Clutter Diet & MizFit…

A marriage made in 30 Day Challenge heaven.

I am nothing if not painfully aware that, while Im great at some things, decluttering is decidedly not my area of expertise.

At all.

Im working on it.

Im getting better day by day (seriously. you should see the flat surfaces Im uncovering).

Im no masterexpert yet.

As a result Ive recruited the master.

Ive brought in a true expert to spread some wisdom up in herre.

I give you Lorie of the Clutter Diet.

Please to enjoy.

At the Clutter Diet®, we are always telling people that getting organized is a lot like getting fit– because it’s really about personal change. A person has to be ready and committed to do both things, and nobody can do it for you. When people have called us to ask if we can organize their husbands, we always say, “Not any more than we can make him go on a diet!” (MizFit note: Love this. When I had my training studio I frequently heard from clients: Can you make my husband lose weight? I should have responded: No more than I can organize him.)

Here are a few other reasons that organizing and fitness are similar:

•    Crash dieting doesn’t work, and neither does “crash organizing.” It’s great if you tackle a few huge projects one weekend and get some areas really organized, but unless you change the habits that got you disorganized in the first place, you will soon find the space a mess again. Both fitness and organization require permanent changes in your habits and routines. (MizFit note: Can I get an AMEN?!)

•    “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” The basic idea to lose weight is to eat less and move more. Clutter must be managed by preventing bringing it into the home whenever possible and by regularly processing your items and getting rid of what is not needed. Both fitness and organization require a program of prevention, reduction, and regular maintenance.

•    Being overweight brings with it feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment. When you are disorganized, you feel out of control. You feel you can’t have friends over, and you may get embarrassed by not showing up on time to appointments or keeping your promises to others. Both fitness and organization relieve embarrassment, reduce stress, and increase confidence. (MizFit note: ok, last time, AMEN, Sister!)

•    Support from a friend goes a long way, and support from a trainer goes an even longer way.  Weight Watchers® figured it out a long time ago with their program that includes in-person meetings—having expectations to check in with your progress provides the support to keep you going. And having expert advice and assistance is even better. Both fitness and organization progress most rapidly with personal advice, support, and accountability.

I started the Clutter Diet® program online because I am passionate about providing our expert help to people at an affordable price. I had a business for many years providing organizing services in person, but it was more of a luxury service.  I was driven to create a way for anyone from anywhere to have the education, motivation, and support they need to get unstuck. We’ve now helped thousands of people in 9 countries!

Here are a few of the ways we can help people get organized:

•    Daily “#ClutterTweetTip” on Twitter (@clutterdiet)

•    Free weekly “Just a Bite” newsletter:

•    2-3x weekly blog posts.

The British interior designer and author Kelly Hoppen was quoted as saying, “I am convinced that a calm, quiet, and harmonious interior can be as beneficial to health as a sensible diet and regular exercise.” MizFit and I could not agree more!

OK, People.

Here’s your chance.

It’s time to show how freakin messy you were toot your own horn with regards to how you’ve done on The Great Thirty Day Declutter Challenge of 2009!

Lorie has been generous enough to offer to give away a copy of her book, Clutter Diet, to one lucky commenter.

The catch? You need to share.

You need to tell all of us what the silliest, most shocking or most surprising thing is you’ve uncovered on your journey to sweet, sweet clutter freedom.

I’ll start us off:  Remember that prairie blouse to which I referred in the comments here?  Turns out I’d never actually given it away.  Methinks it is finally time.

Now you.

Please to hit us all up in the comments.

(USA only. Winner announced Monday)

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Comments

  1. says

    TO be honest Miz, at the beginning of this year we moved to a loft style flat which LITERALLY has no storage other than some wardrobes. So, living in a foreign country with no one to fall back on, we got rid of ALOT of stuff. We are basically down to BARE BONES here already. So, I have been using this challenge to cross things off my ever growing ‘to-do’ list. You know, declutter the mind, stop worrying about things I could do tomorrow when I need to get them done TODAY!

