Jun 28

Are You Brave Enough to Share your Clutter Story?

Thursday~ I have a few questions for you on my blog today about Chapter 9. Join in. There might even be a prize today. Just sayin.’


If you’ve read Chapters 8 & 9, then you know that this getting organized stuff is going to take some time. Time ladies. This won’t happen overnight. This week, I have taken notes and made some decisions about what I’m going to conquer and how. I’m not quite ready to begin. I leave for the beach tomorrow, so putting any expectations on myself this week would have been silly. Instead, I’ve been intentional on making an action plan which I intend to begin implementing this summer. I don’t plan to finish first, but I do plan to finish.

Chapter 9, Remove the Clutter, could have been written for me. That whole scenario at the beginning of the chapter with Glynnis forgetting her appointment with the speech therapist and about her son’s school party, well that could be me. I’m so bad about reading when something is due, then sticking the paper in a bin to look at later, only for later to come and go. Or I’ll write my appointments on my calendar, but not look at my calendar. Then the dreaded phone call comes, “Mrs. Taylor, are you coming?”

This year seemed to be the year of forgetting Hayley Grace (my 10 year old daughter).  I know, I know, that’s awful isn’t it?  I’m embarrassed to even tell you how many times this school year I forgot to pick up Hayley Grace from school. It was usually due to a lack of communication with my family, I thought her brother or father was picking her up. Or I got so involved at work, the time just crept up on me. That’s a horrible feeling when the school secretary calls (again) and says, “Mrs. Taylor, who is picking up Hayley Grace today?”  And I just picture her sitting in the office feeling abandoned and alone. (Although usually she’s having fun helping one of the teachers out and asks if she can stay longer!) Still, there’s no excuse. Whether it’s physical clutter or mind clutter, both have a cost. And not only we the guilty suffer, but also those around us.

Another example:  I’m usually a little late wherever I go. It’s not because I’m lazy or I over sleep. It’s not because I forgot where I am supposed to go. It’s usually because I can’t find my keys, cell phone, or an item I’m supposed to bring with me. I spend minutes and minutes searching, when if I’d just had it in it’s proper place, I would have left on time. I’m sure you cannot relate.

Yep, it’s time for a change.

Do you have a clutter story that you are brave enough to share?  One that will make the rest of us feel better about ourselves?  Would you be brave enough to tell us about it?  Maybe you’ve paid a price due to your clutter?  Has clutter in your life numbed you? Have you struggled with others due to the clutter in your life? Do you have anxiety due to mind clutter?

Share you clutter story with us today and you will be entered to win a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart. Maybe you can purchase some containers to help with the decluttering in your life.

Blessings Fellow Cluttered Friends! I can’t wait to read your stories :)



  1. Teresa R says:

    I’ve lived in clutter since my 1st husband left me the 1st time. I felt worthless so why did I need to do anything? I would just put stuff down the 1st place it fit and never move it. I would try to put it away, but within a couple weeks it would look the same.
    Right now I have a back bedroom with books, magazines and paper stacked everywhere, tubs of yarn stacked on top of each other. My desk has books, papers, CDs, and mail covering it. Books and papers are stacked in front of the bookcase. I have books and cassettes tapes and christmas items piled on the entry shelf. I have pencil boxes with cut pictures and words from magazines stacked on the floor of the living room. Plastic bags, unused coffee cups and food are stacked on the kitchen counter.My bedroom floor has stacks of DVDs on the floor in front of the entertainment center. Unhung clothes are in the laundry basket sitting on my bedroom chair. I look at it all and wonder where to start.

    • Teresa, be kind to yourself….clutter didn’t get there overnight and it will not go away overnight. Don’t be discouraged. Pray for the strength and energy to just tackle one small thing and then celebrate. Next day, do the same. You are certainly not alone in this journey. :o)

    • Mary Ann says:


      Your back bedroom sounds like my bedroom, living room, and home office right down to the magazines, papers and books IN FRONT of the bookcases-becaue I can’t get to the bookcases. I did finish putting away the laundry basket of clean clothes that have been sitting on my bedroom floor for the last week. YAHOOOO!!!! But I still have stuff piled in corners of my bedroom, craft supplies in baskets all over the room, scrapbooking stuff piled in the corner, book and magazines on the floor next to my bed. I do have some magazines in a basket that are waiting to be read. So I can so relate to you and your clutter. You are not alone. I have found that if I am watching TV, I will take a small pile of papers, magazines, etc and sit there and sort into three piles…one for recycling or trash, one to file, and one to take to Half Price Books or donate to another organization. It does help and I can actually sit through a tv program and feel like I accomplished something.

      Be kind to yourself, my friend, and realize that your clutter didn’t happen overnight. Take it one day at a time and one small pile at a time and you will see results. We are taking this class for the same reason as you.

