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"I don't have enough time" and other myths we tell ourselves about clutter

Updated: Mar 24

How to create new neural pathways to finally get organized.

"I don't have enough time to declutter."

"I'm just a messy person and am never going to be organized."

These are things I hear SO MANY of my clients say! And even after years of practice, I still hear them in my own head sometimes.

This time it was coming from a coaching client who hired me to help her through decluttering and organizing her creative space.

She'd started off strong, but she'd missed a couple calls with me and her efforts were waning. Old mental records had started playing...

"You're never going to finish."

"This is too hard."

"I haven't had enough time to declutter."

After 10 years helping people declutter, I don't play old records, I help create new ones that support us reaching our goals rather than tear us down and defeat us.

You can thrive in an organized space. If you do truly want it, you DO have the time to create it.

If you have similar mental records, I recommend doing what I did with her - it doesn't take long and is 100% worth it!

Pretend I'm there with you or connect with me me if it helps.

This quick activity creates new neural pathways and shows our sneaky brains...

"WE DO HAVE ENOUGH TIME to declutter, we're just choosing to focus on other things."

Here's what we did in 15 minutes to declutter her desk - it was SO GRATIFYING!

You, too, can do this for ANY small space:

  1. Set a trash bin + an empty box (or any basket/container) next to the desk

  2. Start on one end of the desk, move to the other

  3. Look at every single thing

  4. Put every item that belongs in another room in the box

  5. Quickly put away items that belong close by (within a few steps)

  6. COME BACK! Do not let yourself get distracted (I'm like a focusing machine for my clients :D)

  7. For items that stay there, gather like with like

After 10 minutes, it was already better!

But we did another pass over the whole space asking over and over:

Is there anything else that doesn't belong?

Is there anything that can be quickly neatened?

Her eyes had passed over a few things I pointed out - it takes practice (and courage!) to see ALL our things - Every. Single. Thing.

Within 15 minutes, she said, "WOW! It looks so much neater! I feel like I'm actually going to use the desk now!"

It was a valuable lesson, but it wasn't over - we got off the phone with the agreement she'd put the items in the box away.

Finishing the job is a VERY important step in any decluttering project - then we don't create more clutter for our Future Selves, so we can go back to the old broken record, "I never finish anything, this is too hard..."

This is why it's helpful to have an accountabilibuddy...

I checked in with her later and she said, "I started to put things away, but I have to run an errand. I'll text you when I'm finished."

She texted me later, "I hurt my thumb, but I still put everything away!"

We sent a bunch of happy emojis, and I knew she'd started creating a new song, a new mental record...

She had new neural pathways to support her goal of creating an organized space.

This is 15 minutes - it's quick, quick quick movements!

There's no time for, "Hmm, I've been thinking about doing such and such with this..."

We kept her brain focused on:

Is there anything else I see?

Does it belong there or does it not?

Does it belong in another room or this room?

If you've been hearing, "I don't have enough time to clean and declutter," try it!

Remember to choose a SMALL space, have an empty box or basket (laundry baskets work), set a timer, and GO GO GO!, staying focused on clearing everything that belongs elsewhere.

If it helps pretend I'm there, keeping you focused :)

If you can't do this right away, pick a time you'll do it.


You can thrive in an organized space.

If you do truly want it, you DO have the time to create it.

Please remember that I'm here for you!

Reach out if you have questions and/or you feel stuck.

There's no need to struggle with clutter anymore - you're not alone and I can help you feel better right away.

Text me at 360-265-2477

For inspiration and organizing tips in your in-box, join my e-newsletter, Illuminations...

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