Doing the Work of Decluttering- Week 6

By week 6 the participants are really getting it and doing the work of decluttering. They are talking about some subtle shifts happening in their lives and homes. Most participants in this session are living with others whether it is a partner, sister or parent so this dynamic is coming up a lot. There hasn’t been any major roadblocks around this, however, it can be important for others in the family to know what you are learning and what you are working on. It is going to be best if you can work together, however, if this is not the case doing the work on yourself will eventually carry over to someone else.

After our check in with challenges and successes and then a discussion regarding the homework from last week we moved on to a Problem Solving Exercise. We always have a group member come up with a good example of a problem they are dealing with and then we go through the process together.

Most of us who struggle with clutter have a hard time with Solving Problems which has to do with making decisions and taking actions. It also has to do with trusting ourselves and knowing who we are and what we want. So, that is why it is important to pay attention to whats going on with ourselves, how we are feeling, what we tell ourselves and what actions do we take.

Think about a problem you might be facing. It could be something that has been on your to do list forever or maybe its a pile of boxes in a corner that you don’t want to deal with. Think about these steps to help you to move forward.

Problem Solving Steps

1. Define the problem and contributing factors
2. Generate as many solutions as possible. (doesn’t matter if these ideas make sense or not – we are just brainstorming here)
3. Evaluate the solutions and select one or two that seem feasible.
4. Break the solution down into manageable steps.
5. Implement the steps.
6. Evaluate the outcome.
7. If necessary, repeat the process until a good solution is found.

We talk a lot this week about really “doing the work”. So, that involves looking at How to Organize: Making decisions about your stuff using the Decision Tree, picking a place to start, gathering supplies, working on some categories for the stuff and following up with where things are going to go.  Individuals always say we make it look so easy but half the battle is just getting started and remember:  



So, how did I do on my challenge this week?  Well, I have to admit, I picked a fairly easy one.  I went through a big pile of books and journals that were sort of hidden in my bedroom.  Yes, I did go through them, found a few to go back on a bookshelf, some to donate, a couple I want to read and put the journals back with the other journals.  This exercise has helped me to feel more focused and able to work on my own personal goals.

This week my challenge is to get some donations out to a charity and clean up my laundry area.  Should be a doable challenge for a busy week ahead.  Stay tuned for next week when we have some visitors from the Clutter Clearers’ Peer Support Circle.

What are you up to with your de-cluttering goals?

About Kimberley

I am a Case Manager at My Sisters' Place which is a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association London Middlesex. My Sisters' Place is a program for vulnerable women. I love my job and all the wonderful women I work with. I am very honored to do this work with women who have been through so much and are so open in sharing their stories. I initiated and designed a Clearing Clutter Support Group which I have been facilitating since 2007 with a co-worker. I love running this group and learn so much from the participants. We offer this eight week program three or four times a year. I started my business Space For You in 2010 and work with individuals in their homes as well as offer some workshops in the community. I am available to speak to groups on "De-Cluttering Your Life", "The Magic of De-Cluttering", "Space Clearing" or really anything to do with clutter and hoarding.
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6 Responses to Doing the Work of Decluttering- Week 6

  1. Seana Turner says:

    My goal last week was to pick 3 three to shed from the attic, and I did it! I would love to continue this project, and find 3 more. With the temperature up above “polar,” I can go up there for a few minutes:)

    • Kimberley says:

      Awesome, it feels so good to get to those things doesn’t it. You are a brave soul to go up into that cold space. Thank you for your comment.

  2. Your Problem Solving Steps are quite brilliant – I think they could be applied to just about any type of problem!

    • Kimberley says:

      Yes, I think that is true Janet. We always have great examples too. For example, once the problem was “how to get rid of a piano”. There is always a way!

  3. Great list of Problem Solving Steps! I find that “Break the solution down into manageable steps” is the key to transitioning from the thought process to the actual doing process. If you don’t break steps down, it will become overwhelming and never get finished.

    • Kimberley says:

      Yes, for sure Sabrina. This can really help when the task is overwhelming and probably unrealistic. Sometimes individuals in the group will say that their challenge is to organize their bedroom. We always caution them and make sure that this is actually a doable task. Thanks for commenting.

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