Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

De-cluttering thread and CIs

Seems that for me mess and clutter are intertwined with procrastination, related to similar issues of resistance and fear...there's also clutterers anonymous, I know, but I now see the clutter as a material outcome of procrastination and it needs to be conquered in small steps, one step at a time.

Is anyone else interested in having a clutter CI, or does it work better to include clutter in daily CIs (and get a sense of progress that way)?

e's decluttered living room

 There is nothing like guests to motivate me to get things done. Having my sisters and family upstairs has allwed me to divide time between visiting and straightening for visitors. The living room now has no boxes in it, the dining room has my dining table in it, 90% of the boxes have been moved to their final resting places and my spouse seems much happier.  (as he is born organized he just does not understand how things can take me so long: he would stay up all night to iron his stuff just to get it all finished. Now that I have a dryer again I have not touched the iron!)


In any case, my paperwork boxes are now in the bedroom which makes it a huge nest. The living room has a few potential hot spots, like the entryway desk, but I feel more like staying on top of it. I now have several bags in the front hall labeled to go to my son, my mom, my sister, my professor, the tailors, the post office and so forth. The kitchen has a few things which I am going to ask for help putting away properly in the basement: 

The bulk of what is left will be to go through box after box of paper that I have saved. I am much more hopeful about this now. 

As flylady suggests, singing "please release me, let me go" when decluttering seems to help!

Journey decluttering project - the "pile"

Made some progress on the pile this weekend - two mini-piles tackled.  4 mini-piles of about 20 down, 16 to go!  
"I tell you, we are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." - Kurt Vonnegut

chick's paperwork declutter

I'm in the midst of a massive office declutter.I am simply unable to do some essential projects until I can find the material. There's long way to go, but I can look at one area and see what's there.

8) :cool:

Goal now: KEEP GOING TODAY until I can be functional with essential projects

Did two tiny corners today,  reminder of 'break it down, microburst'  that really works.

e's paperwork declutter

 there is so much to get rid of that i want to post it here. I struggle with letting things go because I find that I sometimes need them, but I can usually find things again online. so.....

today i will spend a television show on sorting and shredding paperwork and then I will put it away for tomorrow. I give myself permission to make progress instead of beating myself up for not having everything done already....

how did it go, e?

Hope you reached your goal. I like to sort and shred and watch tv, too.

The adrenaline you've been living on only leaves you wanting.

not so hot

 I am definately resisting tackling working on this. I think it is because things are not in comfortable places to work on. So, I am going to move the boxes up higher so I don't have to sit on the floor. 

decluttering topic moved to "questions" area

I moved this thread out of the "miscellaneous" area and into the "questions" area - it's not off-topic.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

shared some stuff with others


CI on the De-Cluttering Thread.

I'm in the process of moving.

Buying things for the new condo: overall I've been reasonable in quantity about what I've bought. However, there are some things I bought or have that I won't need.

Yesterday someone asked for some things they needed, which were also some of the extra things I had. So today I brought those things and they were able to pick them up.

I feel a litte guilty that I shouldn't have bought the things in the first place. But they gave me hope during the last 1.5 years, about eventually having my own place again. And it did end up helping someone else, to whichever small degree.

The guilt is still winning, but sharing those was on emore step in de-cluttering, so that's the part I am going to chose to focus on. Maybe I will have some more things to share with others later, too!

Oct 25. Took a towel and a bedskirt to Goodwill. Even though that is a wimpily small amount, I am trying to take a few small things as I can. Overall I have that habit, but during the last month or two it had drifted from my routine for a while. This DeCluttering thread will help me get back on track ;) I also had couple small Halloween items to take. I told the Attendant so they could put them out in the shop before Halloween, so someone might buy them in time. Next: it might be next Saturday before I get to take anything else, but maybe I can be putting some more things aside? We'll see ;)

Oct 26. This thread is helping me a lot. It's very motivational :) Today I took 3 tote bags & 2 pairs of pants to the ladies half-way house. Yeah, not very impressive; not a lot of stuff, but a little bit happening at a time is still something! :) Maybe during the week I will start a pile to take this coming Saturday :) Talk to you later! :)

