FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Clutter Clearing is a VERY different way of dealing with your Clutter Challenge
Clutter Clearing is probably very different to anything else you've seen on the TV or online.
You probably have quite a few questions.
Here is a lost of common questions, with their answers, that people have about the Clutter College Courses.
By helping you learn how to clear your clutter yourself and give you the support you need to succeed.
You’re intelligent. You know your clutter didn’t appear over night or in a couple of days, so even if you didn’t get overwhelmed, struggle to make decisions or give up after a few hours, it’s not going to get cleared in a day or two.
Unless you’ve won the lottery and want to spend it all on getting help in your home with your clutter, or you have an unlimited budget, you’re not going to see any lasting help in a day or two. Those makeover programmes that you see on the TV involve several weeks of clearing, a self storage unit that you rarely get to see, and at least a dozen of people lifting and shifting the clutter. Even if you don’t have the amount of clutter you see on those TV programmes, it’s still going to take more than a day or two to clear it.
Besides, even if you did successfully clear your clutter in a matter of days (and I’ve worked with enough people who have been on those TV programmes to know they don’t clear it in a matter of weeks, it all just gets moved to a storage unit), the clutter would just grow back again because you haven’t dealt with the CAUSE of your clutter – just the symptom.
When you get help from Clutter Clearing, you’ll discover why you have your clutter challenge, learn how to make the right decision for you, helping you create the habits you need to stay clutter free Forever, and giving you appropriate support as you clear your clutter so that this time you don’t give up.
Remember: I’m a former clutterholic and borderline hoarder. I cleared all my clutter without having someone help me in my home and I’ve been completely clutter free for over 20 years. The 7 Step Journey that I share with other determined declutterers is the exact same way I cleared my clutter, and hundreds of people have cleared their clutter and stayed completely clutter free following that exact same 7 Step Journey.
There are people who offer home visits to help people deal with their clutter, but in most cases, this person helps you have a blitz, which I suspect you’ve already done plenty of yourself.
I’ve had many clients and members who have had someone visit them at home to ‘help’ them deal with their clutter and found it very stressful and anxiety inducing. They felt under pressure to make ruthless decisions, and not only regretted the decision to get rid of things a few hours, days or weeks later, but also found that the clutter grew back over time.
Ultimately, why do you want a complete stranger, however much of a ‘expert’ they claim to be, standing in your cluttered home, ‘helping’ you have what is basically an expensive blitz, feeling under pressure to ‘get rid’ of as much as possible, and which is a method you’ve already tried a thousand times and you already know doesn’t work?
Not only is that likely to trigger the same feelings you have when you try to have a blitz on your own, it’s also likely to trigger more stress and anxiety because now you’re doing it with a stranger in your home. You feel under even more pressure to be ruthless because of time limit and the money you’ve spent on this ‘expert.
By helping you without coming to your home, you can go at a pace that’s comfortable for you, manage your overwhelm by not doing too much in one day, and take the time your brain needs to process your feelings and let go.
If you’re still not convinced, watch Theresa’s videos as she talks about how the Clutter Clearing way is better than a home visit: https://www.clutterclearing.net/theresas-success/
That’s depends on 5 factors:
- How much clutter you have that needs clearing and in how many rooms or areas of your home.
- How much time you can spend working on your 7 Step Journey without feeling overwhelmed – people on the 7 Step Journey do a minimum of 30 minutes a day, three days a week, up to a maximum of 2 hours a day, five days a week. They NEVER do more than 2 hours a day, 5 days a week because your brain cannot make decisions for more than 2 hours a day. It’s more important to do a little and often, than try to do a lot in one go.
- Which level of support you choose when you start your 7 Step Journey – DIY 7 Step Journey with no support, Group 7 Step Journey with three weekly Group Support Sessions, Private 7 Step Journey with one, two or three private sessions with mee. We all have bad days and tough weeks when we’re clearing our clutter, and you’re going to need support to get through the bad days and tough weeks so that you break your giving up habit.
- The statistics show that:
- 60% of those who choose the DIY 7 Step Journey never successfully complete their 7 Step Journey – 40% of those give up after 3 months
- 40% of those who choose the DIY 7 Step Journey successfully complete their 7 Step Journey within 5 years
- 87% of those on the Group 7 Step Journey successfully complete their 7 Step Journey within 3 – 4 years
- 94% of those on the Private 7 Step Journey with one private session a week successfully complete their 7 Step Journey within 2 – 3 years
- 97% of those on the Private 7 Step Journey with two private sessions a week successfully complete their 7 Step Journey within 2 – 3 years
- 99% of those on the Private 7 Step Journey with three private sessions a week successfully complete their 7 Step Journey within 18 - 30 months
- How patient, persistent and determined you are to clear all your clutter Forever. We all have a habit of giving up when we get overwhelmed or we become impatient with our clutter. That’s why we still have it.
