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Best Advice

Advice is given in good faith and it is always your decision to accept guidance on whether or not to keep, sell or gift particular possessions. SORT & SURVIVE cannot therefore accept responsibility for the consequences of such decisions. [See also Removal of Items below.] I accept that I shall be handling items that have a potentially high market and/or historical value. While I will use my professional expertise to identify such items amongst your possessions, you acknowledge that I am a museum curator not a valuer and that I may not have expertise to identify items of special value or rarity, nor am I qualified to advise on valuation matters for insurance purposes. If you require such professional advice, I am happy to make enquiries about appropriate services on your behalf. [See also Referrals below].

Handling Goods

When I handle goods belonging to customers I take great care to look after them. Unfortunately, accidents may occur. I shall not be liable for losses or damage, howsoever caused, and rely on you to carry insurance at all times which adequately compensates you for losses or damage howsoever caused by me in my capacity as your agent. I am, however, insured as a business for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity.

Removal of Items

Removal of all items, whether for sale, re-location or disposal, must be at your own discretion. Disposal will not take place without your authorisation. The client accepts responsibility for all or any items disposed of in the organising/decluttering process. I am happy to help with such disposal (e.g. removal to local refuse tip or to charity shop) if I am able to do so. I am registered with the Environment Agency as an Upper Tier Waste Carrier [registration number CB/DU41600].

Sale of Items

I am able to act as a broker for the sale of items whether through the internet or local auction or international auction house. This is rather a time-consuming business. I will charge a commission of 30% for items sold online for £99 or under and 20% for items sold for £100 or more on the net proceeds of the sale (once all auction house fees and commission are paid from the hammer price). In addition, I will charge a one-off initial consultation fee of 2 hours. I usually allocate a period of three months to attempt to sell items. I can report and send proceeds either on a monthly basis or after three months in accordance with the client’s wishes. I am not able to transport or store large items or large quantities of items on your behalf.

Limits of Work; Health and Safety

I will give advice, guidance and hands-on assistance to help you better utilise, sell, gift or dispose of prized private possessions such as artworks, artefacts, curios, furniture or family or business archives. I can also assist with administration and office tasks including work on your computer in order to help you achieve the state of organisation and tidiness you desire. Where appropriate, I am able to refer clients to colleagues who, like me, work to the standards set by the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers (

I will undertake a Health and Safety Assessment before starting work and may require changes to the working environment before beginning work. I can only use proper safety ladders. I am unable to work in unboarded lofts or similar.

I will not usually undertake large-scale cleaning work. However, I will clean cupboards or shelves where necessary as we sort them. I am happy to clean individual items appropriately or advise on appropriate methods or professional cleaning and conservation. I can also help you relocate items to more appropriate physical locations. However, we may well need to move heavy items during our work, and I cannot attempt any seriously heavy moving (e.g. a refrigerator). You will need to have a friendly neighbour, relative or handyman lined up to assist if such moving proves necessary. Similarly, while I may make suggestions about storage solutions and am able to help you create such things (such as picture-hooks in walls or the assembly of simple, lightweight flat-packed furniture), anything more specialist (carpentry, heavyweight assembly) I will generally leave to the experts in those fields. If you need suggestions for suppliers of such services, just ask and I will help in any way I can. [See also Referrals below].


Although I am happy to take an initial enquiry from a family member or carer of a potential client, all subsequent work must be with the direct agreement of the client himself or herself unless a family member or contact has been awarded enduring or lasting power of attorney. I have an Enhanced Certificate from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) no 0014837448832.

Hours of Work

You will be charged for hours actually worked. Whilst a booking will generally be made for a pre-agreed period of time, it is understood that it is not always possible to anticipate exactly how long will be needed. A day’s booking that turns out to involve five hours’ work will therefore be charged for five hours and not seven.

Breaks & Refreshments

If a session covers lunchtime, I shall bring my own light lunch. We will need to break occasionally for a few minutes. I suggest a short break every two hours or so, but you may wish to stop more often (sorting personal possessions can be physically and emotionally demanding). I will not charge you for long (e.g. lunch) breaks.

Travel & Accommodation

If you have booked for more than one day’s consecutive work, depending on your location, it may be more appropriate (and economical) to provide me with accommodation. This may either be in your own home, or in a modest local bed-and-breakfast, or (if available) with my own contacts. For travel charges, see Payment Terms below.


I am very happy to investigate the sourcing of items or services (for example, cleaning, gardening, removal or handyman services) that may assist in our organising work. I can accept, however, no responsibility for your relationship with such service-providers, and it is important that you satisfy yourself that their services and prices are appropriate to your needs.


Both you and I have the right to cancel the contract due to unforeseen circumstances. If the cancellation is made within 48 hours of the booked session, and no replacement session is booked, I may, at my discretion, charge 50% of the intended fee. Travel charges or further expenses paid in advance for which I cannot obtain refunds are not refundable in any circumstances, and will be invoiced to you at the time of cancellation.

Confidentiality & Privacy

SORT & SURVIVE is a professional service. I never divulge client information to third parties, nor any personal or business details that I may see in the course of my work (which is generally unavoidable). The only way in which your situation may be mentioned to others is in the context of my own services, and is de-personalised and unidentifiable (e.g. “a client in Hertfordshire”, “John in London”). It is helpful to be able to give examples to other clients of how particular situations can be addressed. For example: how long it took to deal with a room of a certain size, the furniture that was used for storage, the solutions we found whilst working together. If you are in agreement, I may take photographs for use on my website, but this will only happen with your express permission. Finally, I will ask you for your feedback after the completion of the work and I will be grateful for any testimonial you may provide.

Payment Terms

  1. Charges for services for private clients will be levied at £75 for the initial consultation (2 hours) which includes a report normally sent by e-mail. Further hours are at £35 per hour or £245 per per day. An invoice will be issued within 7 days of the work being carried out, and this invoice is payable within 30 days. All payments should be made by cheque made payable to SORT & SURVIVE, or direct by BACS using the bank details shown on the invoice.
  2. Charges for museums and other institutional clients are levied at £300 per day, £150 per half day.
  3. Travel charges are made up of the actual ticket cost of travel. If travel time is in excess of one hour each way, an additional charge may be made for time taken to travel at £10 per hour. This will be made clear before the booking is accepted.
  4. Some jobs lasting longer than a day may involve further expenses in addition to the service charges and travel charges. Such further expenses will not be incurred without the prior approval of the client. Examples of such further expenses include but are not limited to accommodation and subsistence.
  5. All charges shall be payable on invoice, as set down in item (1) above. Interest at 2% per month will be charged on any balance due which remains unpaid 45 days after invoice.
  6. I am not registered for VAT at the present time.