Before & After
Real Life Examples
A massive thank you to all the generous clients who courageously gave me permission to share these photos, to inspire others.
These are unstaged photos of real homes.
Some people like a minimal look, others prefer a cosier, more lived-in feel to their homes.
Some people are living with conditions such as hoarding disorder, dyspraxia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression – and many are simply overwhelmed by stuff – and stuff to do.
Each pair of photos was taken at the beginning and end of a decluttering and organising session (or sessions). Sometimes, decluttering and organising reveals a need (and makes it possible) to deep clean, refurbish, repair and/or redecorate.
Not all the After photos look like magazine shoots – but they all represent life-changing breakthroughs.
Enjoy looking through them and watch the video to see the clutter melt away!
Before & After Photos
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!
I have immensely benefited from Rachel’s coaching, practically and emotionally.
Together we have created a system for all my paperwork, and she has taught me how to keep it in check. What a relief!
She has guided me though moving in with my fiancé, making great suggestions for our new home and we are so happy! We are so well set up thanks to her. Without her, the fear of bringing my mess with me, and being too scatty,would have cast a shadow on the joy of moving in with my fiancé. I am immensely grateful.
Rachel is resourceful, wise and patient. She has a therapeutic effect as well as being a good “teacher”. She is very smart and psychological as well as patient, structured and practical.
I no longer see myself as, or feel, “scatty”. What an achievement!
We have also addressed my organisational skills (diary, communication, saying ‘no’, morning and evening routines, social media restrictions, etc) which, long-term, will save me so much money, stress and self-criticism.
I recommend regular sessions until you have created a system with your desk/wardrobe etc. Then less frequent maintenance sessions. Best investment ever, seriously.
If there are underlying psychological issues, Rachel will be able gently to advise you to see a psychotherapist but she has many tools she can help you with in the meantime.
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.
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 I would do it right at the end of the 10-week 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!
The decluttering just seems to be taking off by itself and I’m feeling genuinely motivated. Clutter-clearing even when it isn’t scheduled!
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. 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.
I was struggling and the house was all cluttered up. Rachel straightened it up for me and made things easily accessible. She’s energetic, efficient and friendly. I can to talk to her and she empathises. We really get along.
When Rachel visited, it was the first day I haven’t felt physically sick for weeks. I was proactively doing something to sort out my mess, literal and metaphorical, and it was great. And where I was tempted to cut corners—”Oh, I’ll definitely need to keep all of this”—I was overruled. And when we went through it, I chucked out over a third. I now do this thing of seeing that something is in the wrong place and rather than leaving it there, I actually move it to where it should go. It’s like a dog learning to do a high five. A new skill. Old dog, new tricks. Miraculous.
In fact it’s spooking my whole family. Our dogs are so unsettled by my attentive sifting, sorting and recycling that on yesterday’s walk one of them darted home to make sure everything was okay. Our son, somewhat shocked at the thought of handing toys over to a charity shop, nearly keeled over when he saw his play area in perfect order, with toys arranged according by category—figures and animals, crafts, Playmobil, LEGO, puzzles, and the box-of-random (rubber band gun, gherkin finger et al.)
Life is on the up, and half of my detritus is on the out.
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.
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 there”. I followed her lead and it just got easier.
My best find… A spare key for my husband’s car, which will save us a couple of hundred pounds buying a new one!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
I am feeling encouraged, empowered and with hopes for a better life ahead.
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 programmeand your help.
[This client 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]
This spac h ad become a general dumping ground, but now is a useful space 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.
Overwhelmed by clutter? I can help. Email me now.
Brighton (01273) 699993 or 07952 791821
Non-UK + 44 1273 699993 or + 44 7952 791821