Nov 1. During the last week, I kept my Declutter pile growing ;) There was a plastic milk crate-style filing box I had retrieved from my dad's a few months ago. I never did start to like it. So today I put the other stuff it in. It wasn't quite full, but had enough stuff in it, so I took it to Goodwill. Yay, one more box out the door! ;) Next: I'll still sort through items as I take things over to the new condo. I may start another stack. I think that pile will grow more slowly. It might be Thanksgiving or later, before that pile is ready, but that's ok! I'll keep doing a little bit as I can! :)


Thank you, gals & guys, for being here! :)

Lark, starting on spare room

Last night I went upstairs to the spare room, which hasn't been used since my brother moved out years ago. Apart from "appropriate" storage, it was just plain dirty, so I swept the floor and filled a plastic grocery bag with pieces of paper etc. To the new observer it would look very cluttered, but I can see a difference. Now it's "clean" clutter. By the first of next week I hope to organize all the books, close up the containers, have a bag of trash, and a bag to donate.

Journey de-cluttering

My decluttering project right now is the PILE.  I consolidated the pile aka personal folder at work with the pile at home as I have finally reduced them to the point that I can make ONE pile without it all falling over haha.

For some reason, I'm much better able to work on paperwork when I'm in the office, so I'm pulling the top 10 things off the stack and taking them to work with me.  It's much easier to face 10 things than to face the whole pile at once. 

I'm working on mini-pile #2 of about 20.   And making an effort to deal with incoming paper as it arrives rather than stacking it up. 


"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"
Henry Ward Beecher


Journey's pile

Mini-pile #2 of 20 completed.  But I added 3-4 items to it this week, so I'm probably about even :)   My goal is to tackle a couple of mini-piles each week, and not add any new paper to the stack.  I'm still getting stuff, looking at it, thinking "I don't want to deal with this right now" and adding it to the pile. 

"I tell you, we are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." - Kurt Vonnegut

Trash Day at Lark's

I had a good Trash Day. sounds bizarre, huh? But, I filled an extra bag with unneeded "stuff", and consolidated a cupboard and two shelves into a small set of shelves. More floor space, and tidy, too. I also have a pile of clothes to donate, and got rid of a pile of old paid bills and other papers. What was left fit into a Rubbermaid container. Yippee! Still alot of stuff torn out, but it's less dense. Just having this thread available has helped alot.

whoo hooo Lark!

You have motivated me! To the Recycle Truck, Robin!

Me Too

Great job Lark. I am jealous I wish I had accomplished so much with my clutter. I have so much clutter my mind is clutterd. I dream of a day when I can put my hands on anything that I need without sorting through the piles.

I have a few major irons in the fire but my next major project is to begin to De-clutter the house. I would love to have my house clutter free by the time I decorate for Christmas. For now I will just have to be happy with celebrating the success of my fellow procrastinators. So congrats to you Lark.

I agree with you Lark just having this thread helps to focus.


encouragement in decluttering

These images are meant to give us all some encouragement, but they don't work yet...

One is a round tuit. One is a bulging trash can. One is a caterpillar who succeeds in eating a large leaf one bite at a time...

office de-clutter progress

Have been sorting and throwing away at least one wastebasket of rubbish at work each time I go in, just for the past week. There is a lot left to do, but already it looks much better and gives me hope. It's not infinite or impossible even though it had felt that way.  :laugh:

chick's declutter success

Thanks Clem; the job is far

Thanks Clem; the job is far from finished, but somehow being able to get to the perspective that makes me feel that i can start and that a reasonable daily effort is enough is something to celebrate. For so long I couldn't stand to start and thought I was no good because I wouldn't start and couldn't do it all. I guess that's familiar to many...

microbursts worked

Did a 'put away ten things in several rooms.

Not too hard, made a visible difference.


