Dale’s Story: The Results of a Year of Intentional Clutter Clearing

In 2012 I decided to prove that intentional clutter clearing changes lives. Intentional clutter clearing is clutter clearing with specific goals in mind. I offered three women who wanted positive change in their lives two hours of my clutter clearing services per month at no cost to them. All they had to do was make the time for us to work together. Dale is one of those women. As it turned out Dale and I only did hands-on clutter clearing for nine months of the year. We also did two months of coaching. What follows is her summary of the results of that experience.


It is in my experience that clearing clutter is not like a “Ka-Pow”! It is positive change that occurs slowly, when taking the time to make decisions about STUFF, stuff that accumulates, stuff that takes up valuable space, stuff that clutters the mind and makes it pause because of indecision.

My experience this year with clearing clutter with assistance and guidance from Debbie Bowie wasn’t always pleasant. It is unnerving at times to give away, throw away, make decisions about my stuff. Especially being an artist who gives “new life to discarded items,” I was always afraid that I would be able to “use that” sometime. This could include um-teen yogurt containers, scraps of fabric (ugly fabric), cardboard boxes, etc. BUT, the up side is: I feel as though I can think better! Or clearer. I don’t think I have ADHD, but, before all my clutter clearing efforts it sure felt like it at times; wandering through my space with intentions, only to be interrupted by other thoughts and things that had to be done. Clutter really doesn’t help that syndrome! I hadn’t developed a habit of putting things away after I had used them.

I enter my uncluttered house now. It is not spotless, but I have gotten rid of things that I hated, like the 10 year old wool rug that every pet of mine had some kind of internal express onto. HATED IT, yet I didn’t feel as though I had the means to replace it. I still don’t have a rug (I have been looking), but I don’t hate the beautiful wooden floor. As a matter of fact, I am quite fond of it. I hated my cheap white dinnerware, but again I didn’t think that I had the inclination or the means to buy something different. I gave it away, and within the same week a friend who was moving gifted me with a pretty set of white dinnerware that I liked.

Because of my clutter clearing, I have gotten more “mindful.” I take care in the placement of things, aesthetically. You would think being an artist that aesthetics would always be priority, but my priority was sometimes just finding a spot to put something without recognizing the perfect visual spot. Placing things has become an art that I enjoy.
How my life has changed. It’s always difficult to recognize a slow change, but I feel calmer. Even in the midst of chaos, my stress level is definitely lower. I am enjoying my own company. I felt “on the go” a lot before making a commitment to clutter clearing. Now, I can sit quietly in my space and feel comfortable. My creativity is in transition. I have been rather void of creativity for the past year. Although slow in coming, it is coming back!

I find I I don’t want to be stretched so thin. I want to make more time for making things…is it art? I am doing more cultural things (previously stressed about doing because of money). I am more genuine with my relationships, making time for those I really care about, editing relationships that don’t feed me. I have developed a habit of putting things away, picking up as I go, and I always have a Goodwill pile at the front door. It thrills me to make things tidy and pleasing to look at. I had the courage to replace my kitchen faucet, and in the process cleaned out under the sink!

I think a short conclusion could be that I am aware…aware of most everything I do, hear, see, taste. It’s an exquisite way to reap pleasure from every day living.

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