  2. says

    We have taken trash bags full (not that it is trash, just easier to carry in) to Good Will. Last Friday we dropped off 2 and today we have another one full ready to go.

    My kids are enjoying it too realizing the less they have the easier to keep their rooms clean and the more time they have to actually play!! How awesome is that??! We are also realizing we do not need “things” to make us happy, we have some things that do and those are the things we keep and wow they have a home because all of the other stuff is disappearing!

  3. Laurie says

    I have taken babysteps but have THANKFULLY not uncovered a baby :)

    No need to enter me as I just wanted to say how you inspire me daily to try and be my best self.

  4. Bea says

    I took so much stuff out to the trash this week (yes. most of what I found couldn’t even be given away it was that grotty) my neighbors asked if I were moving!!!!!

    Thank you for inspiring me, Miz, to be clean and fit inside and out.

  5. says

    Ok Lauie’s comment has me laughing too hard to compose a sensible reply.

    Our nemesis is electronic junk: cables, adapters, and all kind of little doohickeys that we don’t quite know what they do so we’re afraid to throw them away. Then when we move we’ll finally work up the nerve to toss them out and we’ll inevitable discover that we need some stupid cable and it costs $30 and we probably used to have it and threw it out.

  6. says

    We’re good at our day to day stuff, but it’s still taken us (really I did it of course!) 6 months to finish organizing stuff. Geesh, I hope that we dont’ move in 6 months and can hold off for the next year! I have a feeling that we’ll be getting rid of A LOT of stuff when we make the big move to the unknown location.

  7. says

    I got rid og huge bags of clothes – both mine from when I was heavier and the kids clothes that they’ve outgrown. I also got rid of bags and bags of toys. (Goodwill loves me right now.)

    The kicker – I got rid of two large Glad bags full of useless PAPER! (Thank goodness we recycle!)

    I’ve also been getting my to-do list whittled down by taking it one thing at a time.

    Any tips for storage solutions in a 2 1/2 bedroom house which is home to 2 adults and 7 kids?

  8. Miz says

    I defer to the expert, Becky, but wanna give you a HOLYCRAP and *bows in awe* the the SEVEN kids.

    You are my friday hero.

  9. says

    While decluttering my daughter found old ride tickets to AdventureLand from when my hubby went when he was a teenager. He’s 37 now.

    Aye Aye Aye!

  10. says

    I discovered old hummus that I’d made from before I went to Cambodia that the sisterroommate never threw out. Ewww. Unfortunately my kitchen decluttering attempts failed as I immediately bought more stuff after cleaning out the fridge (including flax meal! And agave nectar! It was an exciting time).

    But the decluttering on other fronts (besides the kitchen) is going very well. And Lorie, I love the Clutter Diet idea! It’s really clever.

  11. says

    I found a place for all the wedding stuff, and got in the habit of mopping regularly (meaning that the mop actually gets used now and is no longer just junk).

    I also realized that the only time I’m really motivated to clean is when I’m upset, as I was cleaning the kitchen (rinsing out the containers I use to store flour, sugar, flax, ect. for baking, and wiping everything down), while sobbing hysterically last night. As I honestly needed to clean that kitchen (I spilled pepper all over one counter and the other one is where I bake, and let’s just say I’ve got no future in drug cutting, as there was flour everywhere), and I felt so much better after the cry, I’m saying it’s multitasking.

  12. Lynne says

    Where to even begin.
    I have barely made a dent (wouldn’t have started with out this challenge so thanks!) and found a movie from Blockbuster which is a YEAR OVERDUE!!
    No joke.

  13. says

    Well, I’ve been decluttering for quite a while. I started with Flylady back in, oh, I dunno, March of last year, give or take.

    I make my daily control journal lists and I have finally managed to keep my house in some semblance of order. It’s not perfect, but it’s manageable for me and I’m mostly happy.

    When I was decluttering regularly, tho, I had this thing about chapstick and nail clippers. Those seemed, for a long time, to be things I just could not hold on to. I’d buy a tube of chapstick, use it for a few days, and then it would vanish. Ditto with nailclippers. And neither of these two things are particularly expensive, so rather than continue to look for them, I’d just buy them again.