  2. I can totally relate! I’ve been a cluttered person before I was even married.
    When I got married and moved in I just moved all my clutter in. Still unpacked from the previous move. Then as time went on the kids came and then our house went into foreclosure so we had to move and to top it we were moving into a smaller home with no basement. When we first moved in here I was organized but then kids started school and I had to save every artwork page, tracing page, newsletter, the list goes. My husband points at me when the Hoarders show comes on. Lol, I’m not that bad. But you can’t open my cupboard doors w/o something

    falling, my bottom cupboards are filled with arts and craft supplies, plastic containers~the butter ones. I always save stuff like that thinking the kids can use for painting or double as an extra chip or cereal bowl. Underneath my kitchen sink I have all recyclables that I think I re~use for some strange reason. Like egg cartons or my coffee creamers, oh I think I’ll save those and use it a container for nuts, lol. Something I saw on Pineterest. Our kitchen island has, well, can’t see it. Papers, hubbys stuff, kids toys, everytime I clean it off the kids are always ohhhing and ahhhing like its something new. It chaos but my lil chaos. I have piles of papers, clothes, that need to be put away. When I do the laundry (my hubby completely hates this) because of our dog and cat, I’ll put the clothes from the dryer in a trash bag and then in a basket. I always say I’ll put it away tmrw but tmrw never comes. Even if I were to use our dresser its filled with more paper, cards, or junk as my husband would say. When my kids need a pair of socks I say go look in the bags in mommas room. I wish I could just say “they’re in your dresser hun” when it comes to getting organized and cleaning I get started been then become completely frustrated from how bad I let it go. I forgot where I put import dr bills, utility bills, weeding invitations, my key, my purse, my phone, my head, lol. I’ve said this beforeon another study. One day I could not find my keys and we were running late of course because of my clutter, my kids had seen that goofy BrainStrong commercial where if you take that vitamin you’ll think more clearly and remember, well my daughter and son “momma you should buy some brain strong” I almost died when they said that! But that’s my story. I could go on but, it only gets worse lol. That’s my clutter bug story

  3. Blessings my sweet sisters/friends who like me are dealing with “clutter”. My living is a storage bin–like one of those on the tv show Storage Wars–I wish there was some “high dollar” items in there, but no it’s just stuff. In 2008 when the economy took a nose dive, our oldest came back home to to live–my husband said it would be waste of money to pay for a storage unit– 4 years later–stuff is still in the living room–Love having our daughter living with us–being a hair styliest has good weeks/bad weeks–so every 3/4 months we’ll go back through the “stuff” and get rid of some–my goal for this study is to get rid of more of this stuff–some of items are priceless because my mother in law gave them to my children–she passed away july 2008 from pancreatic cancer. but if I can reorganize the “goodies” have my daughter go through the stuff again–I’ll feel I have gained control of the “stuff”–it’s really just stuff–I have told my family there are many people out there who would truly love some of furniture/dishes–but I too must respect my husband/daughter/son wishes because some of items have alot of memories tried to them. Making the list of projects/getting a system together will help me “re-organize” my to do list. blessings everyone

  4. Orangeh Geraldine says:

    My clutter is that i always start up something well with anxiety but always abandon.

  5. Melissa. Thank you so much for the Hayley Grace story. My oldest daughter just finished fourth grade, but when she was in second grade I did just that to her…..forgot to pick her up from school….well….didn’t forget…..just didn’t wake myself, my 4 year old and my infant up from our naps. :-) It was an awful feeling! As for my clutter, it continues to collect in my basement and my garage. I think I do a decent job of keeping the house in order, but anything that I need to get through or decide what to do with ends up in either the basement or the garage. I look at those areas and I can envision how I’d like them to be, but actually making it happen is another story. It doesn’t help that I have a husband who doesn’t “hang up his robe”. :-) Plus, with three kids at home, I find it difficult to find the time to tackle these areas. I have an internal war between getting these big projects done and spending the time doing something with my kids. I seem to end up feeling guilty either way. This study is helping, though, as I get a better sense of my priorities and lessen the expectations I put on myself.

  6. Oh Melissa, I have a story….I just have to decide which one it should be LOL. But I will tell you this, the pin that I posted last night with the clutter – that picture is part of ONE of my FIVE rooms that actually look like that.

    I will be back to post my story. But here is something to make you feel better. I have forgotten my kids many times at school and once when Megan was little I told her to go get in bed, I would be right there to read to her and tuck her in, well I FORGOT all about her and she was not happy the next morning. Talk about feeling bad……

  7. Nanci D says:

    yep, I’m Mrs. Clutter too. I so want a clean, uncluttered house so that I can have a clean uncluttered mind. I’m filling out a lot of papers for my daughter to go to college this fall and I can’t find anything I need and it is driving me CRAZY!!!! I’m working on it but it just doesn’t seem to go quick enough. Ugh!

  8. I have managed to keep the main level of my house clear of clutter. It is the upstairs and basement that is cluttered. That is where stuff goes from the main level. I have a lot of big items in these areas that I cannot remove on my own. There are mattresses, an old freezer, an old treadmill. Once these are gone then I feel I could tackle the remaining areas. This is a priority I am going to put on my list. I have a husband and sons but they all have some sort of back problem, knee problems that carrying these items up or down the stairs would be an issue. I live in a small town (less than 3,000) people so I am going to have to brainstorm to figure out my options. My other clutter consists of paperwork we have to keep for tax purposes. We have to store it for seven years. I am looking forward to the paperwork chapter. I also have all sorts of books that I need to purge.
    I am looking forward to reading other comments today. Have a great day!

    • Lee Ann says:

      Hi there! I feel your pain about big items/back issues. You might check with the youth group at your church and see if they would help you for a donation; if they can’t, I bet they can give you some ideas on who to ask! Good luck and God bless!

