Escaping the Clutter Trap: Self-Reflection

PS this dresser used to be clean, but I had to move my office piles from the kitchen counter so we could put up our Christmas tree! 


I recently purchased an e-book written by my friend and former dance teacher, Robin from Thank Your BodyEscaping the Clutter Trap. Am I a hoarder? No. Do I think I could improve on the "piles" that sometimes happen around the house. Yes. Have I discovered that I actually have a lot of "mental clutter" that's more grand than the few clutter zones in my home. Yes.

So I'm on a journey to fix it. I share my journey in case it will help anyone else. I haven't read the whole book yet and am a little skeptical because she's got it all put together and I wouldn't be here if I did have it put together! So is this book really gonna help someone like me who (for her whole life) has suffered from bad habits like procrastination and some disorganization? I'm not sure. Sometimes people that are punctual and organized don't get it. They don't get why it's so hard for other people to just be on time or just be organized. Our brains tick a different way . . . or maybe sometimes it's not ticking! Either way I begin with some skepticism. Yet, I am hopeful, because there is something that I believe in and that is CHANGE. I know God is organized (hello, He organized the whole earth and everything in it! Talk about amazing organization skills there!) and I can become more like Him everyday. So hello patience and hello persistence. We're gonna take care of some clutter! And we're even getting a head start before January when the rest of the world recommits to this.

Below is a portion of questions found in the e-book. And my honest, initial responses to them.


How does being too busy contribute to clutter in your life? 

I don't know if I am "too busy" but sometimes I do feel overwhelmed by things. I feel like I am always one step behind and can never quite catch up. I have projects or things I want to work on but never get to it because there "isn't enough time." I feel blessed to recognize that everyone has the same amount of time, so blaming it on there not being "enough time" is a lie and an excuse. The real problem is how I choose to do things and how I choose to spend my time. The only thing that can keep me from accomplishing greatness is myself ...well and maybe the round-the-clock responsibility to a little person. But now isn't about pointing the finger at others. It's about finding success and making change, because --let's be honest-- lots of moms with little ones accomplish lots of great things. Okay, while I'm on this same note, "great things" is an individual thing. For me a "great thing" would just be be able to feel calm and enjoy wake-time with my baby and having dinner on the table! Maybe with some work I can do a little more than that, or maybe that's enough. I'll still be changing the world one meal and life-lesson at a time.

How does that clutter affect your life? 

Let's, again, be honest here. I have missed appointments. Been late to things. Taken care of things passed deadlines. During college I even got behind on assignments and projects to the extent that I would just give up on them. A lot of the "clutter" in my life is not only paper clutter (which over the last couple years I have gotten a little better at managing), but a lot of it, I think, is a sort of mental clutter. When things have "piled up" figuratively then I get overwhelmed, feel stressed, can't focus, and can't make progress. At times it has been down-right debilitating. Other times the clutter - especially found in my email! - has caused me to miss out on connecting with people and even opportunities to do things. Right now there is a commercial airing when you fly JetBlue depicting an email box that gets filled up to something ridiculous like 1 billion emails. I laughed out loud when I saw it, because, well that's me right now! Oye. So terrible. Another thing mental clutter has caused is missed birthdays, started cards, intended phone calls and then . . . the day passes. "Next year!" I tell myself. And then . . . it happens again.

What would you like to spend your time doing? 

This is always an interesting question to me because truly we each have this decision. Unless, of course, you've been incarcerated. Then it's not really your choice on how to spend your time. I could argue that "I don't have a choice, I have to spend time changing diapers, I have to spend so much of my day breast-feeding, I have to . . ." But the truth is I don't  have to do any of those things. I choose to, because I am a mother and love my child so I choose to take care of him. I think my attitude about doing things would be better about things if I reminded myself that I don't have to do anything - especially the mundane work of motherhood - but I choose to because I want to. The real reason behind how I spend my time is motivated out of love, dedication, and commitment to service.

Okay, I think my thoughts have kind of derailed from the initial question at hand, nevertheless a good insight to have. So back to the question. What would I like to spend my time doing? I guess the things that are most important to me are serving my God, my husband, and my family. Connecting with people - family members and friends. I'd also like to be pursuing my talents. I'd like to be dancing. I'd like to be blogging. I'd like to be spending time exploring the world around me.

What will you gain from de-cluttering your home, office, and life? 

Control. I will gain control of what's going on around me and with my life. I can choose to be in control of what is happening in my life.


I wrote this post before taking pictures of our "home-office" which, since we moved recently has landed in a variety of locations, including boxes that still need to be emptied! Looking at these pictures helps me realize how bad and how cluttered our "office" (or lack thereof) actually is! Yikes this reveal is serious motivation for change!

Oh and did I mention that this is mostly my stuff and problem. I have an amazingly clutter-free husband! That may be one of the reasons I married him. I wasn't going to tell him about reading this e-book, maybe because I'm kind of proud like that and didn't want to own up to trying to work on my issues. But, I think he sometimes reads my blog posts :-) 


Do you have any clutter issues? What are your clutter areas? What do you wish was different? Anyone wanna reveal their own clutter photos? No judging here, you're in good company!


  1. Ack! Shelley, you are adorable (the 'ack' was cuz you are so cute I wanna give you a squeeze). And clutter is something that should be limited, no doubt about it. And punctuality is important, etc. Look into the energy profiling stuff, though, seriously. This post alone gives me an idea about what type you might be (but I'm not gonna say, b/c it's most important that you come to an understanding about yourself). Understanding that may help you deal with your 'clutter problem' in a way that you can maintain and keep you from judging yourself harshly for it. Try the free course if you haven't, check out the books at the library (I had to go inter-library loan route). I particularly recommend "The Child Whisper" as it has the least need for editing, and since it addresses what the types look like in childhood, I feel like it's the best resource for typing yourself accurately. That's all. Have a great day! And this was a great post. :)

  2. Haa! I love energy profiling, too. I own the child whisperer & also recommend it for a read!
    This was a fun read. I especially enjoyed the "what you'd like to spend your time doing" bit.
    Thanks for blogging & sharing!