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Clearing your Clutter

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Before we talk about clearing your clutter, let’s talk about how clutter affects your life. You may have noticed that when your house is a mess you have a hard time concentrating on things, feeling comfortable at home, or that you are unable to complete anything else without distraction.

Why does this happen? Everything has natural energy. When your home or office is cluttered, it impacts your life. It clutters your natural energy field, it affects your family, your work performance, and ultimately, your health.

declutter your life

The Effects of Clutter

How do you know if your clutter is negatively impacting your life?

When a car pulls into the driveway, do you suddenly whip into a flurry of action, grabbing anything in sight, stuffing it in a bedroom, and then closing the door, or perhaps cramming it into a closet? Has a visitor ever asked you if you just moved in?

vast array of kitchen clutter on a countertop

Clutter is created when your life is unmanageable. The more you do, the greater the clutter in your environment will be. You may also see evidence of this problem in the workplace if people with reduced responsibilities are doing more work than they can easily keep up with.

We know that when our lives become unmanageable, we increase stress levels with no end in sight. You probably then engage in unhealthy behaviors to help manage that added stress- like eating unhealthy foods or not sleeping enough because you’re constantly stressed about what needs attention next! Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing left of you after all of this chaos is said and done. When you hit rock bottom, realize your life has violated these physical laws pertaining to clutter:

1 Clutter attracts more clutter
2 A place for everything, and everything in its place
3 What you allow is what will continue
4 If it’s not a “HELL YES!”, then it’s a NO

It is impossible to overstate the importance of these four laws. When you are able to see your life in terms of these laws, you are able to create space for the extraordinary. First step is to get rid of all that clutter surrounding you!

Having constant clutter in your life creates stagnant energy, dragging your energy levels down and preventing good things from coming in. In addition to all of those things- it depletes your wealth!

Have you ever had to run to the store to purchase an item you thought you “had somewhere” but were unable to find it? Only to discover it hidden under or behind other items a week or two later?

Or perhaps you keep an item around just because it “might come in handy” or you “might need it sometime”. . .
man on telephone sitting in a severely cluttered home office

How to Handle Clutter: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself

So now that we’ve assessed what clutter can do, you’re probably asking, how do I get rid of it?! To assess whether or not to keep an item or let it go, ask yourself the following questions . . .

  1. Is this item something that I use regularly?
  2. If not, is it something that I really love, something that brings me joy?
  3. Am I saving it “just in case”? Just in case I might sometime need it, or someone else might somewhere, somehow need it?
  4. Am I keeping this item out of obligation, expectation, or guilt? As in.. someone special gave it to me and I feel like I should keep it.
  5. Do I have more than one of this item?
  6. Could something else that I own do the same job as this item does?
  7. Is this item worth the storage space?
  8. Is this item broken and I intend to have it fixed? You know, someday, when I have time and the money to do so.

8 declutering questions to ask yourself- clearing your clutter

Clearing your Clutter: Step by Step

  1. Start your de-cluttering in the room you spend the most time in. Why? If your favorite room is the kitchen and you spend most of your time there, you will immediately see and feel a difference in your life. This will help keep you motivated to follow up with other rooms.
  2. Choose 1 new room per day. Don’t try to do it all at once. Chances are, it took you weeks, months, or even years to accumulate this much clutter.
  3. Start small, gather up items that are easily thrown out. (Excess papers, obvious junk items)
  4. Arm Yourself! You’ll need to grab some trash bags & boxes. If you can’t bear to throw things away, label a box “Donate”.

    Once your Donation box is full, seal it up and put it in your car.Either drop it off at a donation center or a rubbish bin, but don’t put it in the house/garage/shed/pole barn or any other storage spot in your home!

    Better yet, have a yard sale, garage sale, or lawn sale and regain some of the financial loss that you’ve accrued by holding onto your clutter. Sell individual items on local Facebook swap/sell groups or services such as Craigslist.

  5. Clean for no more than an hour at a time. Yes, you should set a timer. Why?

    It’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to quit after a few minutes. It’s also just as easy to clean all day long and then give up de-cluttering the rest of the house.

  6. man playing on ipad sitting in the middle of a dirty kitchen he's supposed to be cleaning

  7. Don’t sit down in the middle of clearing or cleaning! You’ll lose motivation, get distracted and you’ll never finish

Look around- all this clutter used to be money
In no time at all, your home will be de-cluttered & good things will start to happen!

Check out these Helpful Organization Tips:

1 Car Organization– Keeping the car clean the easy way!
2 Card Game Storage & Organization
3Cupboard Organization Made Easy
4 Simple Freezer Organization
5 Clearing Kitchen Clutter

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48 thoughts on “Clearing your Clutter”

  1. i love this timer idea, and plan to use it once i get my decluttering started. which will likely be this weekend when hubby and boys are gone to help the inlaws get their house ready to sell.

