My Clutter Recovery

I just finished Peter Walsh's 31 Days 2 Get Organized and it worked!  I was looking for help because the clutter in my house was taking over and I was frozen.  If you haven't already read it, here is the blog post where I admit my problem and share how I was feeling:  The Clutter in My Mind.  I was hoping by the end of the 31 days my mind and my home would be free of clutter, and I got so much more!  I am a changed person!  I documented the whole journey on Instagram and Facebook.  Here's a quick slide show with my theme song:

The last picture I posted was of our Garage Sale and I commented "THE END" but it's just the beginning and I'm excited!  It's the beginning of my changed mind and new perspective.  I'm out from under it all, I made a huge dent with the 31 Day challenge and I can move forward and keep working.  

I could write a book with all my new thoughts on this and I could talk your ear off if you were to stop and talk to me about it.  So to make a long story short I am going to do something similar to Us Weekly's "25 Things You Don't Know About Me" but this will be about my #31Days2GetOrganized experience.

25 Things About My Clutter Recovery

1.  I had to start by admitting my problem, taking the blame off everything and turning it all over to God.  Then I could look forward by starting with the first day.

2.  I needed this because the clutter was UNMANAGEABLE.   Literally.  On any given day, I could not MANAGE the everyday things while trying to MANAGE all of our stuff.

3.  I needed space.  We ran out of room (attic, cabinets, closets) to store the things we used and needed because we were storing things we don't need and don't use.

4.  I needed help letting go of my Mom's stuff.  My Mom died 10 years ago and I still had tons of her things stuffed into every nook and cranny of our house.  Peter calls this "memory clutter".

5.  I realized people can change.  In the past I avoided cleaning up my act because I thought, in reality, "people don't change." I thought if I worked on it, it would only get bad again.  But that's not true and I had the perfect example: I had changed to become an everyday bed maker at age 35!  People can change themselves, they just can't change other people.

6.  It worked because I only had to commit to 10 minutes a day and that was achievable and not overwhelming.

7.  It worked because of the "flow on effect".  At first when Peter would say "If you want to go further, I won't argue."  I thought "No!  Don't say that!  That's pressure and expectations!" but it just happened organically and I was so motivated by the positive change.

8.  Peter's videos were motivating because I didn't feel like I was doing it alone.  He was the instructor and hundreds of us were doing the challenges at the same time.  He's funny too so his videos were one minute of entertainment and tips.

9.  It worked because it was one day at a time.  I realized half way through that I could see all of the future challenges on Peter's YouTube channel.  I decided not to look because I knew I would get overwhelmed.  Also, the fun of viewing and sharing the new challenge of the day would be gone.

10.  It helped that I had a "No Impulse Buy" resolution this year.  It wouldn't make sense for me to be working so hard to get rid of things only to be bringing new things in.  No impulse for me means I have to wait a week, I realized "the want" was still there the next day.

11.  Telling myself to "let it go" helped me get rid of things when I was emotionally attached to them.

12.  Saying to myself, "People are not in things," helped me let go of the "memory clutter".

13.  When I had double trouble letting go, I had to remind myself of how things were: UNMANAGEABLE and what I wanted: more space and to be healthy and to have a clear home.

14.  In most of the challenges, Peter asked us to bring all of it out to one spot.  This helped with letting go because when it's all together and you think it's way too much, then it's easier to say good bye to a portion of it.

15.  It helped to share with you on Instagram and Facebook in hopes of motivating others.  I don't want to use the word account@#$!& but it was something like that with joy and hope in the follow through. :)

16.  Your support, feedback and sharing was huge!  Texts and phone calls from my family and friends were motivating.  Interest and help from my husband and kids felt good!  

17.  I did so much more than what I shared socially.  When I cleaned the console, I ended up cleaning the whole car.  Same with the cleaning supplies and their cabinet and the closet I have the gift wrap in.  It was contagious.

18.  It helped to take before and after pictures and to look at the accumulation of accomplishment was motivating.

19.  It helped to play music when I had a big job to do like my night stand.

20.  I only bought one thing to complete a challenge, the first aid kit.  I really didn't want to add anything to my home, so I used a shoebox for baking supplies.  I only want things mostly going out of my home right now. :)  But I think we're better off now that we have this Medibag First Aid Kit:

21.  Planning (deciding when) to use the gift cards was genius, Peter Walsh!  Last week I finally used them and my gift card wallet is now half as full as it started.  And I'm so excited about this yellow leather lamp I was able to get for my boy's room (we've needed it for bedtime).  I've been looking forever (not impulse) for a lamp to use with this red lampshade:

22.  I cried 3 times through this process. When I gave away a mug I bought 25 years ago for my Mom at the top of Pike's Peak, when I realized the cookbooks made me feel inadequate and when a sweet couple loaded up our changing table from our garage sale.

23.  I realized I am hard on myself sometimes and I need to go easy, y'all helped me with this one, thank you!  

24.  Reading a few book excerpts and interviews of Peter Walsh educated me and helped me cope.  For example, when the couple was buying our changing table, I remembered this interview where Peter asked a woman who wanted to keep her kids' baby everything, "Are your best memories with your children in front of you or behind you?"  I know my answer and this helped me cope.  Here it goes to a sweet couple starting a family:

25.  Deciding early on to have a garage sale at the end of the 31 Days was great motivation and incentive.   We made $400 in our garage sale and we still need to sell our crib.  Everything we didn't sell we took to Goodwill.  The kids had fun too:

25+.  A highlight of the 31 Days was a trip to Dallas.  I had not seen my family there in a while and I had not yet met my Cousin's baby boy.  Peter's MLK day challenge led to this:

I am so grateful to Peter for providing this free service of the 31 Day challenge.  It feels great to have completed it!  I feel lighter because a big portion of the clutter in my home is gone.  My mind is clearer!  Now I want to do last year's 31 Day challenge.  First I need to take a break and then do a challenge every other day, but don't worry, I won't post it all, only the really good stuff.  If you're looking for his challenges, they can be found on his Facebook page and YouTube channel.  Also, he said he has a Notebook on Springpad with all of the challenges in one spot, but I haven't figured out how to use the app yet. :)  Good luck to all who do this, you will forever be thankful for the life changing experience!


  1. Great job! I enjoyed following your journey on Instagram.

  2. I've been so inspired by your process! I did a lot of cleaning/organizing/giving away in January last year and it was so uplifting! I felt lighter and more comfortable in our space. We ended up moving last summer and I can't tell you how many times I said, "I'm so glad I cleaned out this closet in January!" Ha. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the project. Congrats on completing all 31 days!

    1. Thank you, Meagan! I bet that was such a relief to have decluttered before moving! I feel lighter and more comfortable too! I still have a lot of work to do though!

  3. Well, I started today! The one drawer task I chose was my son's pajama drawer...and then we moved to his shorts drawer! Set some things aside to donate, but the rest went neatly in a bin I already have to save for future children. I'm hoping to tackle all of his drawers along with my daughters, but 2 drawers felt pretty darn good!
    We are moving in 6 months, and I don't want to move anything that we won't use, so this challenge will be so good for us!

    1. Way to go, Jenny!!! 2 drawers is huge! This would be awesome to do before moving, great idea! Send me pictures on facebook if you want!

  4. I'm so proud of you for so many reasons. Love you!

  5. What a great post! Thanks for sharing as always!