    When I was decluttering, I unearthed more than seventy. tubes. of. chapstick.

  14. says

    It’s funny you should post this today. Early this morning I woke up and thought “GARAGE SALE”… not because we haven’t decluttered in a while, but because we need cash for our trip to visit my friend (medical expenses have put the trip in jeopardy). This morning I told the kids “everything you don’ t NEED, everything we don’t use on a day to day basis, I want it in a pile in the living room.

    I’ll even be selling my printer/scanner now that school is out for the summer. Since I wanted to get a photoquality printer anyway, now is a good time to sell it.

    Same is true with my microwave… I want to step down to a smaller model (since we only use it for heating up leftovers a plate at a time, and the one we have takes up half the counter!)

    It’s rather nice NOT to be attached to clutter, but to a few objects with certain memories or significance.

    In a couple weeks when we get back from New York we’ll be going though the kids rooms and reducing the amount of paper and inch long pencils in their room.

  15. says

    I finally got rid of all my kids baby teeth that the Tooth Fairy had collected. I don’t know what I thought I was going to do with them – bead a necklace maybe?

    Also instead of hoarding my oldest daughter’s clothes for her little sister to wear, I give most of them away to someone who can use them NOW. There is almost 5 years difference between my girls and holding onto Garanimals for 5 years suddenly doesn’t make much sense to me anymore.

    I still have a long way to go, but I’m chipping away little by little!

  16. says

    My hat that I gave away is off to Laurie who claims to have taken baby steps but not uncovered a baby…that had me laughing and I’m not even awake yet.

    Has it been 30 days already?

    I have boxed up all my chemo hats and wigs and although I heard it’s supposedly bad luck to get rid of these, I’m giving them to other cancer patients. I’m done.

  17. says

    I found a pair of shoes stuffed inside a duffle bag! They are a very cute pair of flip flops that I don’t even remember buying, so it’s like I got something new for free! Although I don’t guess the point of decluttering is to keep stuff, huh? :)

  18. says

    This is a very timely post for me. I’m working on decluttering my finances, my paperwork, my stuff, and ME!!! Who knows what I’ll find, but I’m looking forward to finding out!!!

  19. says

    Oh my house is full of random things! I gave my friend a sweater and she called later to ask if the tinkertoys in the pocket came with it… sigh. It appears I need to declutter my clutter!

  20. bjbella5 says

    I have learned NOT to tell my Mom about my de-cluttering efforts. Her reply is always “Why are you throwing/giving that away? Your sister could use it, you might need it someday, etc, etc” AKKK. It is no surprise that I am trying to overcome the clutterbug gene my Mom has. One of her brothers is chronic hoarder (the inside of his house has “paths” to walk through the mountains of stuff….not good).

    After de-cluttering our bedroom Hubby has commented on how peaceful and relaxing it feels. I am trying to keep that as my motivation to finish the house!

  21. says

    Not surprising, but difficult to trash…it’s REALLY hard getting rid of cards people sent, especially when they’re Christmas cards or baby annoucement cards and they have an actual picture of a child on them. Or children. Even when I barely know or remember people, putting their child’s picture in the trash just feels cruel. But I made a note to self not to ever send this kind of card as a consequence. ;)

  22. says

    What a wonderful post! I’ve managed to stick to a life-changing exercise regimen for over a year by carefully planning workouts and charting progress but never thought of taking that approach to my messy messy room! Can’t wait to get started on another positive new habit.

    During every major declutter, I always come across my plastic baggied collection of ticket stubs from close to every Red Sox game I’ve ever attended. It’s always a nice trip down memory lane.

  23. says

    The best thing about decluttering lately has been the feeling of relaxation when I open a closet and see less stuff, actual space, and actual organization!

  24. says

    Ok wait – are we winning the book or the prairie blouse?

    Ever since we decided to get a puppy I have been slowly decluttering… sometimes it’s a two steps forward one step back type thing.

