Make Space: Decluttering

Decluttering projects typically begin with a phone call from a client feeling somewhat overwhelmed. They may be in the process of downsizing or have had a life change such as children leaving home or retirement, or they may just be struggling to maintain control of the detritus of everyday life. It is also a normal first step in the interior design process once you have decided you want to redecorate a room or move house.

On this occasion, our client had a number of things all happen at once, including moving to a smaller property and her children moving out. She found herself in a very common situation, with furniture that was far too big for her new home and piles of possessions that she didn’t know what to do with throughout the house, in the garage and in the shed.

It can be incredibly hard to make a start sorting through the residue of everyday life when much of what is in front of you is associated with friends and family, projects, travels and special moments in the past. This is where decorbuddi, Amy, was able to help. With her gentle, persuasive approach, she spent a number of sessions with the client, methodically working through each item and deciding what to keep and what to sell, give or throw away.

When she arrived, the walls were bare and there were 40 pieces of artwork sitting on the floor. Together, they appraised each piece and decided which the client still loved enough to keep. Then they grouped the art into collections that would work together in each area of the house before arranging for them to be rehung in their new positions.

It is amazing to think that such a short time after we took the first phone call, the floor is now clear and they have a plan for all the items that are still stored.

One of the advantages of working with someone who does this regularly is that they also know how to go about arranging for all of the unwanted pieces to be disposed of in the best way. Amy arranged for charities, such as the British Heart Foundation, to come and collect the items that could be re-loved. She organised for a van to come and collect the bulky pieces that had no real value to be taken to the tip to be recycled, repurposed or destroyed as appropriate. Finally, they collected a number of items that could be sold on e-bay and, as the client had not used e-bay before, Amy set it all up.

At the end of all this, there is a wonderful sense of achievement for everybody. The client has the benefit of a beautifully organised new home, surrounded by the possessions that give her the most joy or serve a useful purpose in her life. The unwanted items have mainly gone on to live new lives, with family, friends, charities and people who found them on e-bay. Most of all there is a new sense of space and the relief of having it all sorted.