  2. i to set up a cleaning schedule. for instance each member of my family has a certain day they are assigned to do dishes, sweep floors, or dust. cozi sends a text to whoever’s turn it is. they have been told they must obey their phones.

    my daughter also does virtual public school. we have included her video conference times with her teachers in her reminder schedule so she never forgets or is late.

    if you don’t already know about it, hit there are excellent tools there to help you get going. :rodeo:

    • I use to set up a cleaning schedule. for instance each member of my family has a certain day they are assigned to do dishes, sweep floors, or dust. cozi sends a text to whoever’s turn it is. they have been told they must obey their phones.

      my daughter also does virtual public school. we have included her video conference times with her teachers in her reminder schedule so she never forgets or is late.

      if you don’t already know about it, hit there are excellent tools there to help you get going. :rodeo:

      i love flylady’s ideas but the emails can be overwhelming!

      • I love FlyLady’s ideas but the emails can be overwhelming!

        sign up for the digest form of emails from Fly Lady, it’s not so overwhelming!

        • sign up for the digest form of emails from Fly Lady, it’s not so overwhelming!

          How do you sign up for the digest form, if you are already on the e-mail list? All I want is the Daily To-Do List. I end up just deleting the other stuff as it comes in because I don’t have time for all of it.

    • I am big reader, love to read, I find it relaxing but unfortunately it takes time away from cleaning my home. I have found reading a chapter and then spending 20 minutes in one room is a big help. I get the best of both worlds, a tidier house and love of reading :springsmile:

  3. i love fly lady. i was overwhelmed with an enormous household for a time. then i found fly lady.

    this was after i accumulated a huge
    library of clean up-clean out and organize your home. now, i have time and a happy household.

  4. i also love flylady. i started that way of organizing and cleaning way back when i read the side tracked home executives books years ago.

  5. i love the timer idea to go along with this. i always start with the room i live in the most, just for the fact that it will take the longest since it has the most things in it that i can’t decide about. lol.

    thanks for these tips 🙂

  6. thanks for the tips, i also seem to get very overwhelmed with trying to declutter. i am going to try the timer trick. i also have a hard time throwing things away that have good life left in them.

    we have been in the same “starter” home for 16 years now. Its time to move on! Out with the old and in with the new.:celebrate1:

  7. i was raised by someone who lived the the great depression. very little was thrown out and i have inherited some of these traits. there is a lot of clutter around my house and i need to thin it out.

    great ideas. i will work on them in my home. thanks,:caffeineoverload:

  8. my best weapon against clutter is the big garbage bag that i move around the house to fill up about once a week with stuff to get rid of, and it’s about time to make a run to goodwill with a load.

  9. i love fly lady…thanks. this is a great site i love it too! since we retired i can’t keep anything cleaned and i use to be sooo orginized.

    i do believe i have found help here. :worthy:

  10. i seem to have the same problem that many do! at least i’m not alone lol. i grew up in a large family (7 kids) and we were poor.

    I learned to save almost everything (it might come in useful later). I work on a room most of the day de-cluttering and organizing. Just to not want to do it the next day and the day after, so on and so forth!

    Checking out Fly Lady and using a timer just might be what I need. Thank for the ideas!

  11. i am so feeling the clutter in my house and it is very stressful.
    i need to start with everything that is surrounding me here at my desk first.

  12. one room a day is a great idea, i like the 15 minute timer too! What I also do is work clockwise around the room, starting at 12 O’clock.
    I have struck an impasse with my craft room. I need storage solutions!

  13. my supervisor told us one time, “a cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind.” i extend that to my home. i am more distracted when the house is a mess and nothing is in its place.

    when it is clean, i feel calmer and relaxed. i have bought several totes to put the kids’ toys away that they don’t play with all the time; i plan to send of the toys to the goodwill actually (when they are not looking..hehe!). a clean home is a happy home!

  14. :bee: gonna have to get my busy b hinny ready & put this idea to work. i’ve fallen behind on sorting etc. due to health issues.

    i love the timer idea i’m bad for getting burned out & frustrated because i never seem to get everything done that i would like to accomplish. an hour, i could do that no problem. 🙂

  15. enjoyed everyone’s reply’s. i know all of these ideas. i’ve always put off doing the bedroom because no one sees it.

    but if i make it my priority, everything else will fall in line. thanks.

  16. it all sounds great, but i don’t like the timer of just an hour. i make my cut off time by 8pm because I have a lot of stuff & have a hard time concentrating & getting tired easily; so I take many small breaks. I have only my bedroom left which has the most stuff.

