Defeating the Clutter Bug, the Basics

photo of dog sitting on top of garbage
Photo by KasH on

Clutter…just the word conjures up feelings of heaviness, chaos, and filth.  I definitely am passionate about clutter and find that all too often my house moved to the back of my list of priorities and has accumulated STUUUFFFFFF.  Some days I think people expect me to live in a house that’s always Pinterest worthy since decluttering is what I do for a living.  That would make sense, right?  Sure would.  But let’s get real here people.  Life happens, busy times come and go, and before you know it you walk into your oasis and a flood of irritability rushes over you.  Your home is no longer your joy, no longer welcoming to come home to.  Am I the only one who feels this way from time to time?  Yes? No?  I’d be willing to bet that many of us have felt this way for a while and rest assured that doesn’t make us bad people.  It makes us human.

I thought I’d take a few minutes to encourage those who either are struggling to get a hold of the clutter bug or are just starting to realize that you even have a clutter bug, that you are far from alone.  Check out my video here for the yoga mat chat about when enough is enough and it’s time to declutter:

When I realize that it’s time to do another clean out, I like to take a moment to reflect on the feelings I get when entering that area.  Do I feel heavy or even breath out a sign of frustration, irritability, or discontentment?  Do I walk into the area and feel welcomed, like it’s good to be in this “bubble” and am glad to be home? I LOVE walking into my house when the kids have picked up before we went out, when I’ve put a nice smell in the air (NOT the smell of our old dogs), and I love to see flowers somewhere around my livingroom.  It just sorta makes my heart smile.  (Now, obviously, not every time we walk into an area are we going to stop, take a moment to smell the flowers, and move on cuz that’s just plain not gonna happen.)

Next, think about what is working well in my space and what isn’t.  For example, the shoe station by our front door works well because we put our socks and shoes on right before we leave the house and then on the way back in the house, ideally, the kids will pass by the station and put their shoes away immediately.  What might not be working well is the plethora of art supplies that Ashley uses when she does her hours-long sessions of drawing…they get left ALL.OVER.THE.LIVINGROOM (and her bedroom and my desk and even the back porch).  So, keep the shoe station and figure out what to do with the art supplies, I’ll put it on a list.

When I go into an area, whether it’s my home or at work, I take a quick video of what I see.  I’ll rewatch it a few times and take note of what my eyes are drawn to.  Is it the pile of papers on my dining room table that just seems to grow without me realizing it?  Is it the fish tank? I’ll get out my list and jot down what I really love and what I really don’t love.  I know this sounds super time consuming already but honestly, it only takes a few minutes.  All we’re doing is thinking…

Now, if you’re a newbie (or it’s been a while and you’re overwhelmed) at cleaning out and organizing, look at the easiest task on your list and knock that one out lickety split.  It’s most likely going to seem so small and so simple, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and it will take time for you to get a hang of identifying the things that trigger you and do something about it.  LOTS of grace will be required and that’s okay!  Don’t despise small victories and you’ll find that just the little things will put a pep in your step and inspire you to move forward.  As you get one task done, decide which task will get done next but don’t put pressure on yourself to get it all done in one day as it can be mentally exhausting to make these decisions for some.  Make a date and put it in your planner when you’ll do the next one.

If you’re not a newbie, JUST DO ITTTTTTT!  Chances are that you already have a pretty good idea of the environment you want to create so carve out the time and just get it duuunnn.  Period. End of story!  Sounds too easy is it not that easy for you?  Schedule an appointment for yourself to yourself, put on your favorite playlist (that makes you feel empowered), and get excited at the final result.  For me, it’s my 90’s alternative rock or techno…I may have just aged myself!  Now go get it done…

Lastly, there are a couple things I really want to say before signing off:

  • DO NOT feel like you have to achieve perfection the first go round, it’s self-sabotaging and will most likely set yourself up for failure.
  • Understand your personality to see if you are a once-and-done, once-and-maintenance, or continuous process.  (I explain more about this in the video so just click on it!)
  • DO NOT run out to The Container Store to buy all the purdy boxes until you have done at least a little bit of work and assess what your true needs/wants are.  Often times, we find that we don’t really need a bunch of storage containers or we may realize that our taste has changed.
  • If you need help, identify this and call on someone to be a support system.  Sometimes this may mean professional help, other times it’s a dear friend to use as a sounding board but please pick someone who will speak truth, life, and encouragement to your mind, heart, and soul.

That’s it for me folks!  Feel free to leave questions and comments below so we can help and encourage each other.

If you enjoyed this topic, let me know and I’ll put up more content for ya.

As always, stay safe and God bless!

2 Replies to “Defeating the Clutter Bug, the Basics”

  1. Hi!!  I miss hearing from you.  You just know how to just time it right for this type of reading and where to start decluttering out.  I have started working on my office papers from school last year and making my piles.  I have been sick for the last week and just now getting over it and starting to feel much better.   On the other hand, have you heard from Rachael lately on what she has been doing and what has been happening to her?  Are there services that can help her out with apartment rent and/or where to live that she can afford?  She does still maybe have a job at Taco Bell, but she doesn’t have a way to get there anymore.  She went to a friend’s apartment to stay there for a few weeks, but is going to need to be out of there by July 1st.  Her boyfriend does not have a job but he does have a car to drive.   I moved my office around again and Chelsea is still in here with me with her own little corner and her cubies beside her. We need to make a play date at the park or splash pad sometime. Love you,Ann


    1. Hi there! So thrilled to hear that you are still working on your office and that Chelsea is happy with her little corner and cubbies. Just take it one step at a time and it’ll happens for ya. Tiny steps lead to bigger steps, lead to leaps, lead to bounds…just remember that. I haven’t heard from Rachel in a little while but she can look at social services for apartment help or perhaps suggestions on where to go. If boyfriend is partaking of her funds, as far as I am concerned, he can get up at crazy hours to pick her up from work and take her to work as well. Talk to you soon friend!


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