Get motivated to declutter YOUR home with this declutter before and after story.
Heather Prong started 2017 completely overwhelmed and knew she needed to simplify her life. She struggled with depression and felt like the walls were closing in on her. When she sat down to relax, she was filled with anxiety because all of the stuff around her. She saw a Facebook ad for the Clutter Free Lenten Bible study and ordered the book. Little did she know what was in store!
In the beginning Heather faithfully read and learned some strategies. Knowing she was not alone in the struggle against Clutter was a relief, and some of the shame and guilt slowly faded.
The turning point came on a March morning when she thought she didn’t have a lot of time to declutter before leaving for work, but decided to do something.
She started with the front room where she sat to watch TV.
“I thought I’d just straighten the speaker and chair sitting right in front of me. It felt so good, so I kept going each day choosing small sections — a table, a shelf, a drawer — something I could compete in a small amount of time.”
Friends, this is what small wins look like! Can I get an “Amen!”?
A Strong Why Helps Clutter Go Bye-Bye
About a month into decluttering, when Heather had seen some success and had a bit of momentum, she and her husband got a call from family members who were moving back to the United States. They needed a place to live for a few months. She says, “I knew my ‘why’ and was able to pick up the pace so we could help out our family.” In Clutter Free, Kathi talks about the importance of connecting to your “why,” the dream or goal that motivates you to get rid of clutter.
Heather started in February, and by June she and her husband had cleared a ton of clutter out of the house and built a room in the basement for family to move in. That’s incredible progress, and a huge change from where she started. You can do this, friends!
Heather said, “We were also able to donate at least fifty boxes of things we weren’t using to some of our favorite charities, and honestly, I haven’t missed anything.”
Heather took a lot of before pictures to remind herself of how far she’d come, but this photo of her chair and speaker represents the moment she was able to overcome that feeling of too much stuff, and start the magic of consistent, small decluttering.
Declutter Before and After
She says the process wasn’t always easy, “but I kept my love of helping others front and center to keep myself motivated and loved the encouragement from the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group.”
Heather has come a long way from where she began her journey to getting Clutter Free. She feels so grateful to have found Kathi and the Clutter Free Academy group, which celebrates her ongoing progress. “This year, I’m so much more relaxed and am enjoying some hobbies that I didn’t have as much time for when I was feeling so overwhelmed by stuff!”
What are you missing out on because Clutter is overwhelming you?
We’ve got another Clutter Free Success Story from the amazing Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group today. Grace Church is an active member of our online community, often sharing her Monday Morning Musings about clutter struggles with the group.
Grace discovered Clutter Free through Facebook in January of 2015. When an old friend posted something about the 21-Day Challenge, she was intrigued. The friend sent her an invitation to join the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group and she was hooked. With the 2000 Things tracking sheet in hand, she got to work.
We asked Grace what the impact of Clutter Free has been for her:
The impact has been enormous and life-changing — but not all at once. It’s happened layer by layer, over time. At first it was simply about decluttering “things” (for me, mostly paper) and getting myself organized at my desk. A side benefit of that was that once my desk was organized and my responsibilities taken care of…I had a lot more bandwidth for my writing projects. I could work on them freely and without distraction, knowing that I was taking care of the basics.
Then, I started noticing that I was enjoying my play time more and was more present when I was out and about, rather than worrying about what I should be doing at home. That was huge…because it was a little taste of the freedom Kathi talks about.
This year, I started with a simple plan to take one step on my backlogged to-do list every day during the Lent study — but wound up going even deeper into the “why” behind the things I hold on to (physical, mental, and emotional) and discovering big connections to core questions about self-worth and boundaries!
The biggest lesson Grace learned on this Clutter Free journey?
We are thrilled to celebrate Grace’s success with her and so happy she’s an active part of our Clutter Free community.
If you haven’t joined the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group yet, what are you waiting for? There’s freedom to be found in this kindest corner of the internet. And there’s something so empowering about taking the journey along with others, one small win at a time.
Since releasing my book Clutter Free three years ago, I have heard from hundreds of people whose lives have been changed and it absolutely thrills me every single time. Your stories of healing and breakthrough are inspiring and I want to share some of these stories with you. So every month we’ll highlight a couple of your stories. We’ll be highlighting different stories in the newsletter this year too so if you aren’t getting that in your email, sign up here. Our first story of the year is from one of our awesome Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group super members and encourager, Jenn Buell.
Have you ever had that one spot of clutter that gets under your skin but somehow you just can’t seem to tackle it? It may not take that much time but it doesn’t feel like there will be a huge payoff and it’ll take time you don’t think you have. So you hide. Yeah, that was me and my junk drawers. Yes, that’s right, I said “drawers” plural.
Over Christmas break, I had the motivation to take this odious clutter-catcher on. My kids were off school and my eldest was home from college. My eldest was even feeling helpful and suggesting the family do some decluttering. Seize the day!
So, one night as we sat down to dinner, I informed the kids that no one was leaving the table when we were done eating. We were going to sort the chaotic two drawers that hold pens, pencils, rulers, tape, scissors, and crayons. These two drawers were overflowing with these items and yet we often couldn’t find a working pen and tossed back in dried up markers or broken pencils.
Surprisingly, no one balked at the idea. We grabbed scrap paper to test pens and markers and dumped the offending drawers on the table. We tossed a grocery sack in the middle and everyone put broken crayons, dried up markers, and empty pens inside. We even made the call to toss nasty pencils—you know the cheap kind that won’t sharpen and break often. Why were we keeping them?! I’d say it was to be thrifty but they weren’t doing us any good and just took up space.
The final outcome was delightful. I’m going to get some pencil boxes to keep the markers and pens and pencils separate in the second drawer in the picture. My eldest kindly suggested this would be our benchmark about keeping anything new. If it doesn’t fit in the box, it doesn’t get kept. Love it!
So if you have a cluttered up drawer full of office supplies like this, why not put the whole family to work to fix the problem? I’d say it took no more than 30-45 minutes to get it done. (I’m guessing because we didn’t watch the time and no one complained. Win!)
I’m so glad that I have embraced Kathi’s encouragement to tackle clutter one small project at a time and to celebrate each #onesmallwin. Now, onto the next small win!
Friends, we’d love to hear your stories. Email us your successes along with your before and after photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. And join us at the nicest corner of the internet at Clutter Free Academy Private Facebook group.
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