    My most shocking thing has been some of the stuff I realized I was hanging on to for the sake of my kids. Not cool, sentimental stuff… more like crappy happy meal prizes, a rock they found at the playground, thousands of “art projects” – I have to bite the bullet and know that we can’t save it all and if I throw it out while they’re not around – THEY NEVER MISS IT.

  25. says

    Srsly? I’ve torn apart the house looking for a book. Found it neatly tucked inside one of those clipboard/storage boxes. along with all the notes I’d taken that I wanted.

    Weird, no. Wonderful. Yes.

    And I found my license renewal notice that must be processed by the end of this month.

  26. Sally says

    I could use the book.
    I am afraid of the book as it will be another thing :)

    I’ve been happily decluttering since your post.
    The husband is NOT so happy.

    have a great weekend!!

  27. says

    Today is the last day of school. 5th grade graduation. 5th grader decides he must wear tie, shirt, dress pants. 5th grader keeps these items STUFFED in his dresser drawer (my next clutter candidate). So I had to iron. And we were running way late. And 7th grader did not clean up his breakfast, which he wore wearing a helmet (commentary on my morning mood?). It is also trash day. Husband decided to take out trash as we are leaving. Trash breaks. He picks up the big stuff. We leave house in utter chaos, as I am in the middle of reconciling accounts and getting ready to pay quarterly taxes. Truly…it is not pretty here. We came home. Some one had been in our house. I know because they left things. I need to find out who knows my shame…and kill them.

  28. says

    Just like fitness, decluttering is an ongoing thing for me. I am, by nature, a piler-upper, but less so now, thank goodness.

    The funniest thing (to me) that I’ve uncovered (so far) was the seven books about–you guessed it–decluttering, which were languishing on the bottom shelf of a bookcase.

  29. says

    I know it’s USA only…but I had to drop in and say, I found an entire bear costume downstairs…how does that rank?
    We used to have a room that was the room of junk – never went in there or used it and it was FULL of junk. Useless Junk. Thanks to some hard work it’s been painted and renoed and is now our little office. Slowly we’re moving things back into it…it’s a challenge as my husband is…um…a packrat (to put it politely) but we’re getting better at benig organised. The biggest thing I’ve picked up over the last few motnhs is that I can’t put stuff away properly when it has nowhere to go. Seems obvious, but it’s not.
    I do believe I will go buy the book seeing as we Canucks aren’t in the running. I’m trying to be a reformed clutterholic. Slowly and surely…likey food lifestyle – it really is a challenge and a half. Bit by bit :)
    It is nice to come home to a room and jsut sit and smile and not see stuff to do…soothes the coul :)

  30. etinca says

    I keep discovering scads of lasagna recipes that I’ve ripped out of magazines or printed off the web, and we probably have, oh, 10 boxes of lasagna noodles in the pantry (bought over a period of years). Last time we made lasagna? Maybe 5 years ago? Longer?

    I’ve also given away bags & bags of clothes/shoes to the S.A., still have full closet/bureau, & still don’t seem to be all that well put-together or fashionable!

  31. MizFit says

    DAMN there are some great ones here.
    Im gonna track down Lorie and if SHE doesnt care I wanna make it all peeps included.
    Ill ship should the Random Number Generator choose a nonUSA resident.

  32. says

    This has been one of the best challenges I have found. I am focusing on decluttering my house, my classroom, and my mind.

    At home ~ I have completely decluttered my laundry area in my basement. Holy WOW~ I have a floor down there! I also have gotten my computer desk clean – just threw away/recycled all the old bills, magazines, catalogs, and other misc. crap. I also have been going through my closet and dresser…I have a lot of my fat clothes still ~ I am not sure why I still have them but so far one trash bag has gone to Good Will. This weekend I plan on finishing the declutter of my bedroom.

    Classroom ~ I have gotten rid of everything that was left from my predecessor. I have cleaned out all the old files from all the computers in here. And I have gotten rid of all the old student papers/tests that have been cluttering up the joint.

    My mind has been feeling less cluttered as everything else has been decluttered. I feel as though my brain is slowing starting to work better/more organized as I get rid of the physical clutter (read CRAP) from my physical domiciles (yes my classroom really is my home away from home!)