  9. I love crafts!!!! I enjoy turning left over, old, unusable items into something new and beautiful. BUT with this line of thinking, everything I see has the potential to become something else. So, I’ve amassed a bit of a stock pile of…well, let’s face it…junk. To top it off, a couple of years ago one of my friends gave me boxes full of circa 1970/80 fabric and yarn. I must also mention that I’m a sucker for the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby and I don’t like to throw anything away. As you can imagine, my craft room is a mess!!!!! I seriously have so many supplies that I probably don’t need to purchase any thing else for about 7 years. That is if I could actually get started on a project. My clutter is so overwhelming that I when I sit down to start a project, I instantly get sidetracked by the mess. I feel like I’m suffocating in my own craft supplies.
    Through this study, I feel that a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’ve learned that I don’t have to organize my craft room in one day. I’ve always known this, but when someone else told me, it just seemed to click. So, I take about 30 minutes every day to organize a couple of shelves. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but this little act has made a huge difference.
    I am so thankful that God has given me a creative, crafty mind. He has also provided all the supplies that I need to be creative. In a world where poverty and hunger is rampant, having too much of something seems like such a petty problem to have. I know that when I focus on my clutter, I’m not focusing on Christ. And that’s where my mind really needs to be.
    Melissa, thanks for leading this study! You are doing a great job!!!!!

    • Christa says:

      Isn’t it amazing how making one little change or cleaning off one or two little shelves takes such a weight off your shoulders?? We have to wear a badge at work that opens the doors. I used to always just toss it in my purse (the great unknown, according to Francesca Battistelli!) at the end of the day. Then the next day I would be standing in front of the door, digging through my purse trying to find it. Usually somebody else would come up behind me while I was looking for it and use their badge to open the door and I would be so embarrassed. I started off every day feeling stupid and inadequate for not being able to find a dumb badge!! Finally a few weeks ago, I started clipping the badge to the edge of the little zipper pocket inside my purse. That takes all of five seconds longer than just tossing it in the bottom, but now I always know right where it is and it makes such a huge difference in my morning! Making a few little changes like that makes me feel so good and gives me confidence to tackle the big things!

      So, kudos to you, Emily, for organizing two shelves! Before you know it, your whole craft room will be neat and tidy and you will be able to create some cool things out of your stuff!

  10. Angel Parnell says:

    Ok I found the little lock at the top saying it was secret. I have a prayer request. Well, it’s more like a complete life change. I feel God is leading me to down size my life and make some big changes. I think He wants me to move from the house we rent into a smaller apartment and change jobs. I am a creature of habit. I know God created me that way, but I feel His leading to trust Him in change. Maybe this is His answer in my prayer for Him to create a new heart in me. Never before have I wanted God’s plans for me more than now. I always had some kind of selfish desire thrown into “His Will”. Now more than anything I want to follow Him where ever he leads. This process I feel He is leading me through means giving up a lot of worldly possessions to provide funds to get out of debt and fit into the smaller apartment. Starting a new job means I have to meet new people and learn new expectations and trust god that I am good enough (something I struggle with daily). Jesus is calling me to step out of my boat of comfort and take a walk with Him on the open seas. Just the invitation alone takes my breath away. Please pray I have the strength to take the first step and say yes I will walk with you. This may not sound like a clutter story, but the clutter of my home and of my heart (not just my mind) must be dealt with to be able to say yes.

    • Teresa C. says:

      Angel, You are brave, wonderful, and inspiring!!! Yay for you to recognize and make a change….change is never easy! You can do it!!!! God will give you what you need to do it! One step at a time….BELIEVE! Think of how proud you will feel after you do this and how you will reflect God’s light in your life!!!! You go, girl!!!

  11. Here’s my story of clutter from yesterday.

    As soon as I get up in the morning I have my quiet time with God. Well guess what? I couldn’t for the life of me find my BIble. I looked & I looked, everywhere. It ws no where to be found. I searched the same places over & over again with no luck. Ever done that yourself? My Bible had gotten up & wondered away from all of the usual places that I put it. My son happened to be up with me at 5am & so I got short with him & didn’t say some vey nice thing about him being up so early & not bothering to help me look for my lost Bible. Not mother of the year material right there, lol. Anyway my son did get up After some grumbling about how he wasn’t the one who lost my Bible. We both searched the same places a few more times & then it hit me in the head like a ton of bricks. Tricia, you put your Bible in the top drawer of you dresser in your bedroom. Oh yeah, I did do that the night before right as I was leaving to go to counseling. See I don’t like to leave my Bible study notebooks out with my kids at home while I’m not there since there’s sometimes things written down as the answer to a question that I wouldn’t want them to see. Such as references to my past abuse when I was a child. So I had placed my Bible & the 2 Bible study notebooks, I had been working on that evening, in my dresser drawer for safe keeping while I went to counseling. Only I had forgotten about that & so I spent a good 20 minutes of my next morning searching for something that not only had I moved it myself but then I had acted accusingly towards my son as if he had been the one to move it. Can we say apology mom. Yeah, I did end up apologizing to him & he accepted my apology. Then you know what happened later on in the day??? I couldn’t find my laptop cord. And here went again.

    I so need this study!

  12. My walk in closet is hard to walk into… I tackle it and within months it is like that again, I get rid of things, new things take the place in the space. I lose important papers because I have too many in the file drawers in 4 different places and can’t remember what I did with them. I need to clean out the file drawers as well as my closet. I hunt for things. Yesterday we lost he keys to the lock at the gate and our community mail box. My son left them outside with the gate open as he had just come out the gate with a ladder to help me paint. Took me 10 minutes of yelling at my other son to help me find them before it occured to me where they were. I hate when I yell at my kids. I hate when I am stressed over little things. I have found that if i stop and take a deep breath and say God, help me find …. then wait for my brain to focus, it helps me, many many many times. I should say God helps me, and I usually find the lost item. But I hate repeating this pattern. Gonna get a handle on my closet this summer, AGAIN, and those files of papers we don’t need anymore, going to shred them up, one sheet of paper at a time. Thanks for the venting session, that helps too!

