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FAQ's about Clutter Clearing

 

Clutter Clearing is probably very different to anything else you've seen on the TV or online.

 

Here is a list of common questions, with their answers, to help you decide whether you're ready to start your Clutter Clearing Journey.

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Q: My friends and family aren't supportive of me doing the Programme because I've always given up in the past. What would you suggest?

A:  Don't be too hard on them. If they haven't had a clutter challenge themselves, it's very hard for people to understand how difficult it is to deal with it.

 

They do care - people only get frustrated with us if they care - and they're probably not supportive because they know you want to clear it and they don't want you to fail again.

You can get support while you're on the programme either by joining a support group (in person or online), doing your weekly classes by joining Clare in her home in the UK, or having private 1-2-1 help and support from Clare on the telephone or skype when you do your weekly classes.

Your well meaning friends and family can always support you by taking things that YOU decide are going to charity shops, recycling or landfill, or even just by inviting you round for dinner after you've had a Clutter Clearing day so you don't have to cook.

 

Support doesn't always have to be specific to the actual clutter.

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Q:  I suffer from anxiety / depression. Will the programme still work for me?

A:  Yes - if you're kind to yourself and get the right support in place BEFORE you start your Clutter Clearing Journey.

Everyone on the programme struggles with impatience (!), but it's important we take it slowly precisely because even if you don't suffer from a pre-existing issue, going through your belongings that you may not have seen for years can cause anxiety / depression.

If you do suffer from any of the following, I recommend you contact a counsellor / therapist who you can see alongside following the programme, just to manage the stress that dealing with your clutter can cause.

  • Anxiety

  • Social Anxiety

  • Low self-esteem

  • Depression – either long term, severe or periodic bouts 

  • Weight issues / obesity

  • Schizophrenia

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • PTSD

  • Extreme Overwhelm

  • Isolation 

  • Parental relationship issues – either past or current - particularly with their relationship with their mother

  • Relationship issues – either past or current

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Q: What support will I receive whilst I'm on the programme?

A:       It depends on how you decide to follow the Programme.

If you decide to do the DIY Online Programme then you won't get any structured support - just the support of others who are also on the Programme and sharing their thoughts and experiences online.

If you decide to join a Clutter Buddy Support Group (maximum 4 people per group) you'll get weekly support from others in your group - either online or in person - as you share your experiences, successes and challenges at each step. You'll quickly know you're not alone, and you'll be inspired to keep going as others in your group may be further ahead in the Programme and can help and support you when you feel like giving up. Clare will give you personalised advice and guidance to help you overcome the challenges and stay motivated.

If you decide to have Private Clutter Buddy Support from Clare, you'll get weekly private support from just Clare - either online, on the telephone or in person - as you share your experiences, successes and challenges at each step with Clare. Clare will give you personalised advice and guidance to help you overcome the challenges and stay motivated.

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Q: How much time do I need to have to be able to follow the programme?

A: When you start with Step 1 you'll need to commit half a day a week to the Programme.

 

This slowly increases with each step until Step 6 where you'll need to be able to commit 2 full days and 3 half days a week.

Don't panic if you can't commit that much time right now.

Just take this one step at a time.

Can you commit half a day a week to the Programme for the next 12 weeks? If the answer is yes then don't put it off - start now!

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Q: How much will it cost to follow the programme?

A: It depends what level of support you want

 

The first step of the 7 Step Programme is completely free for everyone.

Once you move onto the second step, the cost will depend on which options you choose.

EVERYONE requires access to the DIY Online Programme = £197 / $246 per month

Optional Extras:

  • Clutter Buddy Support Group = £20 / $25 per week

  • Private 1-2-1 Support from Clare = £60 / $75 per week

  • Weekly Clutter Classes = £75 per week (UK only)

  • Monthly Resource Pack = £97 per month.

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Q: I'm selling / need to sell my home / move ASAP. Can I speed up the Programme?

A: I'm afraid not.

Putting ourselves under a time pressure for clearing our clutter increases our sense of anxiety, which reduces our ability to make clear, informed decisions, learn new habits and clear our clutter at a comfortable pace.

If you haven't yet sold or got a date for moving, I'd strongly recommend you postpone it until you've cleared your clutter.

Yes that may be 12 - 18 months, but as soon as you have a time pressure, you're likely to fail. If you have already sold your home or got a moving date, your only real option is to put your clutter into off-site self storage.

BUT - and it's a big but.....

Commit to starting the Clutter Clearing 7 Step Programme within a month of moving so that you can work on that clutter in off-site self storage, otherwise it will simply be 'out of sight, out of mind', not of the clutter causing habits will change, and you'll clutter up your new home and be back to square 1 - or worse because now it's in your home AND your self storage unit which is costing your money.

People in this situation usually join a Clutter Buddy Support Group or have Private 1-2-1 Support from Clare to make sure they are accountable to actually starting the programme within a month of moving because all Clutterholics know what it's like to have good intentions but never actually follow through with the action!

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Q: I'm going on holiday for 2 weeks in a couple of months but want to start now. Can I still start the Programme?

A: Absolutely.

The only time I'd suggest you don't start the Programme if if you're a month or less away from a holiday, or if you're going away for more than 2 weeks.

 

In a couple of months you can have realistically completed Step 1 - Understanding your Clutter - and be onto Step 2 - Controlling Your Financial, Paperwork and E-mail Clutter.

 

If you are following the DIY Online Programme then you'll have access to all the online videos when you get back.

 

If you've joined a Clutter Buddy Support Group, either online or in person, you may be away when it's half term or end of term anyway. We'll still be here when you get back!

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Q: I'm following another decluttering programme / course. Can I do this programme as well?

A: I wouldn't recommend it.

