Getting Rid of Clutter III

Busy Mom’s Survival Guide Podcast Episode 008.
Today’s podcast is the final episode in my series on clutter.  I hope that over the past two episodes you have gotten a sense for how drastic a problem clutter is in America. So much so, that there have been a lot of studies done on the impacts of clutter on people’s lives.

Jim overwhelmed by clutter

Studies have shown that people with clutter problems tend to use the following words to describe themselves:

  • Overwhelmed
  • Stressed
  • Anxious
  • Non-functional
  • Non-productive
  • Suffocating
  • I can’t breathe
  • Embarrassed

If you can relate to any of these words and feelings, please address the fact that it may be the physical clutter in your home that is causing these emotions.

In fact, observations have shown that as people “clean up”, their energy seems to rise.  Often times, the clean up and reduction of clutter motivates people to tend to other issues in their lives such as being stuck in an unsatisfactory occupation, losing weight, or living in an unhealthy relationship.

Various studies have also shown that the average American only uses somewhere between 20% and 30% of the stuff in their home. So you should have a lot of room to get rid of stuff that you really don’t need.

During today’s podcast episode, I’ll be answering listener questions about how to deal with the clutter in their lives.  It’s a long episode as there were a lot of detailed questions.

I hope you enjoy this concluding episode to the clutter series and that you are motivated to make a real change in your life to a simpler lifestyle.  You and your family will be benefited by the change.

Please leave me a comment and let me know if this series has changed the way you approach the clutter in your home.

Episodes in series:

Thanks for listening! Join me next week as we discuss paying off debt.


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Or read the Getting Rid of Clutter Part III Transcript.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jonie M.

    Thank you so much for this series of podcasts, PJ. I love your head-on approach to tackling clutter. You have given me some very practical tips that are going to help me focus more on important / necessary things, and help me feel more in control.

    Some of my goals are to: clear out the most cluttered room in our house, organize what we do currently have / use, and try to transfer some of the old VHS tapes our family has (that’s been stored in plastic bins) onto DVDs.

    I love your idea of taking a digital photo of those items we hold onto (and don’t use) simply for memories sake. I long for that simpler lifestyle that you have shared with us! Sometimes being ruthless is the only way the job ever gets done! You’re a blessing, PJ! 🙂

    • Thanks, Joni! Your comments and encouragement mean a lot to me. I have old video recorder tapes from when Brett was a baby. It’s on my list to have somebody turn them into digital copies. I’d love to watch some of them again!


      • Jonie M.

        It’s a fun project. I have a program on my computer that allows you to link to an old VCR and do the upload to hard drive, then transfer to DVD. You can make/edit the DVD menu and everything. They sell easier transfer devices now (that would prob. be quicker) but I just haven’t bought one. I just pop them in and let them record, then go about my business anyway. I recently converted some old tapes for my nephew, who’s 22. It’s been fun watching the old family footage with him, and he appreciates having them. Another good part is knowing you can toss the old clunky VHS tapes and save room w/ the smaller DVDs! 🙂

  • Jonie M.

    Oh, and one more thing, PJ.
    This verse came into my mind this afternoon as I was working around my house,

    “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
    -I Tim. 6:7

    I think it is so admirable that you & Jim are training up your children from the start that we should use things and love people, rather than use people and love things.

    • I LOVE it! That simple verse says SO much!!


  • Diana Marvin

    PJ thanks for making it a little easier to face up to the clutter! I’ve always had a hard time letting go of things, partly due to the packrat jeans inherited from my post depression-era parents who hold onto things in case we need it some day…

    a few years ago it got easier when a friend of mine that moves every few years told me he “edits” his things before each move.

    Somehow, “editing” sounds better than “getting rid of” for me. maybe that will help someone else too.

    Thanks, Diana

    • That’s awesome, Diana! If we can phrase things in our head that make it easier for us to accomplish difficult tasks, I’m all for it!!


  • Jess

    There are 5 humans, 8 cats and 2 large dogs squished in to my hamster cage sized house. Seriously ..845 square feet. I am CONSTANTLY going thru stuff and “editing”. The only real exception to this rule is the kids clothes because what my oldest wears must eventually make it to my youngest! It feels soo good to clean out and reorganize, repurpose and rehome things!

    • 845 square feet! That’s awesome! I honestly used to think that the more children you have the more space and the more stuff you needed. Wow have I changed my opinion on that. The more children you have, the less stuff and the less space, the more time you have for them. Now, you can obviously take that too far, but I think that you can learn so much and enjoy your family so much when you have a small space!