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Need to Get the Clutter Out? Find a Clutter Buddy!

By Fran Braga Meininger April 25, 2021 Lifestyle

Which door do you dread opening? Is it your clothes closet, the linen closet, the kitchen pantry, or perhaps the one to the back seat of your car?

We all have those places where we stuff, hoard and ignore clutter, and they mock us every time we walk by. We realize, eventually, we must face them, but just can’t find the time, the energy or the willpower. What might help? A clutter buddy!

Last week, while hiking with a dear friend, the conversation turned to the sorry state of our cars, confessing it had been ages since we sifted through the shopping bags, dog leads and whatever else was stacked up back there. Instead of procrastinating any longer, we made a date for the next morning to park our cars side by side in my driveway and get busy.

By the next afternoon, the items that belonged in our vehicles were well organized, the interiors were vacuumed, and the windows washed. We even washed the exteriors. We were so energized by our accomplishments. Having each other’s company and encouragement made all the difference.

We’ve now set our sights on our linen closets!

So, here are a few thoughts about why I think this works so well for us and how to capitalize on this idea, choose your clutter buddy and get your world decluttered and organized.

Choose Wisely

Be sure you’re very comfortable with whomever you invite to be your Clutter Buddy. My friend and I have been through years of life together, we’ve seen each other through heartbreak, babies, illness and hard times.

So, opening the door to an over crammed linen closet isn’t going to cause any real embarrassment. We’ll still love each other just as much.

No Clutter Shaming Allowed

Even though we laughed at some of the stuff we dug out of our dirty cars, there were no disparaging remarks that would leave hurt feelings. You must trust each other to be kind, no matter what you discover.

You Are Both Sworn to Secrecy

No one else can ever know what lurked in the far reaches of the darkness. The condition of each of your homes, cars and lives stays between you. You’re in this to be supportive and be supported.

Tackle the Easy Stuff First

The cars were nowhere near as daunting as our linen closets, or our clothes closets. Having a win under our belts makes moving to the next challenge easier.

Devote the Day to the Task

Don’t try to shoehorn the job into a few hours in the morning with other plans for the afternoon. You may run out of time and end up shoving it all back in, and feeling quite defeated as a result.

Have a Plan for Your Unwanted Items

Sort into three large garbage bags marked, Keep, Donate, and Discard. Decide where you will donate and be sure to get the items out of the house and to their destination by the end of the day, or at least by the following day. The goal is to see results so you feel satisfied and proud.

Schedule Your Next Project on the High of an Accomplishment

Even if it has to be a month or more into the future, get a date on the calendar to work on the next bastion of clutter. You’ll be more likely to stick with it when you’re feeling good about your progress.

Have a Little Fun

Put on some great music, enjoy some tempting snacks, and perhaps a glass of wine, while you work and enjoy your time together.

Most of all, celebrate your friendship. Savor the company. Be grateful to have a friend in your life who loves you enough to help you make your life more comfortable.  

Have you recently started a decluttering project? Did you tackle it yourself or did you choose to invite a clutter buddy? How did it go? Which part of your house did you start with? Please share with the community!

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The Author

Fran Braga Meininger writes personal narratives about the years beyond youth, a time in a woman’s life that can be vibrant, fulfilling, and wonderful, despite – or perhaps because of – all that comes with age. She lives in northern California where she hikes, bikes and lives life in big bites. You can visit her website at

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