had stacked there because I intended to sell them (something I clearly have a lot of problems getting round to). I thought ‘Yes, I could sell them, but it takes a while to list each one, sometimes they don’t sell anyway, then there’s the hassle of wrapping and posting them. If I take them to the charity shop NOW they’re just gone, and I never have to think about them again’. So I loaded them into the boot of the car and they’re out of my hair. Money ‘waster’ maybe, but what a time saver!
This week, after chipping away at it week by week, the decluttering just seems to be taking off by itself and I’m feeling genuinely motivated. Clutter-clearing even when it isn’t scheduled!
SEC (March 2012)
Since undertaking Rachel’s Green and Tidy declutter programme [Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want], I have been engergised about the thorough way I have approached my nearest and dearest possessions. My wonderful life’s gatherings.
I worked through modules 1- 5 with gusto and willingness to change my surroundings for the better. I was also in the process of a big house move, so needed to refine my stuff.
When I moved house (finally, after a long haul), I slowed right down. I didn’t complete the next few modules or decluttering schedules and left them (and my newly boxed clutter) to build up again. I felt frustrated with myself and kept ‘putting it off’.
So, this week I committed myself to moving on with the programme. How much better do I feel? I am enthused again, making schedules, doing my actions, getting fantastic & nurturing support, reducing my clutter and organising my lovely new home.
Thank you Rachel. The programme is clear, supportive and cleverly put together. I have just completed the paper clutter module and feel so much better about how to tackle incoming, ongoing piles of paperwork.
PS. I am now going through 25 years of arts materials & equipment. It feels good!
JA (February 2012 – 1 week into Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want)
Just thought I’d tell you how inspirational you have been in so little time. I sorted out all my kitchen cupboards and threw away lots of crap. Been to the dump today and recycled clothes and shoes. In the middle of all this I even managed to make a delicious leek and potato soup. Wow!
My next projects are going to be my clothes drawers and – oh terror – my filing cabinet.
I really like your idea that you don’t have to be perfect, just as good as makes you feel happy and unemcumbured by your crap. I couldn’t live in a house like a ward in an Ebola Virus hospital but I do like order.
JM (February 2012)
Can I say how kind I found your words, “Honey, I want you to stop beating yourself up. You’re an amazing person with a lot on your plate. You get loads done every day”? In fact they made me cry (in a nice way) and I identify with so much of what you say.
I feel as though the last six years of my life have gone by in a whirl. So many things have happened…I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that cleaning and tidying the house are the things that have been neglected during this time. Paperwork, lego, lego & more lego, dog ‘stuff’, etc, etc, etc now mean that it is virtually impossible to move around our two-bedroomed terraced house.
You’ve made me remember how much I did used to love this house. When you mention people being too embarrassed to invite people around I think, “Yes, yes, that’s me!” I would love for friends to be able to pop round rather than feel I have to meet them out at cafes. My husband and I say we need to move to a bigger house and that we have “outgrown” this one. You’ve made me realise that, unless I can get things under control here, I will just end up in the same situation elsewhere.
Anyway – I am going to implement your excellent advice so thank you for reassuring me that I am not alone and giving me hope that it can be done. I realise one of my issues is not ‘processing’ the things I have sorted – selling, recycling, etc – so they end up getting reabsorbed back into the mess! I will definitely start to schedule time to get them out of the door & move them on!
“THANK YOU” again so very much!
Ms C (February 2012)
I felt overwhelmed with the sheer amount I had to tackle but Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want gave me confidence and made me want to get going.
The materials were clear, easy to follow and fun! The mix of learning styles was great and helped me be fully creative and exploratory about my vision for my home.
Since I started following your organising tips, life is so much easier and less frustrating.
I’ve taken car loads of stuff to charity shops and to the tip, given tons of stuff that belongs to other people back to them and found all sorts of really important and valuable things, including my birth certificate and a video camera that my Dad gave me.
Finally I understand why I accumulate so much STUFF! Moving house a lot as a child was very unsettling for me. I have held onto a lot of things, especially scrapbooks, photos, things from friends, even birthday cards and old autograph books. It felt like a security to me as I was scared of losing memories about the past. Holding onto things felt like a comfort.
