08 Mar 2012

It’s Gotta Go! 5 Simple Steps for Clearing Clutter

Oprah has entire issues on it.

There are TV reality shows about it.

Even Cooking Light has an article about it.

“It” is clutter, and clutter is getting a lot of press these days.  Google “declutter” and you’ll get over 556,000 hits!

Clutter is the stuff that no longer serves us. It fills up our space (mentally and physically).  One of the basic tenets of feng shui, which is an ancient art of creating a harmonious environment in your home, is that clutter represents stagnant energy. In order for energy to flow, and create a space that feels like a peaceful sanctuary, the clutter must be cleared.

Just as clutter keeps energy stagnant, it can also keep other areas of your life from growing. Do you avoid having friends over because your home is not in order? Have you put off planning a vacation or starting a new project because your life feels too out of control? Does a lack of organization make daily tasks, like paying bills or putting away groceries difficult?

Clearing clutter doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Here are 5 simple steps that will help you find your best thinking about creating a space you love:

  1. Start small.  Set a timer for 30 minutes (or less if you can’t commit to this).  Start in an area of your home where you’re keeping stuff that is less likely to have an emotional attachment.
  2. As you move through the space, ask yourself three questions about each item.  Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it?  If the answer is no to all 3 questions, out it goes.
  3. Grab 3 large trash bags. Sort your discard pile into broad categories (trash, recycle or donate).    Allow the feelings or emotions that are attached to an item to surface.  Acknowledge them…and continue moving.
  4. Take the things you want to get rid of out of the house ASAP.  The longer things stay around, the more likely it is they’ll find their way back into your home.
  5. When you’re finished, reward yourself! (DON’T skip this step)

Repeat these steps until your space feels open, peaceful and beautiful. If you’re having trouble tossing stuff, ask a friend to help.  Having an impartial person around can help you be more objective.


Dr. Anna Garrett


  1. Judy Pagnusat Says: March 11, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I happened to work on my clutter today and couldn’t believe what a differenceit made me.and how tired it made me but a good tired!

  2. Anna, I especially like number 1. Start small. In fact, I’ve continued small. I find that I get huge rewards each time I do a little clutter clearing. When I try to do too much for me, I get worn out and lose out on some of those rewards.

    Thanks for the reminder of how beneficial clutter clearing is to our life in general!

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