  13. I got married 5 years ago and my husband has two kids from a previous marriage. We moved all of our stuff in and what we didn’t use at the time went in the attic. We never sorted out what we didn’t want, we just piled both of our things in this house and it is cramped and has lots and lots of clutter. We now have a 4 yr old and like someone else said, I have saved every tracing, art project, etc and she even hates to get rid of stuff, so her room is just piled with stuffed animals, etc. I am so guilty of saying …I will get to that one day but actually, I am moving the same stuff, papers, etc over and over again just to find stuff I need. My closet even has shirts that have bleach spots on them. I mean how many shirts do you need to wear around the house only that have bleach all over them. I need to throw those away. I guess I need to tackle one room at a time… I also have a family business that is in one area of our house that does have a separate entrance. It is even in need of cleaning / purging out stuff. This book is giving me lots of good insight.

  14. Rebecca says:

    I actually get really frustrated by clutter and rarely give myself grace in that area. Most of my clutter is mental. I constantly forget things, run late or just plain do something wrong because I did not get myself together in advance. My physical clutter is mostly toys or related to my husband and I not putting things back in their proper place. For the physical clutter, I am going to implement some staging areas. Places to store things until they can make it to their home. The paper vented in my kitchen has worked well so far. My mental clutter is going to take some mental discipline (that and some sleep). Why did God bless me with 3 super early birds and a night owl husband. :)

  15. Hi, my name is Shauna and I’m a craft hoarder 😉 Seriously, I have tons of yarn, knitting needles, knitting patterns, knitting books, 2 sewing machines, a stash of fabric, books on sewing, several bags that hold all my half completed knitting/sewing projects, etc. And I have purged some of it, but this stuff is like rabbits 😉 and it seems to just multiply every time I look at it. The sad thing is, I haven’t even done a project in about 6 months because I’ve been so busy with my toddler son and husband. I go in my craft room, look around and sigh. I really want to knit some things and make some quilts at some point so I don’t want to get rid of it all. I’ve got to purge some more of it and organize what’s left…. and only keep the things I know I will use. Easier said than done though, but I am going to get it done this summer!

  16. Lee Ann says:

    My whole world turned upside down about 1 1/2 years ago when my husband and I adopted our darling baby girl. I’ve never been an organizational kind of girl, but I made it through ok. Well, my life changed for the best, and I am ashamed to say that I didn’t get it when it came to my house, paperwork, etc. I still felt the need that it had to be done… NOW. So, if I couldn’t do it NOW, just pile it up and do it when I can do it all. And, working 45 to 50 hrs a week at my business then spending time with my family doesn’t give much time for “all at once”. Needless to say, this has netted me an office you cannot work in, a guest room that has to be cleaned out when company comes and a walkin closet that has become a crawl in carefully closet. This study has already helped me a lot with my mindset, and I love the task vs project scenario. Thank you so much, Melissa for the job you do leading us in this study. God’s blessings!

    • Kandace says:

      Lee Ann, I do the same thing. If I can’t FINISH it… there is no point in starting it. And I don’t finish much :)

  17. Sallie H says:

    I so totally agree with Glynnis’ comment about us becoming desensitized to clutter. If I actually LOOK around me, I see several areas in my home that are not as neat and organized as they should be. Disorganized pantry, cluttered kitchen and bathroom counters, messy closets, stuffed drawers, an ancient filing system, kitchen cupboards, craft supplies, gobs of photos, e-mail inbox (over 600 items now). Ouch. I’m looking forward to tackling all these areas one by one. I like the 5-step organizing plan from the book: 1-Group like items; 2- Remove the excess (probably the hardest part for me); 3-Place and Replace (a.k.a. put away things logically); 4- Store items in containers (refer back to #2- don’t store the excess 😉 5- Assess and maintain regularly. (walking around with a notebook and a critical eye is quite an eye-opener when you have become desensitized to the mess). When my girlfriends wanted to do this study I went along for the ride, but didn’t think I needed it too much. Now that is really funny.

  18. Kandace says:

    Oh do I have clutter! It seems never ending… I don’t have any exciting stories.. other than continually buying things that I can’t find in my house. Including clothes. When this bible study started, I bought myself some new highlighters… a 5 pack. 5 different colors. I thought, ooh, a different color for each chapter (roating of course)… well, I got through 4 chapters… everything else is yellow. That was the last color I used…and I can’t find the other 4! At least I can find my book, my bible, and my computer (thank goodness it isn’t a laptop)!
    I, like you Melissa, am going on vacation next week so this week has been a little more hectic and I am having trouble staying on task… add to that a new puppy. Today is a day of refocus for me… re-read, pray, plan! I am working on giving myself a little grace. Knowing I am not going to read one chapter, implement everything in it and be on my way. I struggle with follow through… as well as Satan’s little voice in my head that is constantly reminding me that I struggle with follow through. I am determined to do better this time. I WILL finish… and finish well! Thank you so much for leading this study and being so real with us… I know I am not alone in my struggles, but it helps to hear others are going through the same things!