The Clutter Clearing 7 Step Programme is very different to anything else you'll find and will teach you concepts, principles and methods that you won't get anywhere else. 

So to follow more than one programme at a time would be a conflict. It would be confusing as to what you're learning and doing for which programme, and would zap your time and energy.

As you will learn on the programme, one of the big challenges that clutterholics and hoarders have is that they don't focus and finish one thing at a time. Trying to do more than one course at a time is an example of this.

Much better to focus on one programme at a time. Finish the other programme / course, and if that doesn't work then start your Clutter Clearing Journey.
 

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Q: I don't have any transport to get rid of the clutter. Can you help with that?

A: Yes - but let's think about other, cheaper (or free) options.

Firstly let's change the words you're using.

We're not 'getting rid' of clutter. We're letting go and passing it on. That's much kinder words to use. Getting rid of clutter sounds harsh and as if you don't care, and I'm sure you do care about the things in your clutter.

 

The Clutter Clearing Programme doesn't involve home visits from Clare, unless you choose to complete the programme with that option which, for most people, is prohibitively expensive.

There are, however, lots of ways you can get help to transport clutter to it's new home. Examples include:

  • Asking friends, family or neighbours to help by taking things for you. This is a great way they can help you WITHOUT being involved in the decision making

  • Many local charities will collect items for free. You just need to call them and book a collection

  • Contacting your local council as they often do a bulk collection service for a small fee

  • Freecycling. There are websites where you can list items for people to come and collect them if they want them. NOTE: I do not recommend this if you live alone.

  • Local Freecycling. Putting unwanted items on your boundary with a sign that says 'FREE - please give a new home' is often a quick, simple and easy way to let go of things you no longer need.

  • Local nurseries, schools, community organisations. Nurseries are often very happy to receive children's toys. Schools are often grateful of books for their library. Community organisations often appreciate excess food, toiletries, kitchen utensils and furniture. And they'll all come and collect from you if they want what you're giving away!

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Q: I feel very alone and isolated with my clutter and I'd really like to get away from it. Can I do that on the Programme?

A: Absolutely, and it doesn't matter where you live in the world, you can connect and get supported by others.

The trouble with clutter is that we need to work on the clutter to deal with it, which for most people means they have to stay at home. And if we already feel very alone and isolated because of the clutter, working on it can just exacerbate that problem.

The Clutter Clearing 7 Step Programme has several ways it can help you feel less alone and isolated.

  • You can join a Clutter Buddy Support Group - either in person at Clare's home in Banbury, Oxfordshire or online via skype - so that you meet others on the 7 Step Programme (maximum 4 people per group). That way you won't feel so alone and isolated, and it gives you a chance to share your experiences, challenges and successes with people who truly understand what it's like to deal with clutter. They'll also help inspire and motivate you as you hear their experiences, challenges and successes which may sound very familiar!

  • When you get to Step 2 of the Programme, you can join the weekly Finance, Paperwork and E-mail Clutter Class with Clare at her home in Banbury, Oxfordshire. That way you get away from your clutter at home, bring some of it to her home to work on, and literally leave your paperwork Clutter at Clare's home each week so she can do the shredding and recycling. You will literally going home to a less cluttered home every week.

  • You can have Private 1-2-1 Clutter Buddy Support from Clare every week - either in person at Clare's home in Banbury, Oxfordshire or online via skype - to share your experiences, challenges and successes, get Clare's personalised advice for your particular challenges, and perhaps share more than you would in a group situation.

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Q: I'm a hoarder. Will the Programme still work for me?

 

A: Yes - but you'll need a bit of extra help.

 

Hoarders follow the same 7 step Programme but with 6 key differences:

 

  • The hoarder must have a home assessment from Clare before being accepted on the Programme to ensure they are aware of the time commitment required, and the fact that the Programme involves slowly letting go of SOME of the things in their clutter

  • The hoarder must have at least one form of support person who can attend the weekly home visits from Clare, plus check on them in-between the weekly home visits to help with any to-do list items resulting from their weekly sessions e.g. supportive friend, family member or neighbour, social worker, support worker

  • The hoarder must agree to achieving realistic, managable monthly and quarterly goals to work towards to remain on the Programme. e.g. to have reduced the amount of paperwork in their hallway by 50%, to have reduced their weekly spending by 50%, to keep clear an area of floor that has been cleared

  • The hoarder must have arranged weekly therapy / counselling for the duration of the Programme - 12 to 18 months - so that they get the appropriate support to deal with the mental clutter that following the Programme will 'stir up'

  • The hoarder must have weekly home visits for 3 hours from Clare ​and their support person so that Clare can help them in their home, show them how to do things, how the support person can appropriately support them at each step, recognise progress, and take away any items that are being let go of

  • The hoarder must have successfully completed a minimum of 4 weekly therapy / counselling sessions before starting to get Clare's weekly home visits

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Got a question that isn't answered above?

Contact me and ask me.

 

To get a quicker response to your question or query, then I recommend you do any of the following:

  • Check the FAQ page on this website. The answer may be there. Click here >>

  • Search this website to see if I've already written a blog post that answers your question

  • Click on the youtube icon above - I may have recorded a video already that answers your question

  • Please avoid medical questions. I'm not a doctor or a therapist so I'm not qualified (or insured!) to give advice about how to treat any particular medical issues. Ask your doctor to help you answer those questions.

  • If you still want to contact me, please keep your e-mails as brief as possible so I can help as many people as possible.

  • Please don't e-mail me telling me your life story. I know that sounds heartless, but if you decide to join a Support Group or have Private 1-2-1 Support from me then you'll get at opportunity to share your experiences then, and you'll be able to share with other clutterholics when you start your 7 Step Programme.

  • If you decide to start the 7 Step Programme then you may get answers to some of your questions while you're on it.

Contact Clare