    Keeping the rest of the house clean slows me down on my bedroom, but I hope to have it done by summer. I am finally getting rid of stuff that I like but not as much as the stuff I love & has meaning. My biggest problem is affording the right storage stuff for my arts & crafts that I want to do.

    So far I have been doing good with things that I have around the house for organizing.
    Do you have any ideals of things I can use as multi-small/medium/large compartment storages for keeping different size things that belong together? I have just a few so far & I label the containers because I forget to easily & spend too much time searching for things that I have just set down on many occasions ; that is how bad my memory is. LOL
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.


  17. as a home health care provider who ends up cleaning others house all day, i find it overwhelming to think about cleaning my own home at the end of the day. however i think i am going to try your timer idea so i will not feel that i must completely clean my entire home. it seems like something that can work well.

    thank you!

  18. oh my, i love the timer idea. one of my biggest problems is i will work diligently and start making progress then i get side tracked and don’t get back on track till i in the same shape i was before.

  19. i am going to try the timer, it sounds like a great idea. i get bored easily and stop one thing to go to something else which gets nothing accomplished. thank you

  20. i think this timer will work for me. i have it in my mind that i have to work until i can go no more and then i am burnt out on the whole thing. i may do 15 min.

    in 2 rooms. Thank you.

  21. thank you so much for sharing! i am overwhelmed by my clutter! i work 50+ hours a week and am a mom too, so my time at home is spent vegging in front of the computer or sleeping!

    I only keep up with the cooking and laundry! If I take an hour here and there, I am pretty sure that’s much more manageable!:Liss:

  22. love the timer idea! i did get my plastic container mess cleaned up today! i will be using this when i start to tackle the rest of my spring cleaning.

  23. my hubs is the problem…he never wants to throw anything away, and he has that hoarder type of issue, if it’s an empty flat surface, he feels that is where to put his junk on, and i gave up my living room to him, he spilled out into my dining room…and i am fighting tooth and nail to keep him out of my kitchen, bathroom and the 2 bedrooms…..and no, i never want anyone to come unannounced! i have always had a neat and clean house, everything had a place and it was in it, beds always made, dishes always done…and living with even a little bit of a cluttered living room drives me nuts.

    i will definitely be using these ideas, the timer thing is a great idea…because i do overdo it one day, than not want to do anything for a few days or a week or more, than it’s like starting all over again!

  24. great ideas and help. i tend to want to do everything in one day which isn’t humanely possible. bite size chunks makes a lot more sense.

  25. i actually enjoy the cleaning and organizing to a certain extent. however, i cant get my hubs and son to put stuff away or clean up after themselves. i get overwhelmed and feel like i’m running myself ragged for no reason.

    my husbands response to my request is that our home doesn’t have to look like its being featured in better homes and gardens magazine. i will give your tips a try and hopefully keeping up with everything wont be such a daunting task. lol

  26. i try to find 7 things a day to get rid of (throw out) and 5 things a day to put in the donation bag. I have even gotten the kids to do this and it helps a lot…im in such a funk b/c of the clutter in my house. i have these things b/c i saw a need for them, and every time i get rid of something i always end up needing it after…uughh, the frustration.

  27. I will certainly give this a try, this is my one and only New Year’s resolution. I am tired of never having a tidy home. Too much stuff and no space to hide it in!

    Thank you for the post.

  28. I found an idea that really helped me. I had been de-cluttering for about a year. It looked Great!

    I then started to slowly bring in more things and before you know it, I was almost back to square one. I started again and kept at it. I moved to a different room each day.

    That way I could see improvement in more than one area at a time. The next step was to take pictures in each room. I was amazed at what I saw through the camera lens!

    I Believe that Living in clutter for so long, I had a tendancy not to really see things as clutter! the was no denying the pictures. that alone, helped me discover the hidden clutter i had been missing.

    hope this method helps:coffeebath: someone else see what is really there. blessings and peace

  29. Some great tips, thanks. We have been in the same house for 18 years and raised 5 daughters and now have 5 grandkids, we have accumulated a lot of stuff. We really need to DE clutter!

    I am getting better at getting rid of stuff, though.:helpme:

  30. What a timely article for me! I am the original clutterbug! (Some of us are by nature and have work harder not to be.) I started this week setting myself 5 tasks to get done each day.

    Once a week one task is to find 10 things to send to Goodwill. Growing up in a lower income family we had to make do so often that now I am grown and not so poor I tend to collect “stuff”. I admit to an addiction to kitchen gadgets, but actually use only a few regularly.

    Thanks for a reminder that stuff gets in the way.

  31. Since I have started getting rid of clutter, I feel so cleansed. I am even motivated to lose weight. I guess if my house is going on a diet, then I am too.


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