  19. Sallie H says:

    Hey Melissa,
    Quick question. I paid for the conference calls but never received the call-in info. Then again, MAYBE I did and can’t find it. LOL. Could you send that to me?
    Sallie Hagen

  20. Christa says:

    God blessed me by wedding me to a man who hates clutter. So all of the common areas of our home are pretty much clutter-free. However, my personal spaces are a mess. You can definitely look around and tell which side of the bathroom counter, which book case, which nightstand and even which side of the bed belong to me! I struggle even more with time clutter. I’m involved in way too many things. I tried to think of an example where my time clutter affected someone else. Our church works concessions at sports events at the local university as a fund raiser for youth camps, mission trips, etc. I am responsible for scheduling the dates, finding stand leaders, etc. Just before baseball season, I sent a list of available dates to our stand leaders and asked them to sign up for the games they wanted. I immediately heard from a lady whose whole family (four of them) were going on a mission trip to China. They really needed the money and she picked five dates to work. Well, I wanted to wait a day to see if I heard from anyone one else so that I could just send on list of dates to the university, but I got busy and one day turned into a week turned into a couple of weeks, and by the time I got around to sending in the request, only one of the dates the lady wanted was still available. My time clutter had cost this family about $600 towards their trip! Now, of course, God was faithful and they were able to raise the money. In fact, they are in China right if you want to say a little prayer for them, but they were still working on money right up to the very end and it was all made unnecessarily stressful because of my lack of follow-through. That is why working on my project and to-do lists is so important to me. Time clutter is my biggest issue.

  21. I was mentally cluttered running back and forth getting things loaded into my car for a church event when the bill I had in my purse ready to mail fell out and blew away. Seriously. That cost time and hassle, but my husband’s reaction was commendable- I know he was annoyed but he didn’t show it.

  22. When the teenage/adult children where at home the clutter was awful. They had their stuff, I had my stuff and all this stuff was choking me. I had no desire to clean, cook or do anything creative or productive. Then they started moving out and leaving their unwanted clutter behind. Well, I might need that someday so I put it in the corner in the basement. Yep, you guessed it, the basement got full. Well, all the kids moved out and I was left with all the stuff and I was OVERWHELMED. So, I found Flylady and I followed her examples until I got things under control. Fifteen minutes at a time was manageable. I still have junk. . . I am a sewer/crafter and we collect stuff, but it is controlled in boxes and bins and I can actually find it. I still have clutter but it is not so overwhelming that it takes away from my life like it used to.

    I don’t think I would have ever made it on Hoarder’s but I was sure close there for a while.

  23. The concept of clutter stemming from the mind has been so enlightening to me. I always thought of my clutter as something outside of myself, but I do feel the weight of it everyday. It’s like I’m physically carrying it around with me, but in my mind. An epiphany! When my kids were young my method of cleaning was paper grocery bags. Fill them up with whatever doesn’t belong and store them in the closet. I wouldn’t deal with the bags until I couldn’t fit anymore in the closet or needed to find something. Sometimes looking through the bags until I found whatever I needed at that moment. I think I’m doing better now than back then…but the storage bins in the garage are screaming a different story. It’s so true that it takes time to work on the clutter. I did the 15 day Organization earlier this year and I still need a lot of help! This study is adding to that. The decision making has been a big factor for me. I’ve had years of major depression and it effects your ability to make minor decisions

  24. My father passed away 1 1/2 years ago at the ripe old age of 98 yrs. He saved everthing even used tissues. They could be of some use I guess if they had a clean corner on them. lol But as my sister and I were cleaning stuff out and sorting through stuff wondering what on earth he needed 100 bars of soap for????? I thought I never want my family to have to do this for me. I am looking for bargains like everyone else but I came home with a whole new outlook on what we actually need. I have gone through every room thinking what would I want my kids to have to deal with and it’s really helped me downsize. i have more to go but I think changing the way I thought helped me get started.

  25. I don’t think clutter is strong enough word, but hoarder might be too strong! (or is that my denial talking?) Not long after I got married we moved across the country and lived with my husband’s parents until we found a house. All our stuff was in storage. We found a house, but it was a MAJOR fixer upper. So we didn’t unpack and move everything in, just some stuff while we were remodeling. It turned out to be too hard to fix the place up while living there, so we worked out another “temporary” living arrangement and still didn’t unpack. Finally after 5 years we moved into our house and didn’t “unpack” because we already bought things to replace what was in storage! Now another couple years have gone by and we have started and stopped a business and added all that business’ equipment to our storage and have filled up an entire shipping container!! It is so terrible! We want to move again but have promised ourselves to empty the container first! I have such a hard time parting with things! I need one if those HGTV shows like Clean House to come and have a yard sale and donate the rest to charity! We have attempted two yard sales this year, but they didn’t pan out. But we have one success! We made a big drop off at a donation center! It felt so good! We need to do that every weekend! I have a long long ways to go!

  26. My story is simple about my on-going pockets of clutter in my life. I always say I am the most organized disorganized person I know. I write To Do lists, even use them, put like papers together, but….I don’t consistently keep up with it. In between the dedicated times I can’t begin to tell you the amount of money I have lost by not opening up envelopes with checks in them and it was too late to cash them!!! Even an IRS refund checks from years ago. Sad, that was before auto deposit. Just a week ago, I was once again cleaning out the paper clutter and found a $100 check one of my family members sent me a long time ago. This, unfortunately, is not the first time this has happened. Wow, what does this say to them? Lastly, how many times have I been penalized for not responding to letters explaining something negative would happen if I didn’t do this or that and then finally finding it to only beg for mercy. Again, clutter causes mental oppression and depression. I once heard a Christian speaker say that God is in the order and details of life. It is also true I have come to believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness!!!

  27. Carissa D. Huffman says:

    Sweet Melissa–

    I once could not find my keys for over a week because of the clutter in my life–no joke! (They were in the bottom of my also too cluttered purse.) :p

    I have so much stuff sitting around, I didn’t even want to let my parents come from across the street to feed our cat a couple times last weekend when we went to Chicago to see Cirque du Soleil (one of the 3 things my little boy has asked to go do this summer).