- How willing and open you are to understand why you have your clutter challenge and break the habits of thinking and doing you have that have caused the clutter.
- The statistics show that:
Lots of Clutter College members have - or struggle - with the following:
- Extreme Overwhelm
- Social Anxiety
- Low self-esteem
- Depression – either long term, severe or periodic bouts
- Weight issues / obesity
- Executive Functioning Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- An Eating Disorder
- Parental relationship issues – either past or current - particularly with their relationship with their mother
- Relationship issues – either past or current
There have also been a lot of people who have been recovering from cancer treatment while they’ve been on their 7 Step Journey.
So if you struggle with any of the above, please know you're perfectly normal and it’s still possible for you to Clear your Clutter.
As we help people without travelling to their home, you’re in charge of how much and how often you work on your Clutter Clearing 7 Step Journey, depending on how you’re feeling. Even just watching one video will enable you to make progress with clearing your clutter.
I would recommend you start with an online workshop so you can get comfortable with how we work and then build up slowly from there.
Everyone who is clearing their Clutter the Clutter Clearing way struggles with impatience (!), but it's important we take it slowly precisely because even if you don't suffer from a pre-existing issue, going through your belongings that you may not have seen for years can cause anxiety / depression.
If you decide to take the 7 Step Journey Course which is the most time and energy consuming – although it’s the only option that’s going to enable you to become completely clutter free Forever, I would recommend that you make sure you have appropriate support in place in the form of a therapist / counsellor BEFORE you start your 7 Step Journey, that way you’re more able to manage any symptoms before they become an issue.
You don’t have to do this on your own – in fact those who TRY to do it on their own usually end up giving up.
You can choose how much support you get depending on which type of help you choose.
If you’re a beginner and you want to meet others and get more comfortable with how it works and build up your confidence and belief that you CAN clear your clutter, the Social Gathering Support Group or the Clutter Clearing LITE membership is a great place to start. You don’t have to be doing any other course to join either of those.
As you build your confidence you can then do a Workshop so you can get some practical knowledge and advice.
Then you could commit to just one term – or 5 consecutive weeks – with a Getting Started Course which will combine some practical knowledge, advice and ‘how-to’ with an online course PLUS the support you need to get into a routine of using that course by joining the Social Gathering Support Group and a LIVE Group Clutter Clearing Session each week.
Once you feel supported by others and have started to get into a routine of making a little time regularly to ‘Do the Doing’, you could then start your 7 Step Journey.
If you prefer private 1-2-1 support from me, you can start your Private 7 Step Journey at any time.
So you can have as much – or as little – support as you want or need.
Don't be too hard on them.
If they don’t’ have a clutter challenge themselves it's very hard for people to understand how difficult it is for us to deal with it.
They do care - people only get frustrated with us if they care - and they're probably not supportive because they know you want to clear it and they don't want you to fail again.
I would suggest that you start to meet people who ARE supportive of you starting your 7 Step Journey. People who have been where you are right now so won’t judge you or pressurise you to clear it as quickly as possible.
You can do that either by becoming a Clutter Clearing LITE Member and meeting those people in my Private Facebook Group – my VIP Circle – or by joining the Social Gathering Support Group. Once you realise there are lots of people around the world who are supporting you appropriately, you’ll feel more confident about starting your Clutter Clearing 7 Step Journey. Once you start your 7 Step Journey, there are lots of way friends and family can help and support us without getting involved in the decision making, and even without them even knowing they’re helping us!
Support doesn't always have to be specific to the actual clutter.
Remember that I’m a former borderline hoarder myself and I was able to clear my clutter by creating and following the 7 Step Journey, and hundreds of hoarders have successfully completed their 7 Step Journey and become completely clutter free Forever too. The only difference is that it might take a little longer to complete.
Once your confidence grows and you start to believe you MIGHT be able to clear your clutter then you can actually start your 7 Step Journey.
I do recommend that hoarders have 2 types of support outside of the 7 Step Journey:
- A friend, neighbour, social worker - anyone who is supportive of you doing your 7 Step Journey and can watch the videos and do the exercises with you. All they need to do is arrange to come and watch the online videos with you and help you do the exercises. It means you will also have someone who is learning what you're learning so they understand the reasons behind why you struggle with your clutter.
- A Therapist/counsellor. If you are a hoarder, you will almost certainly experience anxiety at some point on your 7 Step Journey and this can increase even in Step 1 when we start to look at WHY we have our Clutter Challenge. I recommend that hoarders start their weekly Counselling/therapy BEFORE they start their 7 Step Journey so that they can get comfortable with their counsellor/therapist before starting. You will need to commit to having weekly counselling/therapy for at least 18 months while you are on your 7 Step Journey, therefore you are likely to have to privately fund this as state funded programmes are usually only short term.
