Zoe’s Success Story
Zoe started her Private Clutter Clearing Journey in September 2020 and completed it in May 2023. This means she’s cleared all her clutter and created the habits she needs to stay Clutter Free Forever.
9 rooms and areas completely clutter cleared after 18 years:
- Lounge room
- Dining room
- 3 bedrooms
- E-mail inbox now below 100 read and unread e-mails
- 77% 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
- 22 trees planted in her name with the Paperwork Reward Challenge because she shredded over 110 black sacks of paperwork clutter
- Zoe now volunteers one day at the weekend in the local charity shop where she donated all her unwanted clutter
- Zoe began her Journey doing 30 minutes a day of her Journey videos 3 days a week because she works full time and to begin with it was a challenge to make the 2 hours a day work.
- Zoe didn’t tell her friends or family she was doing the Journey while she was on Step 1. She told them she was doing a 1 year part-time online psychology course. This meant she wasn’t being constantly questioned about why the visble clutter wasn’t disappearing.
- As she started saving more money on Step 2 and 3 she started spending it on experiences with her children so they could make memories together.
- With the weekly Shopping Challenge Zoe started saving over £80 / $95 a week by the end of Step 2 which covered the cost of her monthly Private Journey Membership.
- As a direct result of doing her weekly Paperwork Clutter Clearing Sesisons, by the end of Step 2 Zoe had cancelled 2 monthly payments on her bank account that she realised she didn’t need or use which saved a further £200 / $250 a month:
- 1 TV subscription that she discovered during her Step 1 Time Exercise that she never used
- 1 weekly meal kit delivery subscription. She realised during Step 2 that she only used half the ingredients each week and created a lot of food waste as a result. She has, however, been able to continue to use the recipe cards that came with the weekly deliveries.
Zoe found being on the Journey enabled her to accept help from her family, something she’d always felt was a bad reflection on her ability as a mother. Her children started taking it in turns to cook dinner on the nights she was doing her Journey videos, and now the family have a cooking rota and a weekly theme meal night.
Zoe started her Private Journey in October 2020.
As Zoe explains:
I know I’m not alone when I say that the start of the pandemic was stressful for me and my family. I was having to work from home with 3 teenagers who were home-schooling. Even something as simple as finding 4 clear surfaces for us to all set up our laptops to work was unbelievably stressful, especially when we were having to move piles of clutter off the dining room table to work, then move the piles back so we could sit down after work or eat our meals.
Thank goodness the weather was good, and we could get outside in the garden, although we couldn’t work outside because of the sun.
I became quite depressed because it all felt so hopeless, overwhelming, and that things were getting worse. The kids were saying they couldn’t wait until they were old enough to leave home, and I realised that I didn’t blame them.
When it looked like we were going to get a second lockdown after the October half-term, that’s when I decided to do something about it. No more excuses about being too busy with work. I wanted – and I needed – to clear the clutter to create a home that my kids feel is a home they want to visit after they eventually actually leave home. If I procrastinated any longer, they’d leave home before I even started.
When I talked to Clare, she was very reassuring, telling me that if I could only do 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week to begin with that was absolutely fine – something is always better than nothing. Of course, I told myself I was going to do more because 2 hours was the maximum amount of time, but of course I didn’t. I overestimated what I could achieve, so it was good that I had my Private weekly sessions with Clare to have a regular reality check.
Getting into a routine of ‘doing the doing’ is more of a challenge than most people realise, and I know I wouldn’t have succeeded if I didn’t have my twice weekly private sessions with Clare. I didn’t tell anyone I was doing the Journey while I was on Step 1. I told them I was doing an online psychology course, which is what Step 1 basically is. That way they weren’t expecting to see a difference in the piles.
What shocked me most was that I was saving so much money even during Step 1. The E-mail, Door Sheet and Stock Take Exercises are real eye openers. I hadn’t realised how much I bought online until I was getting my e-mail inbox number every day and saw how many e-mail receipts there were, which mirrored what the Door Sheet Exercise was showing me. I think that because I wasn’t physically going out of the house to buy it all, I didn’t register it as clutter accumulation because I wasn’t coming through the front door with bags of stuff. It was deliveries. I realised with my Time Exercise that I was using online browsing and shopping like other people use TV or online games – as my ‘switch off / wind down’ activity at the end of the day.
It’s taken way longer than I had hoped when I started, but I’ve done what I set out to do – clear all my clutter. I know it won’t grow back because my thinking is so very different now, and because I don’t have a fear of the void anymore, I know that having happy kids who can now bring their friends round for dinner, and we can sit round the dining room table, is worth so much more than any ‘stuff’ that used to be piled up there. We’re making memories – and that’s what’s going to make them come and visit me when I’m a little olde lady!
If you’d like to do what Zoe did and clear all your clutter without the need for an expensive home visit, find out more about the 7 Step Journey that enabled her to succeed: https://www.clutterclearing.net/7-step-journey/