D – Why does the ‘Let go – Move on’ program consist of 5 steps?

Decluttering can be a very positive and productive experience, an opportunity to learn about yourself and your values, and to make real and positive changes not only in your home but also in your life.

To make this work, you need a systematic approach, – the 5-Step ‘Let go – Move on’ Program:

Step 1 – Get started
Before you start to do anything you have to become well aware of where you are now and why you want to change (your home/your life), you have to determine where you want to be tomorrow, and you have to plan how to get there.

Having a deep understanding of your current situation, your values and your vision will enable you to make the right decisions later in the process and to get and stay focused and motivated on your declutter journey.

Step 2 – Map the space
If you wish to change your living situation, you first have to understand its current condition and core elements. That’s why it makes sense to get to know your home and your belongings better.

And you should not forget to have closer look at the most important ‘element’ of your home: you! You alone – your needs, dreams, ideas, beliefs, capabilities – determine the purpose and the success of the decluttering project.

Step 3 – Plan for action
Decluttering is a strenuous physical activity, is mentally demanding, often gets very emotional and takes time. Your want to avoid feeling overwhelmed even before you start or losing momentum during the process.

Thus, it is important to prepare and plan the work carefully and realistically. A detailed action plan will guide you safely through the sorting and organising process.

Step 4 – Let go
Now you do the physical work: Sorting, decluttering, and organising.

You take all your belongings out and sort them into categories. And then you make decisions, based on and guided by the insights you gained in Step 1 to 3. You choose what you wish to keep and how you want to organise it. And you decide what you no longer need and how to discard it.

Step 5 – Move on
After the hard work is done and the clutter is sorted out, it’s time to celebrate! And then, when the party is over, you want to make sure that you continue on the chosen path.

Maintenance of the new and clutterfree order in your home (and in your mind) is key to long term success. New routines and habits and regular checks will help to keep you on track.

READ MORE about the 5 STEPS

H – What happens with the things I decide to throw out or give away?

Most decluttering/organising sessions during ‘Step 4 – Getting active’ end with piles of things that you decided to get rid of: household items that are damaged or useless, or duplicates; clothes you no longer wear; expired food stuff; books you no longer want to keep; etc.

We’ll sort these things into different categories and organise their disposal:

  • dropping bags at a charity store,
  • offering things to your family/friends,
  • throwing stuff into rubbish and recycling bins,
  • etc.

I – Do you take ‘Before’ and ‘After’ photos?

Yes, I take ‘before’ and ‘after’ images while I am working with my clients on their change projects.

However, I never share photos of a client project publicly, – they have been taken in my clients’ very private sphere and refer to a very personal situation, and I feel they have to remain just that – private reminders of a very personal change experience.

We usually take ‘before’-photographs in ‘Step 2 – Mapping the space’ of the ‘Let go – Move on’ program.

During the course of the project, they help you to move on whenever exhaustion sets in and motivation levels go down.

At the end of the project, these images prove the success of your hard work: You can compare them with the ‘after’-photos which we take when the hands-on decluttering in ‘Step 4 – Getting active’ has been finished.

E – I have a friend/family member who struggles in a life-change situation. Can I book you to assist them?

I firmly believe that nobody can ‘arrange’ change for someone else.

Even if we desperately wish to help someone who is suffering and struggling in a situation or even crisis of a huge life transition, – we are definitely not the ones who can’t clear the situation for them.

Your friend/family member is the only person who can decide to tackle and manage the challenge.

Ask your friend/family member if they agree to get to know me – I’m well prepared to come to their place for a short meeting, so that we can discuss the many benefits of the ‘Sorting out – Letting go’ process.

If after our conversation they agree to start working on their change challenge, I’ll be happy to support  your friend/family member on their journey into the new phase of their life.

However, if there is still resistance or hesitation, we all should accept that starting a change project at this point in time doesn’t make sense.

G – Do you expect me to throw out everything during the decluttering phase of the process?

Definitely not!

It’s your life, your change project, and it’s your stuff – you are the only person to decide what you wish to keep and what you no longer need!

It’s my experience, though, that we all keep too many things longer than we need and use them.

The 5-step ‘Let go – Move on’ program (READ MORE) enables you to sort out your physical and emotional clutter in a very systematic way. 

Before you declutter anything, you take the time to thoroughly evaluate and ‘understand’ your belongings. You ‘study’ anything you own – especially the clutter –  and explore its former meaning and value. Now – based on your goals for the next phase of your life – you consider and decide what’s of current and future value to you. These are the things you keep. Knowing  for sure what still has value to you  helps to loosen your attachment to the objects and issues of your past, sort them out and let them go. Then you are free to move on with your life, with confidence.

F – Should I clear up before we meet at my house?

No, please, don’t do any clearing or sorting before we meet!

It’s important that we get a clear picture of the current situation because that’s the starting point of the 5-step ‘Let go – Move on’ program.

We will use especially ‘Step 1 – Getting started’, but also ‘Step 2 – Mapping the space’, to get a profound understanding of where you are now and where you wish to go. ‘Step 3 – Planning for action’ will help us to develop a strategy for the decluttering process.

Only then, when we exactly know what you wish and need to do, we are ready for ‘Step 4 – Getting active’: Working side-by-side we sort out your physical and emotional clutter, so that you can move on into the new (clutter-free) phase of your life.

C – I feel a bit worried about my privacy and safety – usually, I don’t invite a stranger into my home.

Yes, I can absolutely understand your worries – I feel the same about strangers in our house.

You home is your very private space and you should feel absolutely safe and comfortable with me before we start working together on your life-change project.

Have a look at the information I offer about my personal and professional background to learn more about me.

And if you wish to get to know me personally before we start working together, we can arrange a short meeting at your place (around 30 minutes). During the meeting you’ll get to know me well enough to make a confident decision about my trustworthiness and whether you’d like to work with me on your change project.

As a member of the Institute of Professional Organisers, I abide by its Code of Conduct, and I also hold public liability insurance.

I also work under a strict confidentiality arrangement, so no one will ever get to know anything about your home or your situation. Besides me, no one will know that you’re one of my clients.

B – What is clutter?

‘Clutter’ can be defined as any obsolete object “that weighs you down, distracts you, or depletes your energy”. It “is symbolic of your attachment to something from the past that must be released in order to make room for change”. (Julie Morgenstern)

Our personal situation and perception determine what clutter is – it can mean something different for every individual. Clutter can be anything that you keep/store although it no longer serves you: you don’t like it, you don’t need it, you don’t use it.

Clutter may – for example – consist of items that

  • don’t belong or don’t fit into your spaces
  • don’t have a ‘permanent home’
  • are not/no longer used
  • are broken/damaged
  • don’t add value to your life
  • you are storing for someone else
  • prevent you from using the space for its intended purpose

Clutter takes your time, energy and space without offering any real benefit to you. Living in a cluttered environment can be very stressful and harmful to our general well-being, mental health and social relationships.This is true at any time of your life, thus it’s important to keep an eye on your clutter-levels on a continuous basis.

However, getting rid of clutter is an absolute necessity whenever you find yourself in a situation of personal change. Your physical and emotional clutter holds you back. It’s very difficult or even impossible to move forward, into a new phase of your life, if you are surrounded by too much stuff that’s related to the past and no longer useful.

Let go of the clutter, and move on!

LEARN MORE – The 5 steps of the ‘Let Go – Move On’ program