But the programme helped me see that, in reality, my clutter doesn’t help. In fact it clogs my mind, supresses my creativity and makes me impatient and harder to live with.
The programme helped me ‘recognise’ my types of clutter and how I can manage better. It helped me understand why I feel the need to buy stuff and that it’s easier to choose not to buy something than to get rid of it afterwards. So now I’m reducing my inflow!
More than that, the programme hasn’t just helped me declutter my stuff. It’s helped me declutter my time too! I now say ‘no’ to things more easily so I’ve got more time for the stuff I want to do. I’ve got better at planning my time and not taking too much on.
I am much more aware of clutter and reducing what I bring in to my home since taking on this programme. I have been enjoying ʻthinning downʼ my possessions and being able to locate, as well as make a space for, things in my home. It feels good to be passing things on as well as having more knowledge of what I actually possess.
About halfway through the programme, I realised I’d started liking the process of decluttering. Itʼs actually quite enjoyable, not scary and very satisfying…and I mean ʻthe doing itʼ not just the feeling you get after doing it. I am thinking about what next to declutter.
And my awareness for greener living is greater! I wanted to reduce my environmental footprint and your programme supported me to do this whilst clearing & simplifying my living space. I really appreciated the green hints.
I feel so much better about myself!
SC (February 2012)
I had these tasks that had been hanging over me for years. I kept avoiding them and putting them off. And they kept growing and growing like a monster.
I decided to dedicate my Virtual Clutter-Busting Jump Start to my ‘hell drawer’ and a huge pile of paperwork that had been building up. I had a headache just THINKING about the drawer, which I could hardly open and which had been accumulating for seven years! I felt stressed and worn out before I even started.
I’ve just finished my Virtual Clutter-Busting Jump Start and I feel like a weight has been lifted. I got everything done that I set out to do. I have more than halved the contents of the hell drawer and it now opens and closes with ease. I’ve given lots to charity and rehomed stuff, and now I know where everything is!
I feel happy, energised and ready to make a new ‘to do’ list. The space appearing in my cupboards and drawers, and the feeling of control about my possessions, is really exciting.
The Virtual Clutter-Busting Jump Start was just the motivation I needed and I can’t quite believe how much I’ve achieved in the time.
Rachel is so clear with her advice and instruction. She gave me step-by-step support and asked me what my goals were. Every half hour, we spoke and I shared my progress. I found it SO motivating! We had a phone call every half hour so I felt really driven to keep at it!
Rachel’s coaching is reassuring and practical. She was brilliant and helped me feel really great about myself.
Andrew Armes, The Spring Project (January 2012)
We had a warehouse of completely entangled and mixed up furniture and equipment, of different levels of usefulness, that we needed to sort through and either recycle, sell or give away. Rachel was able to give us some lovely ideas and practical support to achieve this as well as an injection of energy that helped to get the process moving.
We now have a beautifully clear warehouse available for hire and a small store room of useful equipment and furniture. Within the warehouse, we also have an entirely new space, which was previously clogged up with furniture and equipment, that we use for separate activities.
Rachel brought knowledge and down-to-earth useful guidance and insights into the best ways to either move on or dispose of clutter! Even in a short space of time. Thank you Rachel.
Mr L (December 2011)
I asked Rachel to help because I needed to organise my room to make it more functional, attractive and less cluttered. I now have a list of recommendations and suggestions which I will implement over the next month. Starting with where I wanted to be in six month’s time, Rachel provided practical, common-sense advice and suggestions. I’m recommending her all over.
Ruthie Lewis (November 2011)
Thank you so much for running the Get Organised, Get Stuff Done, Get Green workshop. You did such a professional job of running it – it was very well prepared. I really got a lot out of it. On Sunday night I did indeed tackle the job I’d scheduled to do – look for a watch that I’d lost – and success! I managed to find it. And today, believe it or not, I again did the jobs I’d scheduled. I wouldn’t have managed this without your help!
