Around about a year ago, I was contacted by a charity who had a client on their books, they wanted me to help. For the purposes of the story, we will call her Kate.

Kate was in a terrible state.  Not only did she have to care for her mentally ill daughter, which had badly affected her own mental health, but she had also been unemployed for a time (having worked all her life) and her house was neglected.  With no funds coming in and money going out, things were looking dismal for Kate.  Kate was living between two bedrooms with some of her bedroom contents in the living room.  Unable to sleep well, she was struggling to hold things together.  The house was cold, soulless and everything felt stuck in a mixture of fear and turmoil.  Kate’s paperwork was also out of control, with files and folders everywhere, it was hard to see the wood for the trees. Kate knew she had to get this problem solved, but this wasn’t just about a tidy up, as she said, “I need to find someone to declutter my house.”

So that is what I set about doing.

As someone who works instinctively, I suggested to Kate that we should start in the living room, trying to make it more organised with a place for everything and everything in its place.  Kate loves handbags and we discovered that she had them in various parts of the house.  All handbags were brought upstairs and placed in a trunk, which had been sitting empty.  Clothing was gone through, with many items donated (Kate was much smaller now and did not need her larger sized items). Beauty products either chucked away or wiped clean and placed in a box.

But, for me, the paperwork was something that I felt needed urgent attention.  There were bits of paper everywhere, lots of notes and lists and lots of flyers. Like many of my clients, Kate struggles to open the post, fearing the worst, I guess, so I opened all the unopened mail, put it into order, destroying anything not needed and then made a list of what I felt needed to be attended to.  This list was sent to Kate; it’s a list we still have on the go, a way of keeping order.

We worked systematically throughout the house, removing anything we could find for charity which I took away to be donated.

But the biggest push in decluttering the entire house was to come.  The garage.  I don’t know anyone who hasn’t got a cupboard, closet or a garage of doom!  Kate’s was no different, full of broken fridges, tools, bikes and everything in between, we systematically worked through it, identifying what could stay and what should go.  This involved the cunning use of yellow stickies.

Anything that could be let go of, got a stickie, we were about to call in the cavalry. Kate was going for it.

Once finished in the garage, we moved on into the rest of the house, stickering up anything that was to be removed.  I then messaged my favourite house disposal guy, Rob Nash @Coastalclearance to see what he would charge to remove all the items we had flagged up but also a cooker and a dishwasher.

We then had the carpets ripped up and the whole house deep cleaned.

Kate’s initial prayer of “I wish I could find someone to declutter my house” had gone to new levels. This wasn’t just about the home, it was about the state of Kate’s mind.

And what came next was outstanding.

Kate found her voice again, she took pride in her appearance, started to eat more healthily, her house looks better, no more clutter and in turn, Kate’s mental and physical health have turned around.  She is not the person I first met, she is a much happier person, one with joy in her heart and hope for the future.

Oh, and guess what? She got herself a boyfriend and a job (she’s just passed her three-month probation with flying colours).

By putting out the plea to find someone to declutter my house, Kate found more than that, she re-found herself.

With Love




Elizabeth McPherson


07932 945738