    I know when we were getting ready to welcome our boy into the world 3 1/2 years ago, we rented a big roll off container (like the ones they use for construction sites), filled it up, then they came and hauled it all away! That was how we made room for the baby!! We need to get one again, because we are still overloaded, and that is SO gratifying.


    Do any of you sweet ladies have need of great clothing for a little boy? I am talking from newborn up to size 2T. If someone has a little guy, or you know someone who does, I can hook you up! I have only given away a very few pieces–I still have EVERYTHING. (THAT is some world class clutter, now, isn’t it??) It will be a blessing for me, too, because it would force me to get these clothes out of the house.

    Hope this makes someone feel better–really. This is certainly going to take a bunch of time…

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  28. Where do I start? Melissa, you shared some of my stories in your own words: late because things are hiding from me and forgotten appointments and responsibilities because I don’t have time (or don’t TAKE the time) to look at the clock or read my calendar. But just this past week my checkbook snuggled closely with a pile of cluttered receipts that I neglected to write down and I found myself trying to explain why our checking account was overdrawn. It cost me two overdraft fees totaling $64.00 and a few tense moments with my hubby. Confession is good for the soul, right? Thank you for a safe place and for grace. xoxo, Shelly

  29. Rachel B. says:

    Ironically, I had to call Proverbs 31 yesterday to make sure my conference call payment went through because I realized I had forgotten to pay the credit card bill (again). Still don’t know where the last statement went. My schedule/committments is where I need the most help. I am defintely one of those people-pleasing maniacs Glynnis mentioned. There was a period of over two weeks recently where I did not get home once in time to do anything but go to bed. Every minute from 6am to 9pm was taken. I want so much to help, but it’s completely out of control. When people thank me , I say “you’re welcome” but they don’t know how I resent all these activities. I certainly don’t think I deserve to be thanked. My heart is not the cheerful giver it was a couple years ago, and my husband is trapped in a terrilby disorganized and cluttered home because I won’t tell people no. I so dearly love this study-what a blessing! It’s also really hard. Lots of breakthroughs already,though. Thanks, Ladies, for all the wonderful work you’re doing to help your sisters!!!!

  30. My most memorable clutter story happened when I was living on the west side of Chicago, alone with four kids under the age of 8. My house was constantly a mess. One night, after letting the dog out (as if the four kids weren’t enough to care for, we also had a dog and several cats) I forgot to lock the front door. During the night, it swung open enough for a couple police officers passing by to notice and stop to do a well-being check. I woke up to a police officer’s flashlight and his concern that my home had been “ransacked.” I was mortified (and a little worried about DCFS, ha ha)!

  31. If there is a flat surface in my house.. tabletop, countertop, chair.. there is something on it. I use my dining table to “organize” and my chairs are the seperated piles… and that’s about as far as I get. I need to actually file or toss the stuff on the chairs… usually things just get shuffled to another flat area. It’s a mix of paperwork (me) and tools (hubby). We are masters of walking in the door, finding a flat spot to place whatever we brought in with us… and then … nothin. We even move laundry from the bed to a chair across the room when our drawers are the beds base… It literally takes more work to move the laundry than it would to toss it in the drawer, but that’s what we do. Oh goodness.

    I am going to grab some boxes from work this afternoon and start clearing off my tables, counters, etc.. filing like with like in each box and at least get things to the room in which they belong. And then I’m going to find the chair that’s hiding under the laundry and possibly relocate it as well? We’ll just see what ideas spring up once I get into motion. I even have my notebook ready to write them down. Small steps.. one thing at a time.
    Here we go!

  32. Rebecca B. says:

    For most people, my house looks clean. But to me, all I see is clutter. I want to work through it but I feel like I don’t have time. I know that I can make the time but it is finding the effort. I’m a little bit of a procrasinator and I then beat myself for putting things off.

  33. Teresa C. says:

    Front closet. Yup. In the entry way. Has anyone seen the movie “Uncle Buck”??? When he opens the closet, and everything falls out, including a bowling ball on his head?!? Well, that’s my front closet, except for the bowling ball. ha ha ha

    I have taken small steps to clean out clutter, but not big ones yet. Also, I’ve enlisted the help of my husband, who is so good at the cleaning out. I am better at the organizing but get overwhelmed easier. So, I guess we make a good team. Closets….that’s where I go next. Wish me luck!

  34. Rachael Higginbotham says:

    The things I’ve backed over with my vehicle because of the clutter of children’s toys left out is amazing! I drive a Ford Excersion which can do a number on bicycles that are parked behind them. I have backed over at least 3 bicycles, usually because I am in such a hurry I don’t notice them! Other casualties are toy trucks, basketballs, and even my sons snare drum. I was in a rush to get to music lessons on time again. My 10 year old son had followed my instruction to take his drum out so I could load it for him. After corralling my 2year old twin boys and my daughter to the car I completely forgot about the drum behind my truck waiting for me. I hurried to get out of the drive way when it happened. I had to ask the neighbor to help me jack my truck up to get it out! Thankfully I did purchase the damage insurance on it!

  35. Hope V. says:

    I have mind clutter. I get so overwhelmed with all the appointments and errands and things on my plate that I forget things and miss appointments. It is embarrassing and upsetting. Especially when it’s appointments or events for my daughters. i feel terrible. I’m working on prioritizing and keeping better track of things using my Android phone calendar AND a physical calendar.

