“Where do I start?”: 6 steps on the road to recovery

“Where do I start?”: 6 steps on the road to recovery

You’ve made the decision.  Drawn the line in the sand.  It’s time to get organised!  Then you start thinking about where to start.

Decision-making is so difficult for you…

What if I start in the wrong place?

Where is the “best” place to start?

What are the “best” organising strategies?

How many times have you gone to start addressing your mountain of possessions only to be faced with the paralysis of indecision?  Your perfectionist self takes over and bombards you with thoughts about how many times you’ve tried before.  How useless and disorganised and worthless these efforts have been in the past.  I say: thank your mind for it’s input.  Other people’s opinions about your lifestyle don’t create change for you do they?  Heck no!  You don’t listen to them putting you down and criticising every attempt you make to get your life together?  Hell no!  Well why do you let your mind do it to you?  There’s a saying about not judging people by their words, judge them by their actions.

Tell you mind politely to go get knicked and start taking action.

But in which direction?  How? Why?

OK try these steps:


  • Decide on what you value most in life.
  • What are your possessions stopping you from doing?
  • What are the things that give your life meaning?
    • Is it family?
      • do you want your kids to feel they can invite friends over?
      • do you have grandkids that you can’t have over because of the state of your hoard?
    • Is it your marriage?
    • Is it your health?
  • Even though you have trouble making decisions this is THE decision.  What do you truly value? Effort here is worth it…this is the direction your life will take.
  • DON’T pick a goal like “have the bedroom clutter free by May 2015” or “have my family over for Christmas dinner in a clutter free dining room”.  There’s nothing wrong with goals but they come second you achieve goals that lead to living a valued life.  Once you’ve achieved a goal – what next?
  • Living a valued life –> one you find meaningful will guide you in every decision you make from here on… Hear your brains objections but don’t listen.  

How do you work out what your values even are?

  • TRY THIS: Imagine your funeral…I know that’s truly confronting but stay with me…
    • What would you want people to say about you in your eulogy?  What stories would you want them to tell about you?  What do you want to be remembered for?

There’s your answer.


  • Depending on your life values – start where the most impact will be felt.
    • e.g. You want your family to visit you more so you can connect with them but they don’t have anywhere to sit down and have a coffee…
      • start with the couch or kitchen table – initially it might be BYOE (bring-your-own-espresso) situation BUT it’s a step towards reconnecting with loved ones.  Done that?  Now call someone and invite them over…


  • Each day work on the same area to reveal the vision you have for the space in your minds eye (if you feel like it draw a plan for the room and post it on the wall).
  • Spend a minimum of 30 mins (set a timer on your phone or watch) and commit to sort for the entire time – no excuses.


  • Take pictures.  Each day – before you start and after you finish.  Visual motivation is great.  Post your progress to a support group.  Clutter blindness is a real thing so take a photo and really “see” what the room looks like.


  • Recruit a helper.  Once you’ve done 2-3 days, maybe a week, of work on your own and you feel ready to ask for help to move forward, book someone you can trust to be non-judgmental and co-operative to help you once a week for between 30 minutes to 2 hours (if you have physical disabilities 30 minutes is enough because if you set a higher target you may feel like a failure if you don’t achieve the allotted time).
  • Ask THEM to remove the charity and recycling items for you.
  • Agree on your terms BEFORE you do anything.  Choose wisely (someone neutral with no emotional ties) because this is going to move things along more quickly than you working alone by: keeping you on task, focussing your attention and giving you emotional support when needed – and trust me you will need it.


Celebrate your achievement.  Post the finished room pics with a description of how you feel and how much closer you are to living the life you deserve.  You know you can do this.  I believe in you 🙂


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