Look: the decluttering expert, hailed as the British Marie Kondo, has seen her business explode since the pandemic.
Decluttering expert, who has been hailed as UK version of Marie Kondo, earns £ 30 an hour cleaning people’s homes, like on hit Netflix show To do the housework.
Rachel Burditt, 40, of Lutterworth, Leicestershire, turned her tidying habit into a business and now spends her days helping messy customers tidy up their wardrobes, their kitchens and their lives.
The mum-of-two saw some pretty gruesome sights, encountering everything from mountains of chicken poop to month-old takeout leftovers hidden under sofas, and even a living mouse climbing into her jacket.
Despite some unpleasant discoveries, Burditt, who lives with her banker husband James, 45, has worked his magic on some of the UK’s most crowded properties and finds his job “very rewarding”.
Read more: Five ways to declutter and feel happier
She enjoys seeing the transformation of a drab, cluttered house into an organized and beautiful one – and said business has been booming since the pandemic hit.
“I love my job, but I’ve seen things that make my stomach turn,” she says.
“I think some people forget that I am a professional organizer, not a cleaner.
“But I will never refuse a challenge. Once I walk into a room, I won’t leave it until it looks perfect. At this point, there is nothing that I haven’t seen!
Burditt started her professional organizing business, The Declutter Darling, six years ago after being inspired by Marie Kondo.
After reaching out to potential clients on Facebook groups, she found requests for her £ 30 an hour services flowing in.
Burditt, who is a mom to eight-year-old Macy’s and five-year-old Indiana, now works part-time while looking after her daughters.
Watch: Simple Strategies to Streamline Your Space According to a Decluttering Expert.
One of the professional brush cutter’s first jobs was with a young couple – who didn’t tell her they had stray cats and chickens in the house.
“It got even worse when I started to find pieces of chicken poop around the house hidden under piles of clutter – then a pile of sick cats for several days,” she recalls.
“I remembered making a mental note to bring thicker gloves and more hand sanitizer for the next time.”
Read more: What is the Swedish Cleanse of Death – and why is it causing such a decluttering buzz?
In another house, Burditt spotted piles of used, several-day-old cooking pots in the sink and had a hunch that she might find other unsavory finds in other parts of the house.
Her suspicions were proven correct when she started peering under the living room sofas – and pulled out piles of leftover chicken bones from a KFC takeout.
“Obviously, someone had finished their chicken and had just thrown the bones on the ground,” she said.
“I remember picking it up and immediately dropping it in a state of total shock and horror.
“Of course I kept going and finished the job, but people like that need a lifestyle change to see a real impact – you can’t get rid of bad habits.
“I took a long shower after that day!”
Read more: 9 easy ways to declutter your life
On another occasion, as Burditt was decluttering an old barn, a mouse climbed inside his clothes.
She remembered feeling “a chill” down her spine, but he had climbed all the way up and was sitting on her shoulder before she managed to chase him away.
“It was really a shock,” she said. “Fortunately, the owner of the barn gave me a glass of wine afterwards. “
Burditt believes some of his biggest decluttering challenges have come when the client has hoarding tendencies and struggles to say goodbye to anything.
But these jobs were also some of his most rewarding experiences.
While she doesn’t deal with the most clinically severe grabbers – who often need psychological help – Burditt says she can help guide people.
“Sometimes it’s about reading and understanding the person and their experiences, and then walking them through the process,” she explains.
Recently an elderly lady who had lost her husband and was having trouble emptying her room called her to help.
“On this occasion, I was as much a friend as an organizer to her,” says Burditt. “We sat down and chatted, had lunch and talked about her memories of her husband before we started.
“It was naturally very difficult for her – so we went through it together.
“It can be one of the best parts of my job because I love helping people.”
Burditt has no regrets about quitting his job in fashion retail to start a professional organization.
“I’ve always loved tidying up and organizing and wanted to do something that I’m passionate about,” she explains.
“As difficult as some jobs can be, it is worth it for the impact it can have on some people’s lives.
“If my job can make a few people happier and allow them to enjoy their space more, I’m doing it right! “
SWNS Supplementary Reports.