Cutting the clutter

We’ve watched professional organisers help celebrities and everyday clients contain their overflowing cupboards. Now, Bengaluru is seeing a rising demand for ‘decluttering professionals’ who are transforming homes and lives – one space at a time
Smriti Bhatia’s SortStory offers a range of services- from setting up new spaces to reorganising existing spaces
Smriti Bhatia’s SortStory offers a range of services- from setting up new spaces to reorganising existing spaces

BENGALURU: Many times the scattered overwhelming lives we live can lead us into a state of chaos. Get up, get ready, go to work, cook, and somehow manage to ‘keep it all together’. In all of this, one might not have the time or the willpower to organise their daily life. This need, along with the rise in popularity of OTT shows like Get Organised With The Home Edit, has led to an increase in demand for professionals who help people declutter their homes.

Aparna Rao, a freelance marketing consultant, sought decluttering services during her third consecutive move in three years. “I was overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I had to manage. So, I thought it would be better to work with experts. They helped me make decisions on what needs to be kept, what needs to be given away or donated, and helped me organise what’s remaining,” she says, adding, “I feel not only materially organised but also emotionally relieved.”

As Smriti Bhatia, founder of SortStory, puts it, “Chaos leads to a cluttered mind. For a calm mind, it’s important to have calm surroundings.” Alongside mental benefits, she emphasises that a well-organised space is pocket-friendly and time-saving because you can see everything and avoid overbuying. Bhatia, who started her journey around 2020 says that the demand for experts like her has risen due to more awareness from social media and OTT shows.

Along with existing and new homes, she also offers services to small office spaces and helps empty nesters (older couples whose children have moved away) declutter their spaces. “Complete home setups, especially for new homes, have the maximum demand. Sometimes, we also get involved in the planning stages to understand the client’s lifestyle and suggest suitable spaces. Our prices range from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2 lakh, depending on the space being organised,” says Bhatia.

Declutter experts often seek active participation from clients to offer suitable solutions to their needs
Declutter experts often seek active participation from clients to offer suitable solutions to their needs

Priyanka Joseph, one of the few certified KonMari (pioneered by Japanese professional organiser Marie Kondo) Consultants in the country and founder of Mindful Spaces, began her professional journey in 2019, inspired by Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Joseph’s approach, like Bhatia’s, also involves active client participation.

“We go through the fundamental principles together, like understanding how to store things efficiently or questioning why you have five sets of bed linen when you only need two. It’s not something they can outsource,” she explains, saying that sometimes it’s difficult for her clients to let things go. “People can be resistant to let go of things. I don’t force them. But as I work with them, they themselves realise that they don’t need as much as they think they do,” recounts Joseph.

Midhu Luke, a corporate professional, also found decluttering challenging and saw it as a spiritual experience. “I needed to make space for new things but letting go of things is very difficult for me. After packing and keeping things aside, I have gone back and taken things out because I couldn’t let go. I used to think it was a mistake so I thought sharing this with a larger community would help,” shares Luke, who started posting tips she learned on her social media recently.

Luke also plans to launch a four-week social challenge to encourage others to declutter. “The power of community is important. It helps you get up and do things even when you don’t feel like it,” she emphasises, adding that decluttering is not about throwing away things but realising that some things no longer serve ‘a tangible purpose in our lives’.

Small steps, Big Changes

Decide that you are going to do it and allocate time in your schedule, just like you would for the gym. Dedicate specific times to decluttering

Tackle one category at a time. Spend an hour going through all your clothes, then move on to the next category, such as kitchen items

Whenever you pull out something, don’t just put it back anywhere. Put it back where you picked it from. It’s the simplest and most effective way to remain organised.

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The New Indian Express