The short answer is no, professional decluttering isn’t like the TV shows.
Even the decluttering TV shows aren’t exactly as they appear!
I have had the fortune to meet and belong to communities of professional organisers who have worked on shows like Peter Walsh’s Space Invaders and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and it’s been really interesting to learn what happens behind the scenes.
Firstly, there is more “off camera” help than is shown. Often there is a local professional organiser who is working 1:1 with the homeowner, not just the celebrity organiser. Which makes sense, but for some reason I was really surprised when I first learned this.
Secondly, a longer timeframe is often involved than is shown on the TV. Whilst it sometimes is possible to do an “intensive declutter”, more often than not people need time to declutter at their own pace. We find that weekly sessions can work best as our clients often need time to regroup, make decisions and do “homework” between sessions.
Also, I find that sometimes the celebrity organisers on TV (not necessarily those listed above) can be appear too aggressive. Verging on the edge of bullying the homeowners involved.
I believe the professionals involved have every intention to be sensitive to the homeowners. And perhaps things are taken out of context and/or “blown up” for the camera. I know Matt Paxton, who worked on the show Hoarders, has publicly acknowledged that he might do things differently now, and not necessarily work in such a short time frame with people who were vulnerable.
So, to recap, often “real” professional decluttering differs quite a bit from what you see on TV. It is generally more of a tailored approach, finding a process that works for you, your energy levels and schedule.
It can still result in dramatic “before and after” results but without all the drama!
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