Melissa’s Success Story
Melissa started her Private Clutter Clearing Journey in September 2020 and completed it in October 2022. This means she’s cleared all her clutter and created the habits she needs to stay Clutter Free Forever.
- 11 rooms and areas completely clutter cleared after 23 years:
- Hallway, stairs, landing
- Lounge room
- Dining room
- 3 bedrooms
- Double garage
- E-mail inbox now below 100 read and unread e-mails
- 83% of all the clutter she categorised and sorted came OFF the Clutter Conveyor Belt
- Over 42 black sacks of donations to her local charity shop
- 21 trees planted in her name with the Paperwork Reward Challenge because she shredded over 105 black sacks of paperwork clutter
- With the weekly Shopping Challenge Melissa started saving over £80 / $95 a week by the end of Step 1 which covered the cost of her monthly Private Journey Membership.
- As a direct result of doing her weekly Paperwork Clutter Clearing Sessions, by the end of Step 2 Melissa had cancelled 2 monthly payments and 1 annual payment on her bank account that she didn’t know were being taken and which saved a further £250 / $300 a month:
- 1 insurance
- 2 magazine subscriptions
- 1 health insurance covered by another health insurance.
- Melissa also discovered she was paying $50 a month into a high intrest savings account she had set up over 10 years ago and didn’t realise she had (because she didn’t spend regular time on her paperwork and finances). The money from this enabled her to get her garden landscaped once she’d cleared her clutter.
- By the end of her Journey Melissa had saved enough money to get her boiler fixed, new flooring and new bedroom furniture.
- Melissa took longer to complete Step 1 of her Journey than she took to complete Step 7.
- She experienced the resistance and ‘giving up’ habit that most Journey members experience in Step 1, and says she only kept going because she didn’t want to let her grandchildren down who she’d promised could come and stay once she cleared her clutter.
- She is now planning a ‘Clutter Free’ Christmas Party in December with friends, family, neighbours, and the Christmas tree she always dreamed of having in her lounge. In fact, she’s planning 3 – one in the hallway, one in the lounge, one in the dining room! They will all be real Christmas trees so they come OFF her Conveyor Belt after Christmas and don’t need to be stored.
Melissa started her Private Journey in September 2020.
As Melissa explains:
Succeeding at completing my Journey was a time of mixed emotions. I was so proud that I’d finally done it after 23 years and not given up like I always did before. I was so impatient to deal with the ‘Big and Bulky Backlog’ Clutter when I used to try on my own, I struggled to accept that we started with understanding WHY we struggle first.
But when, by the peak of Step 2 when I’d done a month of paperwork Clutter Clearing Sessions and was finally dealing with my new and incoming paperwork, and I got used to getting my bank statements instead of relying on the app or online statements, I was shocked to discover just how many payments I had going out of my account I didn’t even remember or know about!
I hadn’t realised how much I was spending on my weekly grocery and online shopping, often shopping 3 or 4 times a week. It’s as if I didn’t even acknowledge that online or TV shopping was even shopping. No wonder I had so many things when I did the shopping challenge stock-list! I donated quite a lot of excess food to a local food bank who were able to redistribute it to people who need it more than I did during the pandemic, which made me feel like letting go of my clutter was helping others.
The real shock was when I discovered I was making a monthly deposit into a high interest savings account I didn’t even know about. I assumed it was fraud until the bank told me it was set up 10 years ago and I suddenly remembered! I must have set it up when I was still working and forgotten about it, which made me feel bad that I was telling everyone I had no money when in fact I wasn’t managing my finances. At the same time, I felt ecstatic when I found out how much money had built up in it because I forgot about it! Clare always talks about ‘lots of littles make a lot’. Well $50 a month for over 10 years at high interest certainly adds up to a lot!
As a result of realising how a little can become a lot, I’ve set up savings accounts for my 3 grandchildren so they can have a nice lump sum in 10 years’ time. I also realised that my justification for buying lots of things at the charity shop added up to a lot of wasted money. I told myself it was ‘just’ a dollar or 5, it was a treat. But actually, 5 dollars a week is still $260 a year – and I spent a lot more than ‘just’ $5 a week I can tell you!
I’ve had a lot of lightbulb moments and realisations about my (now old) habits on my Journey, not just what I did but the way I thought about things. I told myself for years that the only help that would work for me was having someone in my home helping me – but I tried that and it was such a negative, stressful experience. On the Journey I’ve been in control throughout, I’ve been able to go at my own pace, and Clare’s never put me under pressure. She just quietly supported me, making sure I never entered the ‘panic’ zone and gave up.
My priorities have definitely changed – just like my Clutter Free Goal got clearer and clearer, better and better as I got closer to it on my Journey. I now realise my grandchildren don’t care if I have this or that toy or activity. They just want to be able to visit their granny, have space to play, have a sleep-over, and make memories. My ‘stuff’ was never going to do that.
My advice to anyone who isn’t on their Journey? It’s never too late to try something different. You might surprise yourself at what a difference it makes!
To find out more about the Clutter Clearing 7 Step Journey that Melissa was on, visit: https://www.clutterclearing.net/7-step-journey