I spoke to my friend today (who came to the workshop) and she said she’d done the job she scheduled for last night as well and was really happy about it.
You’ve made such an impact on so many people’s lives. It’s amazing!
BW (November 2011)
You really understand the problem. You GET ME!!
Ms B (October2011)
Before I did Clear Your Clutter, Stay Clutter-Free and Live the Life You Want, I felt stuck and hopeless about the clutter in my house. I’m not stuck anymore. In fact I’m raring to go. I’ve really changed my habits and attitudes.
I’m just back from a holiday. Before I did the programme, I would have come back with loads of lamps and rugs for the chill-out area I’m going to create in my house, because they were so cheap. And then, because I haven’t yet worked out exactly how that area’s going to work, they would have hung around being clutter. Instead I hardly brought anything back with me.
Before I did the programme, I would buy things just because I liked them, without thinking about where they were going to go or how it was going to work. Now I think very carefully before I bring anything into the house.
The programme’s focus on how much my home reflects me as a person was more motivating than any financial incentives, or desire to stop feeling embarrassed about my home, has ever been in the past. And the steady drip-feed of materials kept decluttering at the top of my mind. I often found myself thinking about decluttering when I had a break during the day, and working out what I could get rid of. So when I came to let go of things, I’d already done the ‘bereavement’ bit and letting them go was easy.
Ms K (September 2011)
We worked with Rachel because we had to change the rooms in our flat around to meet the needs of our growing family but were blocked in how to go about it. Now the rooms in our flat have been changed in a way that suits everyone.
Rachel helped us be calm and civilised to each other. She listened with great interest and attention to our opinions on the flat and, using great summarising and reflecting skills, helped us realise what was important for ourselves and for the rest of the family. Half an hour after her work with us, we had drafted a perfect plan and two days later it is 90 per cent implemented.
Thanks so much Rachel. Your diplomacy, humour and attention to detail really helped us through our block and a whole hew happy home layout has been created. xxxx
Linda B (September 2011)
Your information was EXCELLENT!
Sarah (July 2011)
Before working with Rachel to declutter my magazines and jewellery through a Clutter-Busting Jump Start, I was swamped by magazines in every corner of my house. And I couldn’t face the thought of going through them. And I couldn’t find the jewellery I wanted to wear.
Now there’s much less clutter around. I know where my jewellery is. I’m not tripping over things. And my partner and I are having less arguments. We haven’t had an argument about clutter since.
Rachel was very supportive and non-judgemental. Working with her meant that I actually got around to doing it. Otherwise it would have been one of those jobs that I just left.
Rose (June 2011)
Before my Clutter-Busting Jump Start, I felt really despondent and low about the state of the flat. I felt like it was all too much and it would never be the way I wanted it to be. I couldn’t clear stuff out as fast as things were coming in. I felt overwhelmed and bogged down. When I tried to clear stuff, I’d get to a point of being overwhelmed, and get stopped before actually committing to where everything lived or what I would do with stuff. And I’d just given up.
I didn’t want to invite anyone to help me deal with it because I felt embarrassed that I had all this undealt with stuff around me.
Now, every time I go into the room we worked in and lie in bed beside the area we cleared, I get a feeling of happiness, relief and freedom. More than that, it’s like there’s now actually the possibility, in a real and grounded way, of having the flat I’ve always wanted. I actually understand what is required to clear out and deal with the rest of the flat. I feel exuberant.
Now I can see how to go through everything I have, no matter how difficult some of the things are to find and go through. I know that there’s actually a process I can use that means I can complete clearing each section, no matter what item I find in it.
When Rachel came to help, she was completely non-judgemental about the way the flat was. While I was embarrassed and wanting to excuse the way things were, she started from a point of ‘This is just the way things are now’ and easily helped me move on when I got stuck and overwhelmed. She helped me see how I could actually make the difference I wanted to make in my flat.
Going through the process with Rachel, I really got to see how to manage the intricacies of clearing out a lot of junk, to the point where absolutely everything we went through is actually dealt with thoroughly. I now know exactly what I had in all that mess, and where the things that I want to keep live.