5 things to remember when planning renovations or maintenance on your home

Regular maintenance of your home is necessary and renovations can be very exciting but preparing for any kind of work to be done on your home can be stressful and a potential minefield.

Here at The Clutter Fairy we help our Clients by supporting them through these difficult projects to ensure they achieve the end result they are looking for with minimal disruption!

Here are our 5 basic steps to consider when undertaking such projects:

  • Ask friends/family for tradesman recommendations, preferably people that you trust and who have the same standards are yourself! It’s always worth popping a note on Social Media to see if anyone in your wider friendship group knows someone locally that they can recommend too.
  • Advertise the job on the various websites available for example, Rated People or Trust a Trader. Don’t forget to read the reviews of the tradesman who respond as there will still be some tradesman registered and pitching for the work who might not have the greatest reviews…
  • Get at least 3 quotes – this gives you the chance to see what price is fair and to look for consistencies in the advice you are given. Remember, cheapest isn’t always best and you need to make sure you are getting someone qualified to do the job!
  • Document your expectations of the job and ask the tradesman in question to review and feedback on your requests so that you can both agree on what is going to happen prior to work starting. Include things like –
    • Measurements
    • Material specifications
    • Timescales
    • Costs
    • Guarantees

Oh and don’t forget to include whether you want the tradesman to clean up after themselves and to take away any rubbish (it’s something that most people forget to ask and can be quite a bind if you have to deal with it yourself).

  • Be realistic and open about your expectations, there is nothing more frustrating for a tradesman to find their Client wants the world on a stick on a very low budget or that they’ve not been doing something quite as expected and haven’t had any feedback to enable them to make the necessary adjustments. Keep the communication channels open but be fair in terms of what you can expect (I refer back to Point 2 here, if this is in place there are less likely to be any ‘miscommunications’).

Citizens Advice also gives more detailed advice around the planning/insurance/contract aspects here that we would recommend reading.

As always if you would like more advice on any aspects of decluttering, organising or home staging please do get in touch via our our Website or Facebook and Twitter.

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8 things you probably didn’t know you could donate to a Charity shop…

We all love to donate to charity right? But it’s surprising how many people don’t realise they can donate any number of the items listed below. Here at the Clutter Fairy we positively encourage letting go of as much stuff as you feel comfortable to, we know that one of the ways to aid that process is to feel happy that the items are going to good use. What better way to achieve this than by donating to a worthwhile cause!

Here are our top ‘most wanted’ under donated items, get those charity bags ready everyone!

  • Bras – there are quite a few charities accepting these now, here are just a couple of examples – Against Breast Cancer Bra BankOxfam
  • Bicycles – don’t send your old bike to the tip just yet…. check out your local bike recycling site here (they even take bikes that need a little bit of work doing to them!)
  • Computers – give to Computeraid International,  Donate a PC or IT specialists in the Furniture Reuse Network
  • Electrical items – not all charity shops take these, but a surprising number do as they have equipped themselves with PAT testing equipment, call your local charity shops to see which ones accept these items.
  • Glasses/spectacles – many opticians run charity programmes with second-hand glasses, check Vision Aid Overseas to find your nearest optician that participates
  • Large items such as sofas/furniture – many charities such as BHF and Sue Ryder accept large furniture items and they will even collect for free! All you need is the fire safety labels still intact.
  • Old duvets, pillows, blankets & towel – most rescue centres will happily accept these even if they aren’t in perfect condition as they are always in need of new bedding for the animals. Contact your local rescue centre today!
  • Rags (clothes that are ripped/torn, stained, etc) – many charity shops now accept rags as they are able to get £/kg for the bags. It helps if you bag up the rags and tag them so that the charity shop know the items aren’t suitable for resale.

Still struggling to donate because you aren’t able to transport your items to your nearest charity shop? No problem! Try the Gone for Good app in conjunction with a number of charities, where you can arrange for all types of donated items to be collected from your home!

Happy donating everyone!

As always if you have any questions or need advice regarding #decluttering and #organising your home please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you!

http://clutterfairy.co.uk/

Image taken from:http://www.nugentcare.org/fundraising/charity-shop

 

 

Declutter your doormat

We’ve talked in the past about ‘The bane of paper clutter’ and how to deal with it effectively as it arrives. Today we’d like to expand on this and talk about how you can stop it coming through the door in the first place!

It’s surprising how much mail many of us still get in the modern digital world, but there’s an easy solution to that. Below are some of our simple tips to follow to reduce the amount of paperwork you will have to deal with going forward:

MPS –

The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service set up and funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and addresses removed from lists used by the industry. Register here to ensure you no longer receive any unwanted junk mail.

#Toptip – Don’t forget to register everyone in the household (with their permission of course) and any previous residents.

Unsubscribe –

  • The MPS will cover most unwanted mailings but what they can’t help with is companies that you’ve had dealings with in the past where you may not have ticked the ‘opt-out’ marketing boxes. It may take a little time initially but as each new mailing comes through the door, call or email the company in question requesting that they remove you from their mailing lists.

#Toptip – You will also need to do this for any mailings addressed to “The Occupier”, “The Homeowner” etc. as MPS cannot assist with these.

  • Make sure you check any paperwork/online forms thoroughly for the ‘opt-out’ options to ensure you are not contacted by future companies that you deal with.

#Toptip – Be sure to read the ‘Opt-Out’ correctly as some companies ask you to tick to unsubscribe where others ask you to tick if you would like to receive marketing!

Letterbox/plate signs –

It can be a little harder to stop the general junk mail such as free newspapers, takeaway leaflets, etc. but you can buy a sticker at very little cost that can be applied to your letterbox should you find these items are a particular nuisance in your local area!

nojunkmail

And finally…I

Online statements/notifications –

If you are comfortable with getting your statements, notifications, etc. online then most companies nowadays will offer you the option to stop paper statements altogether. If you need any help with organising your digital records we can help with that too!

We hope you found this article useful, happy paper decluttering from the team at The Clutter Fairy