A professional organiser from Bamber Bridge is using the power of tidying up to help transform people's well-being.
Business woman Marie Bateson has been helping people clear up their homes and bin the junk for more than two and a half years as the owner of Cut the Clutter.
She believes busyness is not the only reason homes can become chaotic and supports people who are disabled, bereaved, moving house, busy professionals, down-sizers, overwhelmed mums or suffering from mental illness.
Marie, who is a member of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO), said: "I visit all sorts of people - men and woman, young and old - who have too many things or inherited items and don't know what to let go of. Things mount up and people need a clear pattern or they find themselves in a vicious circle.
"We know chaos adds to stress, depression and anxiety; and hoarding disorder is now recognised as an illness."
Marie, who has a background in sales, project management and education technology, says she has always been an organised person but when she helped friends and family tidy up their homes, she realised some people struggle to know where to start.
The minimalism star then set up her business after struggling to find time to sort out her mum's flat when she went into a care home.
"I only had a few hours to spare on the weekend and was doing it on my own so I realised decluttering can sometimes be overwhelming," she said.
"Some people stop and start and struggle to sustain new habits, and not everyone enjoys doing it - some find it boring.
"People think they can't learn how to do it but they can. Habits can be changed. They might slip up sometimes but that's what the professionals are there for."
Untidiness can be a deeply psychological issue, according to Marie, who offers the example of people who find wealth and shop compulsively after living in poverty.
"When I'm contacted by clients, they often say it took a long time to make the call and admit they have a problem because they're scared or embarrassed," she said.
"But we don't judge anyone, and to be honest, we've seen it all. I don't think there's anything that would surprise me.
"People often feel guilty about getting rid of gifts or inherited items and things like photographs, birthday cards and paperwork are also massive problems. They don't feel comfortable clearing them out and they're confused about what paperwork they can bin."
Marie, who is also working with Chorley Council to set up a support group for people with hoarding disorder, aims to help people feel less embarrassed or ashamed of their homes.
"I hate when people say they can't let anyone in their house," she said.
"It's a shame when parents can't have their children's friends over, for example, because it can have a knock-on effect on them in later years. Your home should be your haven. You should feel comfortable and relaxed there and I hope to make people feel like they want to be at home."
Commenting on clients' transformations, she added: "It's lovely seeing changes in them. The pleasure people get seeing their space afterwards is so rewarding. They look visibly relaxed and often follow up to say it is the best thing they've ever done because it's given them so much relief."
The minimalism trend has seen a surge in popularity in the past few years, even inspiring a new Netflix show due to start soon. This unscripted tidying up show features Big Little Lies Hollywood actress Reece Witherspoon as an executive director.
And Bamber Bridge's organising queen thanks another Marie for spreading the decluttering message.
Minimalism royalty, Marie Kondo, also known as Konmari, is a Japanese organising consultant, author and star of Netflix series Tidying Up, which landed her a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program. And her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has been published in more than 30 countries. Her philosophy of binning anything which doesn't "spark joy" has galvanised thousands to reassess their own lifestyle habits, resulting in the Time's naming her one of their 100 Most Influential People in 2015.
"The wellness movement has really taken off. We all put that down to Marie Kondo. But the decluttering service has been around for a long time and APDO turns 15 in November. We're very grateful for the awareness Marie has raised but some of her methods are a bit drastic," the South Ribble organiser said.
"It's a myth that we make people throw everything away. People are scared of letting things go but we don't force anyone to clear out anything they don't want to."
Instead, her Lancashire workshops are designed to be small and informal with eight to 10 participants to put people at ease and allow time for questions. They offer a step by step process with tips for maintaining new techniques and skills.
Marie will run the Declutter & Organise Your Home Workshop with her business partner Sue Rowlinson on Saturday, September 28th, from 10-15am to 2-15pm at Cottam Primary School in Haydocks Lane, Preston.
To book visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and for more information log on to www.cut-the-clutter.co.uk