De-cluttering tip: Get clear about your clutter

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /


One of the first steps in getting organized is to de-clutter. (I know – you want to run out and buy cute containers and nifty gadgets. That comes later. It’s actually step 4 in my Gotham Organizers Less Mess = Less Stress (TM)  5 step process to organize anything.)

As Oprah Winfrey has said, “You can’t have greatness in your life if it’s cluttered with junk. You need to open up to the possibilities.”

First, however, I want you to first get clear about your clutter. (A future post will be on how to de-clutter.)

Start by identifying the things in your space that are in your way, draining your energy, and causing you stress. These are the things you want to de-clutter!


Clutter is:

• Things that are un-done – the pile of mail you haven’t opened
• Things that are in the wrong place – the pile of books you keep tripping over
• Things that you never use  – the dusty popcorn maker you’ve had since college
• Things that you hate – the hideous sweater your aunt gave you five years ago
• Things that you have too many of – one staple remover is enough!
• Things that are broken – the old phone in the back of your closet
• Things that are out of date – the 2003 Zagat’s restaurant guide
• Things you can’t identify – the random cables, keys, knobs and thing-a-ma-bobs in your junk drawer

GO try it:

Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper and label the two columns:

• Things that are draining me of energy
• Things I want to bring into my life (include people and experiences and “things” like More free time)

Take a few minutes to write down what comes to mind for each category. Don’t do anything with your lists – just think about the relationship between your clutter and what you want. And if you happen to get the urge to toss the pile of old magazines and catalogs, go for it!

Need more help? Send me an e-mail


Have any insights or tips on clutter? Let me know HERE.

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