    Ok this comment got away from me!

    Thank you Miz for this challenge!

    The GREAT DECLUTTER OF 2009 continues!!

  33. says

    So much stuff, so little time…

    The one thing I found recently while decluttering: a stack of love letters from my boyfriend in college (15 years ago). I put them at the bottom of a box and had just left them there.

  34. Evan says

    I actually motivated to clean the garage (clutter central for me) last weekend.

    Nothing too shocking in there though.

    Which is probably a good thing.

  35. says

    My parents stuffed 8 children into a 3-bedroom household… bunkbeds and hand-me-down clothing. I can’t relate to my nieces and nephews who have Whole Rooms Devoted To Their Toys. That blows my mind.

  36. says

    I started with my fridge. ‘Nuff said about funny stuff.
    I now have a clean and organized family room, laundry room, living room, and art space in addition to an organized and clean fridge.
    My bedroom and closet are next…that could take 30 days by itself.

  37. says

    I found my weekends. Seriously.

    When I got rid of clutter, I found that I could actually CLEAN.

    When I cleaned a little bit every day (15 or 20 minutes, Monday-Friday), I found that things STAYED clean.

    When things STAY clean, I don’t have to spend all day Saturday every week cleaning like crazy.

    The first time I woke up on a Saturday and realized that my day off was ACTUALLY a day off was a freakin’ revelation. Because everything was clean. Because there was no clutter.

    Amazing how much more rejuvenating a 2-day weekend is when you can actually use the time to ENJOY yourself.

  38. says

    I found my phone charger inside a tote bag. Thankfully I still have the phone, so it was a happy find for everyone (including the charger, who now has a purpose).

    I will read that book and then pass it on to someone who needs it. And so that it will not clutter my bookshelf. ;)

  39. says

    i’ve been unintentionally a part of this (missed the original post … somehow …) as i’ve been going through my closets and getting rid of crap that i haven’t worn in forever and no longer fits me … or is no longer appropriate to keep. yeah, a few of those. i’ve been replacing said items with a few more, but nowhere near the original amount.

    i also weeded through my dvd collection so i can sell some back. haven’t yet sold them, but they’re sitting nicely in a bag!

    that being said, i still have a lot of crap and haven’t found anything … except yesterday i found a pair of sunglasses i thought i lost two weeks ago. yay. :)

  40. says

    I am decluttered everywhere but my desktop. Even now, it is covered with strewn papers, pens, notebooks, pads, post its, cd keepers, cds and oh, there’s my nail polish. Yet in what looks like a disorganized heap, I know where everything I need in that heap is.

    So, I guess it’s a true reflection of my mind … huh? LOL

  41. says

    I cleaned out my childhood dresser last year. I found a $20 bill in a stocking that my granny gave me for Christmas when I was 11. It had been sitting in my dresser for 15 years.

  42. amy says

    Miz,
    You brought us to a new frontier :) Your post inspired me to tackle my home office. I went through a million professional journals/magazines that I was sure I would need one day (it’s all on-line now) and rid myself of so much “stuff.” The result is such a calm and open environment I almost want to work more. Thanks for the encouragement. It’s a real gift.

  43. says

    Amen & AMEN!! I would have never made the fitness/organization connection without this… now I’m inspired. Thank you for the post and the giveaway, I start the declutter today!!

  44. says

    I found a small glass vial containing three bladder crystals a vet removed from my cat… 10 years ago! I thought I’d gotten rid of it. (And we’ve moved many times – husband is Navy). I’ve cleaned out clothes and kitchen goods… but totally not enough progress on paper crap.

    I’m going to pass Lorie’s site on to my Biggest Loser clients… (they already have MizFit’s).

  45. says

    I found two more cats hiding out in my place! kidding…I will let you know if and when I ever get rid of my clutter. Who knows, may discover my place is bigger then I thought.
    Maybe I will uncover some folding money perhaps?

  46. says

    I haven’t checked out the 30 day declutter challenge, but I’ve been trying to get rid of things here and there when the mood and energy strikes me.

