Chloe Wright spends her days clearing out hoarders’ homes and getting rid of years worth of mouldy food, dust balls and even dead rodents.
While her job is far from glamorous, what she does makes a huge difference to the lives of the people she helps – many of whom have mental health issues.
The 39-year-old, from Frome, Somerset, who runs Goddess Organising, is known for her spotless homes and meticulous organisational skills and is called in to overhaul master bedrooms, kitchens and garages – but she’s also been asked to tackle teenagers’ messy bedrooms.
She said: “Ninety percent of my clients admit to having postnatal depression, ADHD or mental health problems, anxiety or stress, and that’s why their homes are the way they are, because they can’t face tidying it, while copying with kids, work and stress, then it becomes so big, that it’s too overwhelming.
“What I do isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity for people. People want others to say it’s OK, you’ve got this disorder, so don’t be ashamed of it. It’s an emergency service, it’s for people who really need it to make themselves feel better.
“I also work with self-employed people who are too busy to worry about how messy the garage is, full-time working single parents who are struggling to juggle work, kids and life, and many others.
“People often feel embarrassed they need to hire an organiser. That’s why I post before and after pictures, to show people they’re not alone.
“I offer decluttering tips and life hacks to help clients keep their homes organised, clutter-free and a peaceful haven for them and their families.
“Every story is different. There are people whose homes have just run away from them and they need me to come in and press the reset button.
“Hoarding is the obsessive need to hang onto things because you’re worried that you may need it one day.”
Chloe shares some of her most impressive before and after photos to show potential customers who may be embarrassed to ask for help that they are not alone.
Chloe started her business three years as she needed to make some extra cash but wanted a job that would fit around her young son.
Now, her prices start at £140 a day depending on the job.
She said: “I do come up against a lot of mouldy food, huge dust balls like you wouldn’t believe, dead rodents and funnily enough sex toys.”
Chloe says her job is all about clearing out the rubbish to make room for the loved, used and needed.
“Once a room is decluttered, I can be left to organise it into a more logical fashion.
“I will deep clean each area ready for the new items to find their permanent homes. And then it’s onto the fun bit, the unveiling of the room to the client. This is usually where I get cried on!
“I have been described as a whirlwind, superwoman and the obvious one, a true goddess.”
The super-organiser says although she doesn’t have counselling training, her clients confide in her, so she helps them to process their feelings and encourages them to say goodbye to some beloved items.
Chloe added: “For most people, being locked down in homes that suppressed them and increased their already stressed minds became the tipping point.”
Soon Chloe’s clients started sharing their stories of how she changed their homes and mentally lifted a huge weight of their shoulders.
Chloe said: “On our initial contact, my customers are shy, withdrawn and apologetic. They feel the need to justify why they need my help.
“We all need help with something in our lives after all. I also get cried on a lot.
“Having a stranger arrive who won’t judge, who is solely there to help and promises to make everything go away, tends to open the flood gates of desperation, relief and gratitude.
“So many clients cry when I say it is doable. For them to know that someone is going to come in and take over is massive.
“To know that tomorrow all the clutter will be gone and left in a more logical and clean organised way is life changing.”
But Chloe says her decluttering plan only works if the client is completely on board with the process.
She explains: “Most average size and cluttered rooms take a day to do. I do have one client whose house may take the rest of the year.
“So far, each bedroom has taken two-and-a-half days to complete – and the entire large three-bedroom house is filled with stuff.
“I usually have the clients work alongside me as I need them to have an input in the decision making of what stays and what goes.
“By touching each item they either feel emotions or they don’t and they soon recognise the items that mean a lot to them and the ones that are just clutter.
“The physical and mental energy that is involved in a day’s decluttering is exhausting for all so the idea of having to do this again is off putting enough not to creep stuff back to their lives.”
But one of the most important parts of Chloe’s home overhauls is talking to clients about the importance of changing their mindset, so they do not slip back into old habits.
Chloe’s decluttering tips
Open your curtains and make your bed as soon as you get up in the morning.
Only keep what is needed, loved and useful.
Everything should have a “home” and put it back into its “home” straight away.
Do it straight away.
Make every minute count.
Avoid bulk buying.
Buy something new, get rid of something old.
Group like-for-like items together (especially in the kitchen cupboards)
Do your weekly shop online. This way you won’t buy “just incase” and you won’t be tempted by the in-store offers so you’ll save money too.
Keep the top of wardrobes and cupboards clear – anything above head height creates a heavy, suppressive and dark feeling when you enter.
To clean and clear in bite-size pieces, breaking down each job into manageable sections.