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Clearing out the chaos

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Krystal Outerbridge is a minimalist.

When she moved into her own apartment a year ago, she relished the new-found space and the lightness that came with it.

“When all your stuff is in one bedroom it can make you feel cluttered, so when I got all that space, I could breathe,” she said.

“I want to give space to others.”

The 32-year-old is now helping those seeking similar relief with her chaos clearing business, Minus the Muddle.

For the “de-muddling” experience, Ms Outerbridge will carve out a few hours to help you sort, store and purge. Her “de-muddling kit”, a ribbon-tied bag of fruit, energy bars and bottled water, “prevents stoppage”.

“We have to keep going from morning to when it's done,” she said.

At $80 an hour, some may wince at the cost, but she hopes that won't be the focus.

“I want people to focus more on the fact that something that has been hindering them for years is finally going to get resolved within a matter of hours.

“I'm that push that you need that will drive you through to complete the task. Once it's done, it's disappeared. You finally have relief and peace.”

She believes mess starts from within.

“If you have visible clutter that you ignore, you are ignoring your problems. You have bad days, you're upset at work, your children are driving you crazy. De-muddling your personal space will relieve your brain from at least that stress and make you realise that it's easy to switch your thinking and be more positive.

“I believe that this is a catalyst that can spring you into a better lifestyle, a better way of living and even give you a better feeling about life and be more happy. That's probably my whole goal — happiness.”

Customers complete a quick questionnaire beforehand, to give Ms Outerbridge an idea of their storage needs.

She brings retractable hampers that separate items for charity, resale or garbage. It's all in line with her belief that outer order brings inner peace.

“I'm a graphic designer, so I think in colours and shapes all day. I love organising stuff and keeping everything perfect,” she explained.

Ms Outerbridge said she loves to purge, but also understands the urge to hoard.

“I loved collecting boxes for crafting and then my parents said I was becoming a pack rat. I didn't want to be that person. I find that purging is not the problem; it's more about finding and keeping the stuff that you love and you use daily right in front of you. If you can't see your stuff, then you won't use it.”

She said she steers clear of hoarders and she doesn't clean.

“I will encourage you to clean out your space as we go, but I'm definitely not going to break out the Windex,” she laughed. “The client must be present throughout. It's really important that they are there. I want that tight relationship. I'm never going to throw away anything of yours. Whether it's an easy ‘yes' or a really hard one, it's you who has to make that decision.

“I'm going to make it look pretty at the very end.”

She also provides a moving package that includes “de-muddling” and getting the house photo and viewing ready. She will host house sales and help pack and unpack at the new home.

“My whole focus is keeping people happy. I'm 100 per cent customer service and this is just another avenue for me to do that,” she said.


Honing in on the mess: Krystal Outerbridge busy getting rid of clutter. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Graphic designer Krystal Outerbridge has started a 'de-cluttering' business, Minus the Muddle. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Finding relief and peace: graphic designer Krystal Outerbridge has started a “decluttering” business called the Minus the Muddle and hopes to provide people with mind-freeing space. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Graphic designer Krystal Outerbridge. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published June 15, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm)

Clearing out the chaos

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