I let go of the idea that 'I have to get it all perfect all at once'. The clutter progress is like the rest of the procrastination progress, starting to experience a new process, more hope and energy.Gives me hope that the house can be ready for visitors most of the time instead of only after emergency cleaning! :smile:  :laugh:

chickadee - fixed up code for messed up graphics

Please use the rich-text feature to put in graphics automatically and don't manually write the HTML. There's no need to do it manually, and this way I won't have to clean up errors.


Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

thanks pro

thanks, pro, for this and everything you do here.

I'm a rank beginner at the images and html--learning something new and not always getting it perfect. I'll try not to goof again, but if I do, please don't waste your time fixing it . :smile:

(I don' t think my system lets me use the rich text thing or cut and paste URLS -I have tried. But I'll proofread them from now on.) 


I can't help but fix it - I'm compulsive! LOL! :D

Every account has the rich text option. It's supposed to be on by default. If it's not, click "My account" in the upper left and turn it on as the default.

Even if it's not the default, you can click "enable rich-text" below the message edit box to turn it on for each message. The icon that looks like a tree is for entering a graphic. For full instructions on how to do it, click "Graphics for Forum Posts" on the left.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Hi everyone! I am new here

I wrote my first comment and I lost it. I just want to say that

I feel very lucky to find this amazing web site and people

who want to get rid of the procrastination.

I live in a small apartment and there is so much clutter I have

barely space to move. I recently bought a large table for the

purpose of placing piles of papers and books but there is so

much on it now! I have promised myself that today I will start

working on this. I am going out to buy a coffe and bring boxes and

and large bags. I promise, I'll come back soon and start the job

and contact you in the evening, TODAY!



Welcome and good luck to day with you task.


Welcome here IwantclearspaceNow

You've taken a big step by posting here and getting boxes. Good luck to you!
Remember to give yourself lots of credit for every small thing you do. When you feel good about small steps you'll find the task gets lighter...

e's less is more ci

 Having recently moved to an apartment 2/3's the size of my former home, and with two housholds worth of goods, I am in constant  move to let go of things that are too many. I have learned a lot about decluttering from reading flylady posts. I am now convinced that I do not want anything in my life that i dont' love, is useful, or is emotionally important to me. I now allow myself to get rid of things which are gifts which I don't care for by knowing that someone else who would like the item would use it more than I. I am taking to heart the saying 'it is the thought that counts'. I no longer want belongings of any kind for gifts and I choose not to give them unless I know the person really needs them. I give entertainment, services, edibles or something that I created, such as writing, calendars, etc. 

My current objective is to get rid of excess kitchen goods and office supplies. For today, to sort out excess papers to be shredded and then shred them. 

moving to a (much) smaller place - to e...

I sure can relate. About two years ago I moved from a 1200 sq ft house to a 208 sq ft apartment, and I had to get rid of almost everything I owned. It was traumatic, but not completely bad. It does feel good to purge unnecessary stuff.

I still struggle against clutter, though - not really my fault because my place is so small. I got rid of 2/3 of my books, but then bought more. It's so hard to keep the "stuff" from expanding and getting out of control.

One thing that would help a lot is to catch up on my accounting so I could get the bins of unhandled paper out of here. That's today's task.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.


I am a book addict. In fact, when I feel poorly I go to bookstores. It is a pure indulgence for me, but sometimes I just want to buy a book. However, what really works for me and my space is the Library! I can indulge as much as I want and not have to house them. Right now instead of curios I have books on the shelves. I would like to go through them periodically to see if I can give some of them up. Some are just trashy novels, but I like to reread them. Some are just good literature and I cannot give that away, although I don't really need my own copies. But realistically, I can afford to give some up. One book a week?

De-Clutter my car

My first de-clutter project will have to be my car as I have started doing just that last Tuesday.

On Tuesday I throw out all the McD's bags, cups and other trash. Bagged up all the stuff books, toys, papers into 4 plactic shopping bags.. And took out about a laundary basket of clothes my children have let in the car.

My next step will be to clean out again as we have accumulated more bottles, cups and chip bags and put all the stuff away in the shopping bags. Usually the stuff sites in the bags for a couple of weeks in the utitlity room.

Actually I have a van and I have not touched the very back yet.