    First I found I have been carrying around a lot of mental clutter. Finding some stuff to toss there!

    In my yard I found a mattress. I had asked my son in the fall to put it out there with the idea that it would eventually wind up at the curb on trash day. It did about two weeks ago! Ack. It went out at the same time as the Christmas tree!

    The worst part isn’t that these things sat in my yard all that time but that I was very surprised to find them there!

    Did my bedroom last night and the basement is next. Tossing all the stuff my ex left behind and closing that chapter! :-)

  47. says

    I also am an unintentional participant. :-) Missed the first post with the challenge. But on Wednesday, I put out 6 full big, black trash bags of clothes and stuff for ARC. It was quite a lot more than 30 items. With my daughter moving out, I now have an extra big room. We threw several bags of stuff out while cleaning out her room. She’s learning that it doesn’t pay to be a pack rat when you live in a none bedroom apartment! ;-)

    One thing I found in the extra room (aka dumping ground for lots of clutter/crap) was a mini tripod I had been looking for over the last several months! Put it in my camera basket that holds all of the cords, bags, extra lenses, etc.

    When we were going through Mom’s clothes after she passed, Dad told us to be sure and go through the pockets, and sure enough, we found money and jewelry in them.

  48. Dea says

    Just like Jill, I found a drawer full of baby teeth…but something more gross and disgusting was there too…my baby’s (now age 20) shriveled umbilical cord stump. What possessed me?! I’ll keep the silver baby cup and discard the various DNA samples.

  49. says

    OK, you managed to get my guilt complex going!!! I have not even started decluttering!!!! I am not worthy!!! Now, which movie is that from!!!

    I need this book or pretty soon clutter will be my first name, not my middle name! :-)

  50. Kara says

    I am having a garage sale this weekend (AARGH tomorrow!!) and have dragged a few of my neighbors in as well.

    Do not pick me :)

    I’ll read the blog.
    No more clutter!

    have a great weekend, Miz.

  51. says

    I LOVE THESE..every post I read speaks to me..(except for the people who have overcome clutter).. these are so funny and I am so glad to know I am not alone. I am soooooooo very cluttered and I know that it’s all connected..I made that connection when I first started blogging..but have yet to do anything about it…just like the weight loss..but as always, MIZ you have lit a little fire under me..and I think that will be a goal to work towards..I’d love to get both areas (weight/clutter) under control this summer. I try to declutter daily..but also end up with various piles..like someone said earlier. These were just so fun to read!!! :)
    Everyday as I declutter, I say, “ugh, we have so much STUFF!! No more STUFF is coming in this house!!” and everyday more STUFF gets in.. ARGHHHHHHHH!
    Thanks for the daily dose of inspiration!

  52. says

    Since we’re moving I’ve been de-cluttering BIG TIME! I decided to tackle the filing cabinet. It was stuffed full of so much JUNK! I came across an old file folder with cards and letters I had saved from my late hubby. I never even knew they were there! We’re talking stuff as far back as the late 70’s! it was sweet and sad and wonderful to find. Of course I saved that folder.

  53. Jenni says

    I grew up with clutterbug parents, so for me it is really hard to get organized. I put stuff down where ever, with intentions to move it later. The problem is later never happens. Then I get a bug in my shorts and clean up my stuff, but then boyfriends stuff is everywhere. It’s overwhelming. To add to it, all the clutter is preventing me from doing all the dusting I need to be doing with 3 dogs and a cat. My goal is to get both he and I organized so I can keep the house as clean as I really want it. I am ashamed when people come over, and I don’t want to feel like that anymore.

    @JustJenni

  54. says

    While rooting about in the basement for things to toss, discovered Jimmy Hoffa. No, not really but did find first baby pictures of the little man (and his svelte looking younger mom). BTW, is “svelte” still a word?

  55. says

    I am amening with you. I have been trying–really trying–to be clutter free. So difficult with four kiddos and a husband who collects running shoes and t-shirts (we have race t-shirts around here that are 20 years old but VERY important…) Anyhoo, I am discovering, like the laundry, it is never “done.”

