When Dealing With Clutter Deal With The Simple First: 52 Weeks: Project 32


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As I type the title for this week’s Simplified Home post I just realized something, I only have 20 weeks left in my 52 week challenge!

week 32 side rodThis week I decided to work on the side wall of our tiny walk in closet. Now, I know last week I said I was going to conquer a different pile, but in that pile was a box packed by my late mother that made me feel emotionally paralyzed.

Here is why rather than push through those emotions I decided to just move on to another area.

I have been reading an article on decluttering pretty much every morning for months, and sharing it with my snail pacing goal achievers facebook group who are also working hard reducing clutter in their homes.

how with clutter that evokes emotionDeal With The Simple First

Several articles on simplifying that I have read have said start with the easy first and the feeling of accomplishment will give you the courage for the difficult.

That is what I am hoping will happen in my closet decluttering. There are actually 2 boxes in this closet that I know of–there might be more that are full of items given to me by people no longer walking this earth. People I loved dearly, and those boxes strongly evoke the emotion of grief within me.

Grief is largely the emotion that caused our home to get this cluttered to begin with. I lost 4 loved ones in 5 years {or it could have been 6 years…I was in such a fog by the last death I now can’t get my dates straight without looking up obituaries}. That is a lot of grief for one person to deal with.

One thing I have learned from losing all those loved ones is that when a loved one dies you will deal with waves of grief over not getting to share your time with them for the rest of your life. Sure, the depth of those waves decreases, the waves lessen–no longer feeling like they could knock you over like when the death was fresh…but they never go completely away.

I have also learned you can grieve in a healthy manner or an unhealthy one, and allowing grief to bury you in possessions and steal the joy that comes from having an organized home isn’t healthy.

In my deepest fog I just couldn’t seem to deal with the simplest of piles, “is this important to keep?” “maybe,” “oh, I don’t know…” “I am too tired for this,” and with those thoughts I just walked away from the stuff and let it pile higher and higher.

When the fog lifted I seriously said,  “What the crap has happened to our home?!” {sorry, I know I don’t normally use strong language on my blog but this time I think what I said needs to be read the way I said it} and then the realization of what I had done hit me like a tonne of bricks: “I did it, I made our home a mess.” And now I am fixing it one week at a time, one area at a time.

I am getting healthy and putting grief in its proper place now that time has passed. I know to get fully healthy I will have to eventually deal with those memory filled boxes, but for now I am gaining the courage by dealing with the simple first.

If you too are struggling with possession issues such as clutter due to grief, I want you to know I am right there with you.  Let’s agree to start with the simple and let it give us the courage to deal with the hard.

 And the end result of this week’s project…

done rod.Most of the stuff hanging got put in the donation pile with the exception of 2 maxi dresses that you can see in the corner of the picture.

52-32 give boxThis entire box came out of that small area! I can’t believe I have so many hangers that I am actually giving them away.

What area of your home did you declutter this week?

52 weeks to a simplified homefree printable plan (small)










Grab the plan and join along as we declutter our homes one inch at a time.

You can also join The Snail Pacing Goal Achievers Facebook group where you will find  the support you need to keep decluttering one inch at time.



  1. I am so glad to read your post today.
    For you to share about the grief and losses you have experienced in a short span and how you now find yourself in clutter that only brings more discomfort…well….it really helped to have someone else express this, too. I have lost many dear people and in recent weeks two long time pets (16 and 18 years) that have been the final losses to make me feel constantly in a state of fog and sadness. I know all the right things to do and have helped many people go through this sort of experience through the years, but now must deal with these things and the resulting disorder…..and doing it alone is harder than ever. So thank you for putting it out there and sharing your feelings and their effects. And thank you for helping me to know that I am not the only one facing these things and having to determine just what I can emotionally handle each day, each week. To try to make the effort and take some sense of accomplishment and pleasure in more order. The irony in this is that I have been an organizational consultant and studied the causes and effects of chaos and clutter….and here I sit. A classic case of ‘physician heal thyself’.
    Thank you again. I will see your future posts in a new light and know that you, too, are working on a doable, but challenging task. I hope this comment encourages you in some way.
    Blessings, Joan

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