    I also have difficulty with keeping my front table clear, mail, catalogs and any other paper that comes into the house ends up there and lives there till I can’t take the clutter anymore and I KNOW this is just lack of follow-through. If I just tackled the mail and such every day it wouldn’t pile up. UGH.

  36. Mary Ann says:

    I could give you many clutter stories. Thanks Melissa for sharing the one about Haley Grace. You are not alone. I am sure we are all finding out that none of us are alone in our struggles with our “messies.” How’s that for a word!

    I didn’t have much in material possession growing up but what I did have I treasured. As I ventured into my adult life and married for the second time, I told Tom about my past and not having a lot. So Tom felt is was his mission in life to buy me whatever I thought was pretty, or different, etc. Not that I asked him to but he thought that when I said “Oh isn’t that pretty”, or “that’s different”, that was his cue to buy, buy and buy. I allowed this to go on before I realized, none of this stuff made me happy. Looking at all of this and having to dust and clean everything made me physically ill. I have toys from my two year\ and 8 month old grandsons in every room of the house. They live with me now that my daughter moved back home about two and a half years ago. My home office has a desk that I can find a small corner of and I have had my utilities shut off at one point or another because I can’t find the bills. Talk about embarrassing. My treadmill that I should be using, has dust an inch thick and has two comforters thrown on it along with my quilting stand and an unfinished baby quilt that I was doing for my second grandson who will be three in August! I have unfinished craft projects in just about every room of the house because I have too many people now living in my house. Clean and dirty laundry are piled in every room because it doesn’t always get put away and I seem to be the only one doing it. I decided to go on strike and not do laundry for every one any more. My daughter is now in charge of her laundry as wel as her two little ones which is why I have laundry all over the place. I love to cook but there isn’t room in my kitchen because every flat surface has something on it. I noticed that I have duplicates and triplicates of many things could I went out and bought new things when I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Talk about a waste of money that I don’t have. I finally found the courch in my living room. I almost forgot what color it was….lol That is pretty sad. My clutter is even beginning to spill onto my back patio and into my car. I am no longer beating myself up over it. I do have to make some lifestyle changes if I want to be around in the next five years, so I am finding time while sit and watch televison to take a pile with me and sort through it.. That way I am accomplishing something even if I am resting with my feet up. Sorry this is long winded but it feels good to get every thing out in the open and not keep my “secret.” any longer. It will take time but I do something each day that will remove clutter once and for all. If I find anything that might be someoone’s treasure, then I put it in the box and will have a garage sale. We had one last weekend and between the kids and I we made $60 or $70.

    This group and study has been a real eye opener and has made me uncover things about myself that that I was not proud of. By the end of this study, we will have found new and interesting ways to conquer our clutter! I think we should follow up with each other in a month or two and see how well we have done. It would make for an interesting follow up.

  37. Karla Perez says:

    I am a scrapbooker and have made our walk-in closet into my scrapbook room. It started out being great to be able to close the door and work on my scrapbooks. But the last time I was able to do that was in November 2011. My scrapbook closet/room now is a mess holding all my scrapbook supplies and many other things. I know that I need to spend a lot of time in there to clean it up. The problem is that I want to have it done “yesterday!” I can’t wait to be able to go in there again to relax and unwind as I work on my scrapbooks. I will start a little at a time so I don’t get too overwhelmed, because when I get overwhelmed I don’t finish what I’m working on. I prefer to run away to a “safe” place!

    Really looking forward to the rest of this study. I have been so blessed already with this study and I’m really looking forward to learning more. I’m excited because I am getting my 3-ring binder today so that I can organize my “Project Management planner.” I have been trying to find a planner that works for me and I am almost certain that this system will work out perfectly for me and my schedule. I just need to remember the words….discipline and follow-through!

  38. My clutter story… where do I even start? With the bag of papers I have to go through thats hidden behind my living room chair? With my shoes that are strewn all over my closet floor? With my garage where everything somehow gets “stored” and/or dumped. It would be so lovely to park my car in the garage and also to know where everything is so I’m not searching endlessly for a tool when I need it or an old bill that I forgot to pay or receipts to return things.

  39. Sally Z says:

    My ultimate clutter story was this week when I was searching for my “I Used To Be So Organized” book and asked my family of four guys had they seen it. They all were chuckling and pfffttting! Love them!!!

  40. Michelle s. says:

    My bedroom is my clutter story.
    I try to work on it and it seems like I do not get anywhere,
    it is like I’m going around the same mountain over and over again.
    I am not getting anywhere even if I do, do a little bit at a time.

  41. Michelle L says:

    I was not a clutter person until after my daughter was born seven years ago. Or at least that’s what I thought. I had a place for everything. My home office was organized, my home was organized, laundry was done on a regular/routine basis and my kitchen sink was empty every night before going to bed. So how could one beautiful brown-eyed blonde make so many changes to my schedule? One of my biggest projects currently in the “have to get started on that” phase is our unfinished basement. It has become a collect all for not only our stuff but it seems like the rest of our family has decided that they can “store” stuff there as well. The plan for the basement is a home office for me and an open family space. Currently there’s so much stuff that I’m not even sure where to begin! I get frustrated whenever I go down to get something and can’t find it. The problem for me now is where do I start? I really want to get started on this project!!!