Remove all items from front of van and put in their place. If I can find their place. 10/20/08

Remove all itmes from passanger area of van.  10/21/08

Have managed to keep the passanger area and the front of the Van clutter free for two days. Working towards a habit. 10/22/08

Remove all items from the back seat. 10/22/08

Remove all items from back of van

  • Give  boxes of mags to art teacher on Tuesday
  • Give box of  school supplies to sons teacher on Tuesday



Completed Hope-Faith

Well my van is Decluttered.

Now the challange is to keep it that away. So I will have to MAKE myself and children remove all items from the van when we get home in the evening.

My next project will have to be our clothes. Wish me luck. I have a hard time getting rid of anything. Even clothes that do not fit any more.


Faith-Hope Decluttering Clothes Update 11/08/09

My next decluttering project will be to declutter the clothes that have invaded my house and refuse to leave. I actually have a problem getting rid of them. So I will start in my childrens room by packing up summer clothes that they can wear next year and pulling out the winter clothes that packed up. I will work on this for 1/2 each evening. With hopes of being finished by Friday. Kids clothes will be finished by Sunday 11/9/08.

  1. Go through dress drawers and remove all kids summer clothes pack up what can be used next year and boxing up the clothes that can be given away.
    • All Dressers done
    • Tubs sorted
    • Have to put up clothes pulled out of tubs
    • Take clothes to friends and thrift store
  2. Next step will be to sort through my clothes and my husband


boys and girls club pick up

 I have found it helpful when dealing with the horror of outgrowing clothes to call the charities to come pick up the stuff. I fill bags and boxes until they come and take them away from my front porch. As someone who procrastinates the sudden removal of all the bags and boxes makes me feel like I have accomplished a lot and inspires me to keep going.


Thanks e,

I have about 5 bags of clothes to give away. Mostly to friends. I have already put them in my van. That way I can not walk by them and take stuff out. I am so attached to stuff. Still holding on to the Ballet costumes, just can not part with them yet. I have about 45 min. more of work and I will be finsihed with this task. Off to it. I am using It is really cool




HI e and hope-faith--it

HI e and hope-faith--it helps me to see that others have the same struggles and to hear of progress! :D

Day after tomorrow is a charity bag old clothes pick up. I've been putting things in one carton for this. I never manage to give away everything at once, but I'm posting now to commit to filling that bag.

These days it makes me feel good to get rid of things even though I have trouble about wanting to hang onto a few things. 

It is done

Well I have just finished with my kids clothes and now I am off to deliver two bags, 10 gallon bags that is, to my best friend who has a son 1 year younger then mine. It does feel good to get rid of it. The house feels a thousand pounds lighter or at least their room does. I know where everything is in their closet and dresser drawers. 



 That is HUGE. And the nice part of giving your children's clothes away that no longer fit is that you get to see them again on your friend's children! That always makes me feel good. 


Yes because I have so much clutter I do not do some things when they need to be done because I do not want to fight the clutter to get the things that I need. So I would be interested.


yes, would like 1 of our forums to be de-cluttering


Yes, I would like one of our forums to be for de-cluttering, too. I would have more of a sense of progress if it was it's own forum, rather than mixed in with the daily CD's.

Or maybe we could do one as a subcategory of Special Projects and Master Lists?

A main consideration would be, I hope it wouldn't be too much trouble for Pro. We appreciate everything Pro does, so I hope it would be something not overloading to set up.

For decluttering, my participation might be more like once a month or on weekends, but it would help me make a mental note to stay on track, and give that sense of progress you were mentioning, Chickadee!

Thanks for the great idea! :)


Thank you, gals & guys, for being here! :)

getting rid of things can feel good


Thanks for the inspiration recycler!

I'm a mess-clutterer with lots of paper piles and I tend not to complete the job of putting things away after any project.

I heard something on the radio today about people with really serious clutter problems who can't even throw away things like plastic bottles, about how they can be helped to examine their feelings about throwing away stuff to learn to do it.

So I decided to launder a few things I never wear and give them away in Monday's charity bag collection. I reminded myself to notice that it can feel good to let go of things.

