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June 05, 2017


Elaine Viets

My closet was decluttered after I heard a huge crash in the middle of the night, and the shelves came tumbling down. I had to do a major decluttering, Donna. And like you, I spent a lot of time wondering, "Whatever possessed me to buy that?" Good luck with your project and your next book.


The best thing about decluttering is that the signs of progress are very tangible. The neatly hung closet. The bookshelves that don't have awkwardly shoved in books falling out. The space to put the car in the garage. That's the only thing that gets me through the discomfort of actually doing the work.

catriona mcpherson

I wish I had wise things to say. I'm a reverse secret-clutterer: my decorative style is very "more is more" but I've got empty cupboards.

Could you commit to your recycling and rubbish bins being full every week until there's nothing more to chuck out?


You can do it! Go Fight Win!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Good luck! I once found I had five brown purses. (Seriously, go with me here.) A wise woman picked one of them up and said: if you were looking for a brown purse, would this one be your first choice?
No, I said.
Would it be our second choice? No, I said.
Then she said: if you donated it, it would be someone else's first choice.
AH! Take the all! I said. Everything went. The idea that I got to provide first choices was so enchanting, I gave away many many items.
And our basement is being decluttered now, too! You know what? I hired someone. She's goes down there and organizes into sections. Then periodically she calls me and says: this is donations, okay? This is trash, okay? These are possible keepers, check them out. And she is putting in portable shelving.
And it is addicting. So as Susan says--you can do it!

Karen in Ohio

I hear you, Donna. Today is the day (if I ever get off the computer) that I clean out my rarely used but enormous sewing room. All three of my children arrive Friday afternoon and evening, towing menfolk along with them, and I'm embarrassed to have anyone sleep on the floor again. So a new bed is being deliver Thursday afternoon, which is most definitely a deadline. I'll let you know how that goes. There might be stuff under that new bed.

Cathy M

We just finished "letting go" of stuff from our garage. It helped that it was two of us to ask/answer those hard questions - "Do we need it, will we ever use it again, and should we be even using a chain saw at our age?"

Decluttering can be done, but in the words of the immortal Bette "it's not for sissies."

Give yourself treats for showing up and persevering, because lord knows it's not glamorous or fun and anyone who slogs on through deserves a reward.

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