  42. Dawn from Michigan says:

    Hi Melissa and Ladies,
    I have been doing this study right along with you, but this is the first time I’ve commented.
    I would say I fall into the “chronically disorganized” category. Things have gotten worse, though, over the course of the last four years as I have struggled with depression.
    Thanks to Melissa’s studies and seeking help through counseling and Celebrate Recovery, I am on my way to healing.
    Yesterday was a big step for me, as I faced some of the financial clutter I had been avoiding for several months.
    One thing I accomplished was making a simple phone call to cancel the credit card security I had purchased in error and ask if they could possibly rescind the fees I had paid, since I worked part-time and it only applied to the loss of full-time positions. The result? A credit of $1,374.40 on my account!!!! :)
    I am taking courage from that and choosing to continue to face my financial clutter and begin to face my physical clutter, which is everywhere in my home.
    I thank all of you for sharing your stories!

  43. Kim Montaini says:

    I’ve cluttered my whole life! A friend once said, “God gives you plenty of time each day to complete what you need to complete.” Wise, but I clutter my list of “to-do’s” that my day is completely full, lack the time I need for down time/quiet time, don’t get much of my list done (leaving more “to-do’s” for the next day), and drop in bed exhausted only to start it up the next! My frig, desk and planner is packed of “reminders” – reminders to be somewhere, pick-up something, call someone, or a bill to pay… my husband jokes about my lists – saying I need reminders to keep track of all my notes! He creates what he calls “Kimmie Piles” full of paper, notes, and articles to read, that I think drive him crazy. I need to go through those piles soon before they take over living areas or topple over – I’ll put that on my “To-Do” list to do later!

  44. Christina R says:

    I was telling my husband my story of how I became cluttered. I don’t think he believes that I use to be organized!!
    In 2000, I was single mom with 2 kids and I was organized. Then I got married and we moved. Shortly after, I became pregnant. I quit my job then baby #3 was born, then we moved. Then I was pregnant again (when #3 was 7 months old!). Baby was born, we moved 4 months later across the country. Then pregnant again (#4 was 8 months old) then we traveled back across the U.S., spent 10 days in WA and then flew to Germany! Shortly after the household goods arrived, hubby deployed to Iraq. Then I learned baby #5 had problems and I was hospitalized. She was born and was in the NICU for her entire 33 days that she blessed our lives. I visited her, an hour drive each way, every day! Shortly after she died, we moved back to the U.S. 4 months later, I was pregnant again and my hubby was diagnosed with Brain Cancer. Treatments for him during my entire pregnancy, baby born then we moved again 3 months later. We had about 5 months of normalcy before the cancer was back. Surgery, treatment, Hospice and then my husband died in July 2006. I was a widow raising 5 children and my nephew! Not much organizing happened then. Started school the next year while homeschooling. Then the following year I began dating. Re-married the year after, 2009.

    Now, I am happily married with a 15 month old! I am ready to start organizing again!! My house is cluttered and it drives me crazy! I want my husband to know and see the organized me! He is very supportive and understanding yet I need to have order!!! I want to do fun projects again and know where to find the things I need. I want to enjoy my home and to not feel stressed to have people over!

  45. Ann : ) says:

    Sewing/guest room is piles of mending, incomplete projects and some things boxed and labeled. Must clean before guests can use it.

  46. I am a librarian by profession, so I naturally like things organized and in their place, but life with small children has proven anything but neat and organized. I have the “want to” to get our home organized but have trouble with follow through because I begin to feel defeated before I even get started, knowing that in no time at all, whatever area I clean will be right back to the way it was before I started. Part of my problem is that I live in an older home with very little closet and storage space. We don’t even have a kitchen pantry…just a cabinet that we use as one. Though I feel I have already gotten rid of a lot of things we don’t need, there are still some things that aren’t used everyday but we still can’t get rid of, and they just don’t have a home. I love the “everything has a place and everything in its place” mentality, but I simply don’t have a place for everything…not just random clutter, but things we really need.

    • Christina R says:

      I can so relate! Organizing with small children is difficult! We don’t have much storage space either, I long for a pantry!!!

  47. Veronica says:

    Since my children are grown and on their own, the clutter in my home is better, though not non-existent. My biggest problem now is mind clutter. I lie awake so many nights, not just worrying, but mentally reciting all the things I have to do in the next few days. As the tasks dance through my head, jockeying for position, I almost feel like knocking myself out to avoid the sheer overwhelming volume of all those tasks, each one accusing me of being inadequate. Clearly, I need to begin my Project Management System. Actually, as soon as I finish this post, I am going down to my basement where I have 3 or 4 boxes of office supplies and an empty old desk. As I sort and organize the supplies in the desk, I need to keep an eye out for a blinder and some looseleaf paper. I am determined I wil NOT buy another duplicate!

  48. Well, my home situation sounds alike to others commenting–lots of paper, etc. piling up on desk, office, etc. Earlier this year I followed Glynnis’ 15 day clutter free challenge. I spent time cleaning out our storage closet, I threw out many things and complied a nice pile of things to donate to our church’s annual rummage sale in the spring. Guess what–this year they decided not to do the rummage sale, now I still have this pile of boxes, etc. that isn’t even in the storage closet anymore, but just sitting out in the basement family room. I can’t seem to make myself find the time to organize my own rummage sale or take the items to Goodwill, but I don’t just want to throw things away, that seems like such a waste. I am hoping to make things less cluttered and to be able to “let go” of things that seem sentimental.

  49. I lost my husbands’ paycheck yesterday-he swears he handed it to me and I have no idea where I put it. Searched my wallet, bag, car several times…what a waste of time and an inconvienence to my husbands employer who gladly wrote another check:)
    The biggest thing I have learned from this study is to give myself grace (and my family) in those busy times to allow some clutter.