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Declutter FAQs

DO I NEED A PROFESSIONAL ORGANISER?

After an initial phone consultation, we come to your home and talk a bit further about your lifestyle and your decluttering goals. Then we get straight to work. In consultation with yourself, things will be pulled out, evaluated and put into piles for keep, sell, donate and discard. After a light wipe, what remains is organised and returned to storage. There is a fun infographic about the decluttering process here. There will be constant discussion with you about how to tailor the space to your needs. We can discuss organising products if required. Also we can remove, donate and sell unwanted items for you. We will happily jot down a to-do list of small tasks identified during the process (things to arrange, buy, repair or return) and if you want help establishing systems, we can talk about how to streamline your routine. Chore charts, time management, meal planning, filing systems and go zones for your children can help you every day. Please contact us to discuss your specific needs.

HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?

Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you struggle to make decisions about where to put things? Do you have items which don’t really belong anywhere specific? Do you buy double-ups of household items because you can’t find what you own? Do you have a garage or spare room (aka junk room) which you would prefer to use for something else? Does it take you ages to get out the door because you are scrambling to find what you need? Do you have a change in your life like renovation, upsizing or downsizing? Have you thought about decluttering before but the task seems too big? Do you feel embarrassed when people drop in unannounced? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, then you need The Decluttering Co. Also read this post: Do I Need a Professional Organiser?

Is decluttering the same as cleaning?

Definitely not, but a great declutter FAQ. Decluttering deals with your possessions and deciding what to keep. It has nothing to do with dust or grime. Wiping down your shelves is a nice touch during decluttering (and we generally do that), but it is not integral to the process. Even clearing your benchtops is not a proper decluttering solution if your cupboards are over-stuffed. We like to delve deeper in order to solve your clutter problems.

What is the difference between decluttering and organising?

Both are important. Decluttering comes first and minimises your workload by getting rid of unnecessary items. Then we organise what remains by sorting and grouping. Organising is important for aesthetics and also finding your belongings later. Thankfully, The Decluttering Co can help with everything.

How much does will my decluttering cost ?

We charge $125 per hour. We don’t charge per project because there are so many variables. The time spent will depend on how much stuff you have, what you want to achieve aesthetically,  and how detailed the rehoming is. Sorting out a drawer of Lego can take longer than an entire junk room, depending on your goals and the intricacy of the work. But as a rough guide it takes 2-8 hours to declutter and organise one room or space. Check out our pricing page and if you want a more personalised quote or information, please get in touch. We have some tips on how to get the best value out of our services.

Where do we start?

This is a commonly-Googled declutter FAQ. You will get the most noticeable results from decluttering high traffic areas like your kitchen and pantry. Also the kitchen contains fewer sentimental items, which makes culling easier. If the entire kitchen seems overwhelming, start with your most frequently-used kitchen drawers. The wardrobe is another popular decluttering zone, but it’s wise to ask yourself what your pain points are. Which part of your routine frustrates you the most? Read the starter’s guide, and you can also get in touch and we will help you prioritise.

What about sentimental items?

We won’t make you throw out all your sentimental items. Memories are very important. But, since this is a common declutter FAQ, we have a few suggestions. Prioritise (do you need ALL of them?), take photos of items and even repurpose them into something great. Sometimes it’s useful to keep things out of sight for a while to test out how much you miss them. The Decluttering Co has various tactics and can see what suits.

Can the Decluttering Co help with hoarding?

Definitely! The term hoarding is used a lot, and can simply mean accumulating items, which is normal. On a more serious level it is also listed in the current DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Either way, as long as the client wants to declutter, The Decluttering Co is here to help, and has done specific hoarding training. Chatting to a GP or counsellor to get to the root of the problem might also be necessary. In the meantime, you can look at this hoarding assessment measurement tool.

Will I have to buy containers or anything else?

In short, no. We try to avoid purchasing unnecessary plastic, and prefer to remove rather than add. Also, during the decluttering process we often find ample containers amidst your belongings. New matching containers may be useful to maintain your organised spaces. They are also aesthetically appealing. We often have a few basic solutions on hand for you, many of which are reclaimed from other clients’ donations. However, commercial storage solutions are rarely crucial, and we are skeptical of any product that claims to ‘solve’ clutter problems. We wrote a post about using containers that you can consult

Why is decluttering so hard?

This is a great declutter FAQ! The endowment effect means that getting rid of belongings can be difficult. Also, decluttering is often not prioritised, as it is rarely as urgent as getting to work on time or feeding the kids. Thirdly, it can be a difficult and overwhelming task due to sheer volume. The interesting thing is that the less clutter you have, the easier everything else becomes. Try it! Give us a call.

Can you help me sell and donate my unwanted items?

Minimising waste and landfill is a core value of The Decluttering Co, via various channels including eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. We may be able to sell some of your items. We would also love to coach and empower you to do your own selling if you want. For donations we take everything away for you. We align with specific charities including women’s shelters, homeless shelters,  animal shelters, food banks, refugee programs and community groups. For many items we use local op shops as well. 

