This is where we publish feedback received from clients.

Clutter bus postcard

This first one was written on the back of the Clutter Bus postcard.

Clutter bus

This one's from Moira:

I'm making good progress with the study, so feel I should be able to complete it on my own, thanks. The effect of your visit was to energise me and give me more enthusiasm for the task; also optimism that it could be completed and that other people could benefit from it.

So what you gave me was a different mind set towards it, which is working! So I really appreciated your visit and benefitted from it. Thank you. Many thanks for your positive approach to my clutter!

Best wishes Moira.

Hidden treasures in the loft

It was the evening of day five. I was de-cluttering ostensibly my home, but in reality my life, with Phil. We came home from an enjoyable meal out and went up into the loft to do a recce. I had never been there and it was full of stuff. The house had first been my mother's, then my daughter's, now mine. It was a good day's work, but the couple of pints I had had with dinner left me optimistic for the morrow.

 

Phil presented me with box after box. The choice was simple: keep, discard, don't know. Memories, emerged from virtually every one, my father's evening dress starched waistcoat, photographs of Lisa and her first boyfriend, whom she could no longer name, but whose photos she could not throw out, broken graceful wooden ornaments my mother had lovingly wrapped in tissue paper, to be . . . later, and placed in a Harrods box, endless boxes of books, and dusty chandeliers that need to be cleaned and taken to the "right" place, because there is "money" in them. From time to time an object would trigger a memory that would trigger an emotion that would trigger a feeling and I would drop the task in hand and be caught in a drama of 40 - 50 years ago. It was here that Phil slipped from professional organiser and became therapist; allowing me to visit the drama, but not permitting me to indulge in it, and guide me through to my present moment experience and then gently bring me back to the task in hand. The result was that I was invariably able to return to the starting point with a fresh mind that was capable of making an informed decision freely without any sense of being rushed or coerced. We were working with live raw data, in a dusty cold loft, with the gentleness and compassion one would only expect in the therapist's consulting room. That was not only magical it was tremendously healing. I could call time out whenever I wanted - and I did. Phil never said no. Only once or twice, can you manage one more box; or if you prefer I'll bring it to you downstairs - recognising that I may have become oppressed by my immediate environment. More than once I looked around me and saw chaos; boxes everywhere, all jumbled up, full with empty, sorted and unsorted. Before I could voice any concern Phil was saying I know what everything is and where it's going, it's O.K. And that was all I needed to hear.

By the time we were nearing the end an even more valuable insight was beginning to dawn on me. I had not for probably 35 years had as much knowledge of what was in my house, where it was and what the hidden treasure, or demons were. Now I knew it all. And with that came a real sense of being in charge of my life. I no longer had to negotiate the unknown obstacle in my path. The stuff that was out of sight and out of conscious awareness was very much present in my unconscious and I now knew what it was and had dared to bring much of it into my awareness, thus giving myself a real sense of belonging in my house and space in my being.

 

We first arranged two days, which was extended to a third. We then arranged a second visit of two days, which was again extended to a third day. Had Phil told me the job would take six days I would have said no. If we had stuck to the task and not taken time out for me to feel the emotions and process the feelings it would have taken no more than four to four and a half days, and I would not have had the insights or healing I had. And I would have probably felt raw about the edges at the harshness of many of the decisions to let go of objects with no practical use but of considerable sentimental value. Had he said what six days would cost up front I would have said no. But to do the work that was done to achieve the personal growth I did would have probably taken three years in therapy at a considerably higher cost. At some level Phil was holding all that, and since the process was evolving as the work continued, he was constantly revising and adjusting the plan, while still retaining the desire for completion even if it was not what had originally been intended. It was a great and liberating piece of work.

Michael Homfray-Davies

Rtd Employment Judge