Girl with wheelbarrow


"Cluttered surroundings are a sign of a cluttered mind."

Clutter is anything you have or do that doesn't enhance your life. Things, activities, thoughts, even negative relationships can drain us. Are your excess "things" burdening or supporting you? If they're a burden, the solution lies in de-cluttering. And letting go is the key to de-cluttering.

The biggest secret to letting go is downshifting: working, wanting, and spending less, to free you up for living more. Simplifying your life creates more time for the things you are passionate about.  Get over that advanced case of affluenza. Once you realize it's the "doing with" (versus doing without) that has created clutter in the first place, you can then recognize simplifying for the relief it is.

More letting go secrets:

  • Determine priorities, then list them. Be realistic about the amount of hours in the day and what needs to be addressed. Is clipping and filing 6,000 recipes important, or would you rather simply get something nutritious and delicious on the table quickly? Hint: only 1% of recipes clipped are ever actually prepared.
  • List 10 specific, personal benefits of letting go. Some possibilities are: Getting rid of clutter reduces housework (40% in an average home!). Without too many things to do, papers to file, articles to read, you can better enjoy the things you do have.
  • Figure the cost of storing things, then figure the savings of letting them go. Your relationships will improve, because you'll be more serene, more effective, more reliable. You'll set a good example for the kids.
  • Now post your list where you will see it frequently. Refer to it every time you get stuck.
  • List decluttering goals and mini-goals along with rewards for each. Positive reinforcement is tremendously effective. Make signs of your goals and rewards. Post these too.
  • As you sort out items and activities to keep or release, ask yourself "What's the worst that could happen if I let go of this piece of paper, unwanted gift, never worn outfit, broken appliance?" Can you replace it if you have to? How much money and energy are you wasting holding on to things "just in case"?
  • Life without them would still go on, and much more serenely, too, without the clutter. Sometimes, the question is "What was I thinking?"
  • Trade the burden of owning for the delight of giving.Give it away to a friend or relative or a charity. Knowing someone will benefit from an item makes it much easier to let go.
  • Write down things to do as soon as they pop into your head. There's a physical relief that comes from not playing the mental tape over and over.
  • Let go of information obsession. 80% of papers filed are never referred to again.

Still can't let go?

  • Make a light pencil dot in the upper right-hand corner every time you refer to a document from your reference or action files. At the end of a year, anything that hasn't been referred to goes into the recycling.
  • Take pictures of things you feel sentimental about, but need to let go of. The picture will serve as a fond reminder, without the expense and burden of storing and maintaining the larger item.
  • Cut squares of fabric from garments, linens, etc. that are too worn to use or pass on, but still full of memories. Turning these into a memory quilt or pillow preserves the memories while freeing up space.
  • Use removable red dots with the date marked on them to identify "maybe" items. When a year has passed, items that still have the red dots go Out!
  • Turn your hanger hooks backwards. At the end of a year, any garments not used, as indicated by the hooks, can be released with joy and your blessing.
  • Keep a journal where you can write or draw about the things you're letting go of. This emotional release makes the physical relinquishing easier.
  • Find someone to share the story of an object with. Sharing the memory makes it easier to release the item.
  • Sell those items you just can't bring yourself to donate. Beware, selling secondhand items is often not worth the time it takes - your time, from your life.
  Experience the relief of release. Its exhilarating!

~Vickey Kaiser~ 

For a list of excuses why we keep things visit

Wacky Clutter Stuff