Spring clean your life

PUBLISHED: 09:48 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:48 20 February 2013

If you cannot keep a shoe rack tidy try having a big basket and put walking shoes, gym shoes etc into it.

If you cannot keep a shoe rack tidy try having a big basket and put walking shoes, gym shoes etc into it.

Decluttering your home not only frees up space but makes you feel better too, according to expert Emma Fletcher, from Buckingham

Hands up all of us who sometimes feel rather overwhelmed by clutter in our homes - whether its down to papers piled up in the study or simply messy children? Sometimes dont you wish you could simply wave a magic wand and it could all be tidied away - or even disappear? Well Emma Fletcher from Buckingham has made it her business to do just that. She is a professional declutterer and for just 35 an hour she can help you bag up your old belongings and take numerous bin liners to the tip before you can shake a feather duster at her. Youd be amazed how much you can get done once you get going. We can clear a room in as little as half an hour, says the no-nonsense Emma. But if the thought of someone watching over you while you rifle through years of personal detritus, Emma has words of comfort. Of course people are embarrassed at first but its rather like getting on the weighing scales in public. Once youve done it, you feel OK about it and want to take action.But Emmas services are not for the faint-hearted. We dont just tidy. We put everything out on the floor and go through things item by item, she says, and youre advised to have a thorough clean afterwards.Emma also believes its good to have a dispassionate approach to clutter. If a dress doesnt do anything for a client it goes into the bin liner, she says, adding: Because Im a stranger I can be totally objective. Next Emma will suggest ways of reorganising items and recommend storage solutions. (See panel below.)When the session is over Emma also takes the unwanted clutter away. Much of whats collected goes to charity shops or she may even sell them at car boot fairs, giving the proceeds back to the owners. Clients can even specify which charity they would like to benefit. Thats the best part of the experience for most people, says Emma, just seeing me drive off with my car full of their old junk. It can be really liberating. Very often Emma is called in when people are going through major emotional upheavals in their lives, such as after a death or divorce. The whole process of sorting everything out can be really emotional, but at the end of the day its always really liberating and they feel so much better for it.

Emmas top tips for storage solutions

Think top to bottom. If you only use something once a year, put it in the attic or at the back of a cupboard. Use your suitcases to store unused items.

Encourage your children to put things away by providing them with fun, squishy colourful storage solutions. These bags are wonderful and can be easily kept out of the way in a corner or under a table. Storage Stuff Bag/Animal Storage Boxes www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk

Store out of season clothing in hand press vacuum bags from www.theholdingcompany.co.ukor www.johnlewis.co.uk

If you cannot keep a shoe rack tidy try having a big basket and put walking shoes, gym shoes etc into it. Try the Tetbury shoe console or storage chests from www.thecotswoldcompany.co.uk

Polka dot toy tidy from www.dotcomgiftshop.com

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