Here is how a house got de-cluttered without everything getting lost so that the home could be presentable for a gathering.
1. I hired my daughter to help clean. (Her time is included in the five hours)
2. I got a bunch of shallow boxes as well as other sized boxes.
3. Starting with the kitchen I cleared of counters of everything that I knew was superfluous. Since I know this client very well, I had a good idea of what was not needed. In fact, when he came to look for one missing thing that he needed I immediately found it.
4. As I cleared counters, putting in shallow boxes to sort later–some on shelves–my daughter cleaned surfaces.
5. The living room had piles of papers which were obviously in some kind of order. I put each pile in an unmarked folder to keep their integrity. I put all the files and other stuff in the room into one large shallow box to be sorted later. Since I kept living room stuff together, if client needs to find something, at least he could look in living room box.
6. I did same with all rooms with the papers and miscellaneous.
7. There were obvious things that could go into basement–I piled them in one place and my daughter helped me carry down.
8. As I cleared floors and surfaces, daughter kept cleaning. I stayed ahead of her.
9. I scheduled a time with client very soon to go through stuff which I had piled into one side room that people could not see but which was easily accessible.
10. I covered some piled up boxes with sheets.
People came to the meeting–which I attended–and there were many comments about how attractive the house looked.
Today I go back and we will sort out the stuff that was highest priority. The rest will be dealt with later since there really is a whole house to de-clutter and organize.
It is very satsifying to see a house transformed in five hours, and I loved working with my daughter. Client was happy, too!