Facing the Feelings


Step 1 of the Journey is all about starting to understand WHY you have your clutter challenge.

It involves gathering information about the reality of ‘what is’ in terms of your clutter, and to be honest – if you’re doing the exercises thoroughly and learning the theory – it will make you feel uncomfortable.

In fact, some people actively try to avoid gathering the information and facts by rushing through the exercises – usually because they’re still in denial and don’t want to accept the reality of their clutter.

In the past, most of us have focused on making decisions about the physical ‘stuff’ in our clutter and getting rid of ‘stuff’, thereby managing to avoid the feelings that the ‘stuff’ in our clutter triggers. Anything we came across that triggered a feeling, memory, or emotion that we weren’t comfortable with was either ignored, moved so it was out of sight, out of mind, or put in the ‘keep’ pile because that felt like a decision, even though we knew that realistically, we were unlikely to ever use it. All these responses helped us to avoid triggering that uncomfortable feeling, memory, or emotion.

Yet clearing your clutter the Clutter Clearing way doesn’t allow you to ignore or just move your physical clutter. You can’t just ‘keep’ everything to avoid the feelings. We don’t even start with the physical clutter – we start with the mental and emotional clutter. We face the reality about what’s going on with our Clutter Conveyor Belt which we may have been in denial about for years or decades, and that reality can be incredibly uncomfortable.

The Reality

In order to succeed on our Journey, some of the reality we have to accept in Step 1 may include:

  • We and we alone are responsible for our clutter
  • We are uncomfortable with the feelings and emotions triggered by our clutter
  • We feel stupid, like a failure, angry, guilty, disappointed with ourselves, anxiety, depression, sadness etc because of the situation we’re in
  • We have to admit that we can’t do this on our own – which often feels like failure
  • We have habits that are REALLY hard to break!
  • We spend a lot of time (especially online!) doing things that don’t actually make a difference
  • We’ve spent a lot of money over the years on things we didn’t need and never used
  • We haven’t been living our Best Life
  • Despite what we learn, we still have a fear of letting go
  • Our clutter isn’t just a behaviour or a result of our environment – it has become part of our identity.
  • We struggle to imagine what our Best Life will be like, when we’re Clutter Free.


1. Notice when you are fighting acceptance of reality

If you are learning things on Step 1 – or indeed any step of your Journey – that you are struggling to accept, just notice and acknowledge it. Instead of fighting it, get curious. WHY do you think are you struggling to accept it? What feeling does it trigger?

2. Name the Feelings

Those of us who struggle with clutter often struggle to acknowledge and name our feelings. Find a way to acknowledge the feeling, even if you don’t know how to express it. Use the images in the ‘Common Characteristics of a Clutter Clearer’ article if that helps (there’s a download in the VIP Circle).

Many people struggle to articulate the number when they do their Clutter Control Scale Check-In, so instead they use the faces to define the number for how in control they are feeling.

It doesn’t matter HOW you name the feeling – there’s no right or wrong answer, how you feel is how you feel. Just name it so your conscious brain can learn from the experience, you can become more familiar and comfortable with them, and it’s easier to notice and name your feelings in the future.

3. Remind Yourself

Remind yourself that your newfound awareness of the reality gives you choices. The reality is not new – it’s been the reality for as long as you’ve had your clutter, you just didn’t know it. The difference now is that you’re consciously aware of it, and that’s triggering uncomfortable feelings and emotions.

4. Accept – and Let Go

You can’t change the past, you can only influence the present and future. Unless you choose to ignore the reality and continue doing what you’ve always done, the only way is up from now on.

When you accept the reality, you make better, more informed, realistic choices and decisions in the future.

5. Fake it till you make it

If you are struggling to accept reality, pretend that you have already accepted reality. Who do you know who HAS accepted the reality of their clutter and gone on to successfully clear it? (HINT: She’s in the videos on your Journey😊) What happened as a result of that person accepting their reality? Did their world fall apart or the world stop turning, or are they living their Best Life?

6. Practice Self-Care

Do whatever you do to de-stress, relax and practice self-care. A walk around the block, 30 minutes of quiet time in nature, 30 minutes of physical exercise, a massage, a manicure, some deep breathing, listening to relaxing music. It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is that it relaxes you and helps you manage your stress and/or anxiety around processing the reality.

7. Affirmations

Say the following 7 daily affirmation as part of your morning routine to help you accept your reality. 

  • I let go of control and allow my life to flow.
  • I am open to receiving beautiful moments and  memories into my life.
  • I accept and embrace the past and what it has taught me.
  • I embrace the power that I have RIGHT NOW.
  • I humbly accept and let go of that which I cannot change, and happily take on that which I can.
  • I fully accept my reality.
  • I relax, allow, and release.

You can clear your clutter fast, or you can clear your clutter forever, but you can’t clear your clutter forever, fast.

If you NEED to clear your clutter and you’re ready to accept that you can’t clear it forever FAST, click on this link and visit my Help Centre to find out how I can help you get started. https://www.clutterclearing.net/clares-help-centre/

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