The word ‘clutter’ means “a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter: a state or condition of confusion”. Clearing clutter – helping clients to make decisions about, and then to dispose of (in a responsible and appropriate way), unwanted items – is undoubtedly one of the most important weapons in the artillery of the professional organiser. It is, however, not the whole story.
Put simply, it is perfectly possible to organise somebody without decluttering them; it is not possible to declutter effectively without implementing organisation. While many clients come to us for help with clutter – the visible manifestation of disorganisation – some problems relate not so much to unwanted and superfluous goods, as to the appropriate and sensible storage of the items that they wish to keep. Similarly, without the creation of workable processes and systems, tailored to the client’s needs, the problem of clutter is likely to return.
Decluttering is a vital organisational tool that is used probably more than any other, but it cannot stand on its own. You need to declutter before you can organise.
We would like to thank the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO) whose equivalent FAQs form the basis of the information above.