I have put more things in the charity collection bag, things I do not use, and tried before to giveaway. Now I am succeeding. Putting some things I like and wear/use in better order made it easier to let go and say: I do not need that. That feels good. :smile: :laugh:

a place for declutter posts

Hi Recycler and H-F 

Could this new thread become  place for declutter posts?

h-f--I too sometimes don't do things because the clutter is to scary. It makes a vicious cycle of not doing, not tidying and then reinforcing bad feelings. On the other hand, little corners of progress can get me the momentum to start bigger tasks. 

this thread is ok with me for declutter

Hi Chickadee & all!

It's ok with me if this thread becomes the declutter post :)

OK, you have already inspired me :)

In the closet I had about 20 tote bags, which is 10 or more than I actually need. So when I went out on an errand this afternoon, I dropped off 7 or 8 of them at the women's half-way house. Some of the ladies there may be able to use them; or, the agency also has a thrift store that could use them to sell inexpensively.

So I still have plenty of things to go through in that closet, but at least you got me started with it :)

Talk to you later! :)


Thank you, gals & guys, for being here! :)

What would we do without our table piles?

I'd be interested. I seem to do okay when I make cleanup a major project, but the clutter seems to creep back before my eyes. The main reason is procrastinating on putting things in their proper places. Also fear creeps in when it comes to throwing stuff away. ("Maybe I should keep this even if it's worn out. I may not be able to afford another.") Similar fear takes over with my work, and I overbook myself. I any event, most of use have a pile on at least one table!

I am back and I feel bad

I didn't keep my promise.

The only thing I've done was to buy large

transparent plastic bags.

The purpose was to start decluttering by separating

stuff in categories and put them in the plastic bags.

I also bought the newspaper, which I read from

cover to cover, and as if it was not enough I read

the news on the Internet.

I'll start the declutting job early morning for an hour

I hope, before going to work.  :-( ::sad::

good luck to you IwantclearspaceNow

We're all rooting for you.

You took the first step. Can you allow yourself to think that just dealing with 5 pieces of paper is progress, instead of seeing the whole thing as overwhelming?


don't beat yourself up

I beat myself up all the time for procrastinating. It just makes me procrastinate more. When I see other procrastinators doing this, it's so clear to me that it's unnecessary and part of the problem. Please let it go.

You bought the bags. That's good! Probably you didn't follow through because you felet overwhelmed. If you can identify what kept you from doing it, then you can use the info to get started. (But, of course, don't get into an analysis-paralysis situation. If it doesn't come to you right away, just take an action!)

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

It looks like a huge and unpleasant task

this is why I fear it and waste my time again.

If I could only start I would feel motivated.

Hopefully tomorrow morning. Enough is enough!

Thanks Pro for your suggestion.

re: huge unpleasant task

IwantclearspaceNow : i know how you feel. I feel the same way about so many things. Good Luck!


IwantclearspaceNow - something that helps me...

I don't know about you, but one of my big reasons to procrastinate is the irrational idea that everything I do "should" be fun. I have a warped view of life - my expectation is unrealistic. When I accept that some fraction of life will be unpleasant, it helps.

(I learned this in a half-hour session with Albert Ellis shortly before he died - he used to hold public demonstrations at the institute on Friday nights.)

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

decluttering is like losing your post-partum weight

 It took nine months to gain the weight, so it should take nine months (or in my case, 9 decades) to lose it. Seriously, I find that if I declutter in micro-chunks I make progress. If I look around at the warehouse of stuff that surrounds me I get overwhelmed and head for the fridge. 

Flylady has a great suggestion that really helps me as an instant fix. I take a plastic bag and run around my house and do what she calls a '27 fling boogie'. I find 27 things to throw out and then take them immediately to the trash. It might just be a bottle top, but it is one less thing that I have to take care of and I feel a huge sense of release from this. Visually, the absense of 27 things, even if they were in drawers, the house feels lighter. But better than 27 things of trash, or recycling, is 27 things I no longer want and can give to charity. Do I really need 3 whisks?