How does the selling work?

It is great to declutter and get some pocket money at the same time. The Decluttering Co can advise whether an item is worth selling, and can help you sell your unwanted stuff online. We also do a lot of selling on our clients’ behalf, via Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Gumtree. In that case, we photograph, measure and list it on our own online account while we are with you. We leave the item in situ and send any interested parties your number. The two great things about that system are: (1) we weed out any time-wasters and usually you only get genuine enquiries (2) since we aren’t physically handling the item, we don’t charge any commission. In some instances we can remove the item for you – in particular if we are using eBay or a specialised onseller like an art auction house. We can also help get you ready for a garage sale and can even assist on the day.

Do you care about the environment?

Minimising waste and landfill is a huge priority for The Decluttering Co. We align with various charities to ensure very few items are wasted. Did you know that animal shelters need old towels, and that even old clothes can be repurposed as rags?We also visit recycling centres regularly to dispose of household items including paint, E waste, batteries, X-rays and much more. 

Can you help with deceased estates and house clearance?

The Decluttering Co is expert at clearing and organising deceased estates. We can sort through assets/chattels and have them sold and distributed in accordance with the family’s wishes.

Do you work with the NDIS?

Yes! The Decluttering Co’s services are covered by many NDIS plans. Participants include neurally and physically diverse clients, and we deal with parents and plan managers as well.  

DO YOU WORK WITH My Aged Care participants?

Certainly! Clients on My Aged Care plans may have accumulated a lot of stuff over their life and we are here to help minimise and organise it.

Can you help me style my home?

Definitely! Via the following strategies your home will receive a huge makeover: (1) remove all excess from cupboards and storage (2) declutter and find homes for everything on bench tops and floors (3) look at the functionality of the existing furniture placement. Are there clean lines and clear walkways? Could the furniture be updated to something more fit-for-purpose? (4) Add some finishing touches like decor and greenery to make the decluttered space truly shine. Perhaps even employ the Rule of Three. Rest assured that our home styling solutions are simple and cost-effective.

Do I need to be present for the decluttering?

A popular declutter FAQ! Yes We recommend that you are present when The Decluttering Co is dealing with your items, because everyone lives a bit differently. We want to ensure you get a tailored service and nothing important is discarded or left out of the process. In ongoing declutter sessions once we know your vision, your continued presence may not be as crucial.

Will you make me throw away my stuff?

Definitely not! We don’t make any decisions or assumptions on your behalf. We know that different items are important to different clients, and we help you to honour that, and to prioritise to get the overall outcome you want.

Can you help my friend / relative / partner declutter?

Of course! Gift vouchers are available. But if they are not willing and invested in the process it will be very difficult to make progress. We only work with clients who are ready and keen to accept help.

How long does a single session usually go for?

Sessions are booked for a minimum of four hours unless otherwise agreed. Depending on our schedule and your location we can do shorter sessions in some situations. Also we can do longer sessions, which may be necessary if you are moving house or otherwise keen to make fast progress.

What payment methods do you accept?

Payment by bank transfer, credit card or Paypal is required within two weeks or before your next session, which ever comes first. 

ARE YOU SIMILAR TO 'THE HOME EDIT' ON NETFLIX?

The Home Edit is an engaging series. Clea and Joanna do a wonderful job of culling (editing) goods and beautifying spaces. But (1) ‘Pinterest pretty’ can be different to real life,  (2) The compressed timeline and large team on the show gives the impression of a much speedier turnaround time than is often realistic (3) We try to work with what’s available in the space before purchasing storage bins. (4) We prefer you to be in the space or house while we work, so that you get a tailored solution. The show is made primarily for entertainment. However if you want colour-coordinated Tupperware or books arranged by colour, we are happy to make it happen. It is indeed, a very satisfying result to look at.

DO YOU HELP WITH SHIFTING HOUSE AND RELOCATION?

Shifting house is a stressful time, and The Decluttering Co will take some of your mental and physical load for you. We suggest a thorough declutter before your house goes on the market because decluttered homes look much more presentable. Not to mention the ease of shifting a smaller load. Then we can set you up properly in your new abode to create sensible and tailored access and storage solutions. Get in touch as early in the relocation process as possible, so we can maximise the benefit. But if you have already shifted and can’t fit everything in the cupboards, it’s never too late to ask for help.

Do you use the 'Marie Kondo' method?

We are not certified Marie Kondo consultants. However we have  consumed a lot of the KonMarie content so are very familiar with the method. We have some similar strategies.

DOES THE DECLUTTERING CO DO CLEANING OR RUBBISH REMOVAL?

We are not cleaners or rubbish removalists, but as part of a larger job we are happy to arrange those services. During a typical declutter session we wipe as we go, and we separate your categories of waste from your donations and precious items, so that they can all be dealt with appropriately.

A hanging assortment of dresses and striped tops are arranged neatly. Declutter FAQ