  56. says

    Yes, we’ll include everyone– thanks for offering to do the shipping, MizFit! I was trying to be practical with the USA rule but sometimes practicality needs to go out the window. Yea, I said it.

    @Rupal, great point- clutter can be mental/informational too, not just physical items!

    @Crabby McSlacker: Love your name… what you can do is give yourself what we call a “limiting container” for those cords & cables. Allow yourself to keep whatever fits in the container of choice. Anything more has to go. It forces you to prioritize and keep it down to a reasonable amount.

    @moonduster: Wow, 9 people in a 2.5 bedroom house? What’s a “half bedroom?” The best strategy for you is excellent maintenance habits– doing “clutter patrol” each evening, having regular cleanouts of toys and clothes, and teaching the kids organizing concepts and habits as you go. Make sure they participate in these efforts so they will learn how this works.

    @Sagan: Oh wow, OLD HUMMUS. That’s gotta smell.

    @tricia2: Yes, “angry organizing” and other emotional organizing efforts can be super-effective and cathartic! It’s a very productive way to channel your emotions.

    @Lynn C: the CHAPSTICK!! LOL! We have a member in our program that did the exact same thing.

    @POD: Wow, the chemo wigs. Who said that was bad luck to give them away? I think you did the absolute best thing. Plus I really believe it’s “bad feng shui” to keep things around you that preserve your identity in something negative in your past. Like one of our clients giving away the nice dress she wore to her divorce hearing– she will always associate that with that day and the pain involved. Why do that to yourself? I think it is fabulous that you gave those wigs away.

    @Tess: Why not make those Red Sox tix something that you enjoy more often by displaying them? Make a collage or shadowbox type thing to hang up.

    @Giz: wow, the cat bladder crystals, that is a really good one. Glad you had the wisdom to throw them out. (Lots of “eewwwww!” moments in these comments!) Thanks for sharing our site with others!

    Thanks, everyone, what great participation!!

    – Lorie

  57. says

    De-cluttering! I love that term. Made me look at my appartment in a whole new light. After reading your post, and the numerous inspired comments, I tackled my closet and found ties that I thought had been lost(buried underneath laundry bags) and even an old picture.

    Thanks for the post!

  58. says

    What a great post to get one motivated. I have been on this journey since the beginning of this year. It feels great to walk in my home at the end of the day and see no clutter.

    I seem to find many tubes of chapstick, finger nail clippers, rubber bands, band-aids…in other words…small things that never seem to have a home.

    As of right now, I keep one junk drawer in my kitchen. Each Saturday morning I clean it out and find a home for anything that may have landed there.

    This has been an amazing journey.

  59. Elizabeth says

    This week I cleaned out the fridge (old guacamole, eww), and threw out a shrunken, sad blue angora sweater, a Roxy hoodie with a broken zipper (let it go), a yicky black hiking fleece and equally cat-hair covered black fleece pants, a pair of ‘the wrong blue’ cotton shorts, a long sleeve red t-shirt that I’ve always hated and a long sleeve (also ‘wrong blue’) t-shirt that was hiked out. I also re-organized the wires under the computer, dusted them, and made sense of them, knowing that my husband will NEVER get to it, and I emptied TWO whole drawers that now have absolutely no junk or clothing in them (the ski clothes are now in the winter trunk where they belong.)
    I did all of this while maintaining my usual food/workout routine, without developing a gambling or sex addicition and without seeming like a massive control freak who has no life (two dates with my man)
    How did I accomplish all these wonders of human willingness?
    Simple. I have no children. :)
    P.S Small people are wonderful, amazing, beautiful creations of love. My husband and I simply don’t wish to partake from that portion of the Life buffet.

  60. says

    My mother was a clutter accumulator extraordinaire! When I was a child/young adult, I often conspired with my Dad to ah, de-clutter when Mom was out of the house. One day we were de-cluttering the pantry and we found this can of date bread. Only we were pretty sure that it had been there since my grandmother had owned the house. No nutritional label, no date, really plain label and well, THERE WAS SOMETHING HARD CLUNKING AROUND INSIDE WHEN WE SHOOK IT!

