7 Question Guide to Ease Your Steps to Decluttering

Decluttering is often emotional

If Decluttering was easy there would not be 43,400,000 Google search results on how to Declutter. Volumes have been written about the psychology of cluttered spaces holding back our dreams. I will give you an example.

When we were kids a friends mom came into her bedroom where we were hanging out and very clearly and concisely said the following, “Clean up your room. If your room is a mess your life is a mess.” These wise words have stuck with me over the years and continue to teach as I gently guide others along the Declutter path.

Why do we hold on to objects that we no longer need or use?

Holding on to stuff for decades that we no longer need, use or necessarily even want has a direct impact on our mental well being. I am living proof! Getting rid of this stuff feels like losing body weight, we feel lighter and freer. We all want to feel free.

Why on earth do we hang on to all of yesterdays stuff we have had since the seventies? Is it because we are comfortable with the devil we know? Is it because we don’t know what we would fill these sparkling clean empty spaces with? Do we try to just not think of this because we get overwhelmed?

With a few action steps we can figure this out!


We need to figure out what our payoff is for keeping this stuff. Yes there is a payoff to all we do. We have an emotional attachment and this has a negative impact on us. This clutter is keeping us stuck in our comfort zones.

Don’t let the word ‘comfort’ trick you here. Feeling comfortable differs vastly from being in our comfort zones. How tiring are the back and forth conversations in our heads? Let’s begin an excavation. Try the following…

Pick up an object, start small, one object at a time.

  • Ask yourself why you are holding on to this.
  • Does this object bring up a memory?
  • Does this object make you feel secure? Why?
  • Does this object bring you comfort? Why?
  • Does this object make you feel secure? Why?
  • Do you feel you will hurt others feelings if you discard?
  • Did this object cost a lot of money?

You have now discovered your emotional attachment.

Remember if you are finding the process of decluttering to be distressing recognize how you feel and go easy on yourself. I have been in some scary to me situations in the past and what I did to help myself is the following, I would gently pat my leg and think you are doing just fine.

I would think if I can get through this I can get through anything. Looking back I was 100% correct! Do not beat yourself up.


I have had things I have not wanted to part with. When I realized I could be helping another, possibly a less fortunate person, I got pretty excited about donating. Who doesn’t like to do good deeds?

I decided to put some thought into the best practices when it comes to donating, and well one thing led to another, and a 17-page Resource Guide was born.

Grab your free copy of my Resource Guide to have on hand when it is your time to declutter.

This resource guide will show you how to easily and often free of charge, and arrange to have a variety of things picked up by a charitable organization. There may also be a tax incentive to you when you donate.

Focus on the positives

The positives are many. I promise!

  • Visualize what your new clean space will look and feel like.
  • Feel the stress begin to slip away because you are moving forward.
  • Think how easier life will be when your space is organized. A place for everything and everything in its place!
  • Keep all the benefits in mind as you are working your way through.
  • There is no rush. Go at your own pace. Intend to and visualize feeling freer and lighter!

Do you need to keep your physical object?

Clutter of the past holds us back. Have you ever said ” I really want to do, go, or have (fill in the blank) ________” and made an excuse why you can’t?

If you feel it is time to move forward start moving forward by decluttering. If not now when? Trust me consciously or not, clutter and our well being is all related.

You have likely heard until one door closes another won’t open. This rings true in my life. Some suggestions to ease you through the process.

Are the sentimental objects that have been passed down to you hard to get rid of? These are the things most of us have trouble discarding.

  • How about compromising with yourself?
  • Take a picture of the memorable object(s) before you discard.
  • Get creative and make a digital scrapbook or photo album to keep your memories in an organized space saving manner.
  • Express gratitude for the role this object or memory served you. You can then discard physical object with a grateful heart.

The psychology of decluttering

The psychology of decluttering our physical spaces is about identifying the emotional attachments we have to the things that surround us daily. Being aware of our feelings, focusing on the positive benefits and having a grateful heart will teach us how to create the spaces we are meant to have.

I will bet your new clean fresh space prompts new positive feelings which may lead to who knows where. I have gone from stuck to places I never even knew existed!

Above all please remember decluttering is a process. You did not acquire all this stuff overnight. This will take time. Be good to yourself. If you have to clean out clutter one object at a time why not pick up that first object and get started today!

We will talk more about the mental, physical and spiritual connection to decluttering next time…

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutterer and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

To see more articles like this, please like and follow me. Thank you!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *