Confessions About Clutter

2017 has already brought me positive change. I started a new job on January 3 (more about that in an upcoming post), I am continuing to work with my fabulous life and career coaching clients, I am back at the gym following two separate and equally painful tendonitis episodes and I am…

Recommitting to tackling household clutter.

I embarked on a decluttering mission a year or so ago. I was following a schedule that I found online. It involved one 15 minute mission a day, every day for a year. At the end of the year, the home will be clutter-free. It’s a great schedule, but it didn’t work for me. I am not a 15-minute-a-day person. I am a several-hours-over-the-weekend person. Once I got clear on how I best work, I decided to make 2017 the year I go into attack mode. I’m starting with my kitchen. My first session involved taking everything out of a cabinet, throwing away outdated items or items I know I’ll never use, and organizing what remains. Know what I found the most of?


Lots and lots of spices.

I probably have four tins of chili powder and multiple tins of other spices. It was just too easy to pick up a spice from the store instead of checking my inventory to see if I already have it. I ended up buying a storage container to hold everything. I have told myself I am not allowed to buy another spice until I use up what I already have. I’m making chicken fajitas tonight and, no surprise, I already have every spice needed for the seasoning.

Here are photos of my spice collection.


The storage situation is not ideal, but all of those containers are corralled into one place. As I use up spices, I’ll step down to a smaller bin.

I’ve had two kitchen decluttering sessions and I only need one or two more before that room is finished. Afterward I’ll move on to another room. The sense of accomplishment and increased space is motivating me to continue on. I’ve taken several boxes of unused kitchen items to the thrift store and I now have space to stow away small appliances I only use weekly. The extra counter space is refreshing!

Why am I telling you this and why in the world am I showing you my spice clutter? Because I want you encourage you to rid yourself of any shame you may be feeling about the state of your home. If you deal with clutter, here are my “coach’s thoughts” on tackling it.

  • Be gentle with yourself. My clutter didn’t appear in one day and it won’t disappear over night. I am choosing to celebrate my accomplishments, one decluttering session at a time. I’m not setting a deadline on when my project must be completed. I’ve only made a commitment to work on it a bit each week.
  • Be clear on your work style. Those 15-minute a day online guides are great if that is the way you work. Otherwise, design a plan that fits your style. (Again, I’m a weekend warrior.)
  • If you’d like help, hire a professional organizer to work with you. I co-present workshops with a professional organizer and I can assure you, organizers keep what they see and hear in the strictest of confidence. You can “air your dirty laundry” to them just as you can a coach.
  • Look online for motivation. Here’s one of my favorite blogs on minimalism.

I’d love to get a conversation going about how you have tackled (or are tackling) clutter. Please leave your tips in the comments section. Sharing your successes will help others!


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1 Response to Confessions About Clutter

  1. I was decluttering my 16 yo daughter’s closet and dresser. She had several things that she never wore and refused to wear. I took them to church and gave them to a lady who is built small like my daughter. I asked her in the past if she would like clothes so I knew that it wouldn’t offend her.

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