I would recommend the following:
Step 1: Join the Online Social Gathering Support Groups so you can get regular, appropriate support from other people who struggle with their clutter too, and so you have some commitment to starting your 7 Step Journey once you’ve moved. Social Gathering members also have priority booking when Group and Private 7 Step Journey places become available.
Step 2: Move your clutter into self-storage. Although I do not advocate self-storage as a solution to a clutter challenge, IF you have to move or sell your home in less than 2 years and you’ve committed to starting your 7 Step Journey, it can help reduce the stress.
The reality is that your clutter didn’t appear overnight and you’re not going to clear it overnight, so trying to clear it – even a bit of it – before you move is unrealistic and just going to send your stress and anxiety levels through the roof. So don’t even TRY to clear any of it. Focus on moving your things into storage.
Step 3: As soon as you’ve moved home, start your 7 Step Journey. Step 1 will help you identify the causes of your clutter, so it will help you make sure that you find out why you have your clutter before it grows back in your new home. When you start clearing your backlog clutter on your 7 Step Journey, you can then either bring some of it to your new home to do your Clutter Clearing Sessions, or you can do your Clutter Clearing Sessions at your storage unit.
Self Storage is ONLY a suitable solution to your clutter challenge IF you have a plan of how you’re going
to clear it once it’s in Self Storage.
Then we’ll miss you, and welcome you back (a bit jealous I’m sure!) when you return!
It’s entirely up to you whether you want to join a term of the Social Gathering Support Group knowing that you won’t be able to join a week or two, or whether you’d prefer to wait until a term when you know you can join all 5 weeks of term.
If you’re on your 7 Step Journey then missing a week or two during the Clutter Clearing Term Time won’t be a huge problem. You’ll learn how important it is to take a break to rest, recharge and reward yourself every 5 or so weeks. Our brain needs some down-time. As soon as you get back, if you’re on the Group or Private 7 Step Journey then you’ll be able to get back into routine with the support of the Group or me. You can always use one of your holiday/vacation weeks in between terms to compensate for any weeks you were away during the term.
When you start your 7 Step Journey you’ll get a calendar of all the term dates each year to help you plan holidays and vacations around the Clutter Clearing terms so that you don’t miss any of the support.
It’s also important, as part of learning to clear and control our clutter Forever, that we learn how to deal with times when we can’t stick to our normal routine – like holidays and emergencies - and learn how to get back into our routine.
I wouldn't recommend it.
The 7 Step Journey is very different to anything else you'll find and will teach you concepts, principles and methods that you won't find with any other programme or course.
To try to follow more than one programme or course at a time would be confusing as to what you're learning and doing for which programme and would zap your time and energy.
Many clutterholics and hoarders struggle to focus and finish one thing at a time. Trying to do more than one decluttering programme or course at a time is an example of this.
Much better to focus on one programme at a time.
Finish the other programme, and if that doesn't work then start your 7 Step Journey.
No – it would be prohibitively expensive to pay me to come and help you transport any clutter you’re LETTING GO of (not getting rid of) - but let's think about other, cheaper (or free) options.
- Asking friends, family or neighbours to help by taking things for you. This is a great way they can help you WITHOUT being involved in the decision making
- Many local charities will collect items for free. You just need to call them and book a collection
- Contacting your local council as they often do a bulk collection service for a small fee
- There are websites where you can list items for people to come and collect them if they want them. NOTE: I do not recommend this if you live alone.
- Local Freecycling. Putting unwanted items on your boundary with a sign that says 'FREE - please give a new home' is often a quick, simple and easy way to let go of things you no longer need.
- Local nurseries, schools, community organisations. Nurseries are often very happy to receive children's toys. Schools are often grateful of books for their library. Community organisations often appreciate excess food, toiletries, kitchen utensils and furniture. And they'll all come and collect from you if they want what you're giving away!
- Local Social Media groups – lots of communities have groups where you can list thing to sell or give away.
- Putting things on the boundary of your property for people to take for free. You’d be amazed how much ‘disappears’ as if by magic when you do this!
- Online Apps – I share a lot of these in the VIP Circle (Private Facebook Group) that you’ll get access to when you become a Clutter Clearing LITE member or start your 7 Step Journey.
We have a Clutter Clearing Face-to-Face Purely Social Social Gathering twice a year in the UK, and everyone is welcome.
We all meet and have afternoon tea together, somewhere that members of the VIP Circle (Private Facebook Group) have chosen.
I hope that in 2024 we will be able to have an American Face-to-Face Purely Social Social Gathering so that all the USA and Canadian Clutter Clearing members get to meet each other face-to-face. Who knows – maybe some of the UK members will travel there with me to meet them too!
Here’s a photo from our last 2 Purely Social Social Gatherings:
July 2022: Oxford, UK
October 2021: Oxford, UK
March 2025: Banbury, UK
We also have online Christmas Parties –
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