How your life, your family relationships and your mental wellbeing will benefit from having your home decluttered by a professional organiser

Hoarding. Picture: Shadwwulf at English Wikipedia (Wikimedia Commons)Hoarding. Picture: Shadwwulf at English Wikipedia (Wikimedia Commons)

Not so long ago, it would seem a little strange to get professional help to declutter your home. It's normal to be a bit untidy, you might think. You'll get around to tackling 'that' room/cupboard/corner when you've got a bit more time. Or maybe you know there really is too much mess, but it can't be helped - there simply isn't enough room for storage. And anyway, all those possessions are important to you - you simply couldn't get rid of them…..

These are exactly the reasons why many people do need a professional organiser to tackle the clutter and mess that has built up in their homes. The fact that they keep making excuses for it indicates that it does bother them, but they don't know what to do about it. Living in a messy, disorganised home is stressful and depressing, and the mess itself causes feelings of guilt and shame that they cannot even control their own living environment.

Natalie Hare is a professional declutterer and organiser based in Bideford, covering North Devon and beyond. She is all too familiar with this problem - and with the now widely recognised benefits of tackling it. She has enabled many people to clear the clutter from their homes and find ways to prevent it building up again. The relief, and the resulting improvement to their lives and mental wellbeing, is striking.

"I work with lots of families and individuals who have come to me because they have got to the point where life is chaos," she said. "They are struggling to find any calm when they walk in through the front door. For me personally, Mess equals Stress - stress that can lead to issues such as depression and anxiety. A lot of people will be suffering emotionally due to the environment they live in, and it can be really detrimental to family life and relationships."

Natalie Hare, professional declutterer and organiser.Natalie Hare, professional declutterer and organiser.

In fact, Natalie started her business because she wanted to help people whose inability to clear the clutter had deteriorated into actual hoarding, which is now recognised as a mental health disorder.

"I've worked in social care and housing for over 10 years now and have come across people in all walks of life," she said. "Often I was left frustrated with the lack of professional practical help for people who have gone beyond having clutter to an unsafe hoard. With overstretched NHS services, and hoarders not being identified, people have often gone under the radar and are left to struggle on in homes that are not functional. I wanted to help practically in an empathetic way and offer emotional support."

As a trained member of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, Natalie understands the often complex reasons for hoarding. Forcing someone to clear out their home all at once is not the answer. "To some, a pile of newspaper may seem like rubbish, but quite often there is an emotional attachment and a reason that those papers have been kept," she said. "It takes patience and baby steps. As much as people have thought they are helping someone by clearing, it often does more emotional damage."

In fact, the 'baby steps' principle applies to all levels of decluttering. One reason why mess builds up is because the thought of tackling it all in one go is overwhelming, and then that lack of action leads to more feelings of shame and embarrassment.

Hoarding. Picture: Shadwwulf at English Wikipedia (Wikimedia Commons)Hoarding. Picture: Shadwwulf at English Wikipedia (Wikimedia Commons)

"Clients have often taken weeks to make that first initial contact with me due to the fear of being judged," said Natalie. "This is why I always offer a free consultation, because if nothing else, it gives me the opportunity to reassure people and put them at ease. They aren't the only ones struggling to keep their heads above water. It's just that not many people share that fact.

"No matter where you live or what the dynamics are, there is always a way to simplify life and take a little pressure off. By introducing new systems and creating new habits, life can become easier. There is no shame in asking for help."

For further information please visit https://www.haretoorganise.co.uk. You can email Natalie at haretorganise@outlook.com or call 07528 172381.

Photo of hoarded possessions: Licensed by Wikimedia: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode