People are fascinated with before-and-after stories, especially when the stories include photos of the dramatic changes. Pictures of people who’ve lost 100 pounds; pictures of houses that have undergone extreme makeovers; and, of course, pictures of rooms that have been liberated from clutter.
When prospective clients ask to see before-and-after pictures to judge the quality of my work, I send shots of rooms that looked like they couldn’t be saved, along with the dramatic reversals. What you don’t see from the pictures, though, is what really happened.
Anyone can clear a cluttered room by throwing everything in a box, then “stage” the room for a fabulous makeover. The resulting photo would look great, but nothing will have changed.
What’s missing from the “after” shots is the unglamorous part of the job: the piles of stuff set aside for donation or return, the bags of trash, the wearying decision-making process about each item that the owner had to go through.
Before you get seduced (or discouraged) by the next before-and-after photos you see, remember that it took a lot of hard work to get there. Or the debris is laying just beyond the reach of the camera.