    We were pretty sure it was WELL past its prime, LOL! Pity eBay wasn’t around then, we might’ve made money off it with the right description, LOL!

    Our further adventures in de-cluttering together also involved the freezer. We’d fish out all the really really old stuff, sometimes finding meat that had literally been in there for a few years and make what we called “stew” for the dogs. The dogs loved it! We loved the idea that we’d never have to taste any of that really old meat/fish/fowl in our dinners.

    Of course, I have clutter of my own… and then there is hubby’s clutter. I turned up a $50 gift certificate of his once that was like 20 years old. I gave it back to him, but I suspect it will never get used. Probably I’ll turn it up again when it is really, REALLY old. At which point, we might just have to actually get to the store in question and present it with a purchase, if only to see the face on the clerk.

  61. surfmom says

    instead of putting all the kids projects that came home from the entire school year on the last day of school, on my desk to live their life sentence out….I bought a long plastic container that each can save what’s important to them and I got to pick out 5 additional items. It’s already put away, the papers etc already recycled! That was not my pattern last year!

  62. pipemover says

    I found the bottoms to my two piece swimming suit. The suit that I was only able to wear ONCE before I misplaced the bottoms in a pile of STUFF. The two pieces are back together now, and I can wear the whole thing as it was designed!!

  63. Janie says

    The comments here alone are a treat :)
    HILARIOUS.

    Off to declutter my daughter’s room.

  64. says

    While digging through the garage this week, I found a box of stuff I meant to bring to Goodwill FOUR YEARS AGO. UGH. Anyway, we had a garage sale this weekend – got rid of a lot of clutter, and will be making a trip to Goodwill to finally get rid of the rest!

    It feels good to lose that extra “weight.” :-)

  65. says

    As I am both a pack rat and in a constant state of trying to declutter, I uncover hilarious things constantly. The most notable event occurring recently when I was going through packed stored boxes and realized I had not one, not two but THREE entire sets of prisma color markers that had not been touched.

  66. Leslie says

    Moving is my best decluttering tool. Before I knew I was going to move two summers ago I decluttered the entire house. Then it was a whole year before I actually put the house up for sale, so I had to declutter again! While hubby lived away for that year…son and I had NO problem keeping the house immaculate.

    Moved to new house. Big problem…unloading all those boxes and now the storage of everything is different. Ugh. We have taken three car loads to Goodwill, sold the moving boxes and kitchen table (didn’t fit) on Craigslist (Yeah…cash), but still, now that hubby lives here again, we are in a mess. All his magazines, newspapers, work “reading” which for some reason he prints off the internet, etc. Last week I had to call Kohl’s and tell them I never got the bill before the last one. I did find it later under some mail that came on a Saturday and he stuck it under magazines. Ugh. At least they waived the late fee. Today I made him go through a BOX of magazines. I HATE Time, Business Week, Fortune…all of them! UGH. But now our recycling bin is full, so they’ll have to try and fit in next week!

  67. says

    I love your blog, so much great information that I’ve used. Thank you sooooo much, its appreciated. I can honestly say that I am not much of a clutter bug. I have moved so often, its just too expensive to acquire more and more. But, I am a paperholic. Love all reading/writing materials and like everyone else out there, not enough time to read it all. So, I stuff it in drawers only to take time out on my butt on weekends reading and tossing. That’s what I did yesterday and it feels really good. But, thanks to your great advice, I’m adopting a plan to only touch paperwork once and it either gets read, filed properly or tossed. Hum, sounds like another one of my 21 days to a good habit routine is back on again. Its all good. Linda

  68. says

    Love the whittling down the to-do list idea! I threw out/gave away 50 things when I moved a couple months ago (the biggest being my husband….) but I think I still have a way to go to be less cluttered.

  69. says

    i hugely decluttered when i moved here with a few boxes and a backpack, then i have amazingly cluttered myself again in a few short months, i just cant seem to get orgnized bc it still boxes….ummm…..when just moving again i uncovered a rock hard half eaten luna bar….i guess that’s just gross :(