If you’ve ever thought about decluttering and then stopped, or actually started decluttering and then stopped, you might find some aha moments below. Think about these words the next time you shuffle ‘stuff’ from one room to another, dust a vase with no flowers, spend an entire weekend at Costco or Target, or try to fit into a pair of jeans that will not zip, and haven’t in five years.

Depending on where you are in your be more with less journey, you have either said some of these things, or will say them soon.

This may sound similar to the 5 stages of grief, but it is in no way meant to diminish grief or other emotions.

What clutter?


The Five Stages of Clutter: 

Denial: Clutter is a problem before you ever recognize it. Often heard in this stage …
  • What clutter?
  •  Let’s look through the sale flyers.
  • I’m saving that for my kids.
  • I need to get organized.
  • I’ll keep that just in case.

 Anger: When you finally feel trapped by your stuff, it will tick you off. Often heard in this stage …    

  • I spent so much on that.
  • I’ve never worn it and the tags are still on.
  • The collection company has me on speed dial.
  • I work so hard to have nice things.
  • I’m not happy.

Bargaining: When you start to picture your stuff in the perfect organizational system, you are bargaining. Often heard in this stage …

  • I need some good Rubbermaid containers.                 
  • We need a bigger place.
  • Storage space isn’t that expensive….
  • Ikea has the perfect …
  • We can get rid of it when we move. (you won’t)

Action: Boxing up your useless stuff is the first step and it feels so good. Every box out the door creates more space. You feel lighter. You can breathe. This stage has its own mini-stages ranging from slow and steady to everything must go. Often heard in this stage …

  • I don’t even remember what was in that box.
  • We may need to consider a smaller space.
  • What else can we give away?
  • Do we really need more than one?
  • She won’t even notice it’s gone.

Freedom: Every little thing that you let go of creates space and time that you didn’t know existed. Minimalists claim that freedom is the number one benefit of simplifying their lives. Often heard in this stage …

  • Why did I wait?
  • What else can I get rid of?
  • We are now able to downsize!
  • I’m finally happy.

Anything sound familiar? Embrace whatever stage of decluttering you are in and celebrate your accomplishments. You are doing great!

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