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  • Denise Frakes

Avoid Clutter Clearing Hangovers!

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

"Sometimes it's about less is more. It's about the seed. Thinking about this gigantic tree that you think is so beautiful but it started with this just seed." Fred Durst

What's a clutter clearing hangover? You know, unfinished projects. Projects you start, explode and then stop mid process. You begin clearing out your guest bedroom, bins of material, taxes, closets, kitchens. You take a class, start a study, do research, dive into your recipes. These projects, end up being too much, more than you expected. Or maybe life appeared- a distraction-a request-your attention was needed elsewhere. Maybe you just plum ran out of time, and energy. Whatever the cause. Here you are great idea all over the place.

You tell yourself you can start where you left off. By keeping it out, you will save yourself time. Seeing it will help you not forget. On paper, this makes loads of sense.

Why go to the trouble of finishing when you are in the middle? Aren't you wasting time? Doing things twice? Isn't it easier to keep going - tomorrow or next Tuesday or in a month from now? Yes, it makes perfect sense, if life fit into little tidy boxes- rarely is this the case.

Projects left unfinished, add to your stress. Exploded spaces, become irksome pockets of future clutter. They are clutter clearing hangovers. Having unfinished projects outwardly waiting consumes your mental & emotional energy. They are like a persistent 5-year-old trying to get your attention. They undermine your confidence. They become chatter that feeds your monkey mind and voice of judgement: what you should have done, need to do, must do, how you never get things done, why you have failed.....yak,yak,yak Hangovers are loud and obnoxious.

Unfinished- untidy projects create clutter and chaos. Clutter is a magnet for more clutter- unruly things attract more unruly things. If you ever wondered if the law of attraction works, leave a mess and notice how quickly more things pile on!

Your wonderfully inspired project ends up becoming the white elephant in the room. Bigger, messier, more time consuming and energy zapping than necessary.

How to avoid clutter clearing hangovers.

  1. Be realistic. Biting off more than you can chew leads to a very full mouth and a sour aftertaste. Ask yourself- today, how much time and energy do I really have? 15 minutes to 4 hours are optimal clutter clearing pockets of time. More is not better. Too much breeds decision fatigue. We are done- mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally... Time for a rest. Drained brains are slow movers...and emotionally sensitive.

  2. Be specific. Know what you are working on before you start. Decide before you dive in. How long will you work? What do you want to do? How much energy do you have? Time? Set a clear intention. What, when, where, why.

  3. Use your cell phone and don't use your cell phone. While you are working unplug from distractions- text messages, calls, pings, TV, computers. Anything that distracts you from your work. Cell phones are super addictive and wildly distracting. Unless you use them on your terms. Use your cellphone as a timer- work in timed pockets, take timed breaks. Set an alarm for when you want to be done sorting. (Give yourself time to disperse). Use your cell phone to take pictures, to remind you of your life and things. While you are sorting, turn off notifications & sounds. Turn cell phone over so you can see the screen. Put your cell phone out of your reach so you don't grab it out of habit.

  4. Work in smaller pockets. Instead of pulling everything out of all your cupboards work on one cupboard, or box, or file or one spot in a room. Be specific. Instead of cleaning out all your material, downsize one bin at time. Less is easier to hold focus and complete. Completing smaller projects will give you energy and motivation to keep going. Exploded big projects will drop energy and overwhelm. Work towards consistently making progress. Pocket by pocket. Progress lowers stress and increases motivation!

  5. Tidy first. The nature of clutter is muddled energy. Clutter muddles your thinking. It may seem counterintuitive to tidy first but hear me out. Before you unclutter your kitchen: Do the dishes, remove trash and things randomly put on the floor or counters. Give yourself some breathing space to start. A working space. Even if all you do the first time you unclutter is to tidy- worth it!!!!!! Un-muddled spaces make work easier, reduces stress, clarity helps our brain function better.

  6. Sort instead of uncluttering. As you start uncluttering, go for categories. Put like with like. As I'm working, I'll have little tidy, clear piles of like with like. Donations, recycling, trash, things that go other places. Things that go to other people. Paper categories. (Financials, articles you want to read, things that need your attention right away, poems & quotes.) By presorting and having tidy, clear piles/categories you help yourself. Your un-muddling gives you clarity. Sorting takes a lot of pressure off yourself. If you are sorting, it's easier to dive into a muddled box of random things. You don't have to think as much. Instead processing each individual item, you simply identify it and put it with friends.

  7. Always leave time to disperse and tidy up again. Say you have a two-hour pocket to unclutter. Leave at least 1/3 of that time for dispersing your piles. Put the things where they go. Gather up your sorted piles and disperse to their homes. If they don't yet have a permanent home. Put them with other like items. Dishes to the kitchen, paper to the office, laundry to the laundry basket. Place these mindfully, thoughtful, and as tidy as possible. Donations to your car or designated space. Recycling to the recycling bin. Now tidy up, make your space lighter, simpler, thoughtful. Clean up trash and bags and random things. Leave your space better than you started.

Clutter clearing gives you your life. It benefits us on so many levels: Mentally, Spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, socially. When it's done kindly, creating space will give you energy and freedom. However, if left mid project, clutter it will carry over like a bad hangover. It may seems you are wasting time dispersing and tidying up before you are done. In reality you will be save yourself oodles of time and mental fatigue. You'll also be preventing future work by removing the clutter magnet that will turn your mole hill into a mountain- (a big overbearing & unruly mountain)

Try This: The next time you start a project, pause. Ask yourself, what specifically do you want to do? How much time and energy do you have today? It's better to fully complete several tiny projects than to explode one big mess. Finishing is satisfying! Try less to get more done.

Happy Travels my friend,


"Sometimes it's about less is more. It's about the seed. Thinking about this gigantic tree that you think is so beautiful but it started with this just seed." Fred Durst

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