Three Essential Decluttering Rules

Clump #253: Twenty minutes of bedroom de-clumping; day eleven of National Blog Posting Month.


Sometimes angels are hiding in plain sight when you least expect them.  I had an experience recently with a kind of an angel.  I received an email which was sent out to a large group.  One part of the the subject heading was “Decluttering.”  Helllo!  In the body of the message was: “Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get some help with decluttering from an expert.”  A woman going for her Decluttering Certificate needed one more participant in her study.

I emailed the decluttering student and ended up speaking to her on the phone.  Great news!  I was rejected!  She was looking for someone who didn’t have the first clue of how to get rid of their clutter.  I’ve made too much progress!

I was bowled over when she mentioned that her teacher is Karen Kingston, author of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, the best book on decluttering I have read.  Before we ended our phone call, she generously gave me three tips.  You might think, “Oh yeah, I know about that,” but the old truisms are true for a reason.  They work!  Never underestimate the power of these three:

  1. Set a timer for twenty minutes for focused decluttering.
  2. Don’t jump around from place to place.  Start in one section and keep at it until it’s clear.
  3. Use a “transit box” to temporarily store any items needing to go to another part of the house.  Don’t leave the decluttering area to replace those items until the timer goes off.

I really didn’t think I had time for a clump today.  It was a chock-a-block kind of day.  But I did find a little twenty-minute slot, got out our timer, and transitioned this nasty corner of our bedroom from this:


to this:


Can you feel the energy shift?


And hear the angels sing?

On Angel’s Wings

Clump #222: Transport clump of junk to Fall Festival storage area; day 18 of the 30-day challenge.


So the thing about a big de-clumping project is this: things look worse before they look better.  Exhibit A: part of the pile of stuff that was (past tense) clogging up our older daughter’s bedroom, the current repository for things to be given away. Most of it had been brought up from the basement to be sorted, or was handed over to me by a friend who was moving.


I filled our car with most of it today, and put it in a storage shed for the flea market-style fundraiser at our Quaker Meeting’s Fall Festival.


The basket below and its twin lived for years and years in the basement storage area. Why not let someone else have them and put them to good use?  But they caught my heart at the last minute.  I had bought them to fill with flowers to decorate our wedding ceremony.  I just couldn’t give them away.  I told myself if I kept them I’d really have to put them to use, but how?  At this point in my life I’m not interested in containers of artificial flowers, or any such dust-collectors.


And then it hit me.  What am I constantly struggling to control and corral?  Magazines and newspapers!  Hooray!   It was a “You’ve had the power in your shoes all along” moment.


The newspaper on the top contained an article called “The angels who care and comfort in worst of times,” from The Philadelphia Inquirer about health care “angels.”  Talk of angels seems to have a new-age reputation, associated with being “out there.”  I loved seeing this biblical quote at the top of the piece:


Nothing flaky about Luke 22:43.  Reassuringly solid.  May you, as I have, feel strengthened by angels.