From A Woman's Perspective: March 02, 2024

Friday Mar 01st, 2024


Clutter is an enemy that can be conquered!


Good morning, Marilyn, and thank you for the opportunity to dovetail so beautifully with your topic of decluttering. As you know, this issue of clutter is close to my heart. It’s something that I encounter every day, both professionally and personally. Every one of my downsizing clients has to do some degree of decluttering before they can list their homes for sale. Even I had to face this task when I sold my home late last year. Everyone, regardless of their real estate plans, realizes that the surplus they have accumulated isn’t doing them any good. As a matter of fact, I call clutter an enemy. It is the number one reason that seniors stay in homes that no longer serve their wellness, lifestyle or financial goals. 

Clutter can cost us our well being emotionally, cost us the aggravation of wasted time looking for things, and money on repurchasing duplicates, and of course on maintaining a home larger than we need simply to warehouse our stuff. 

The problem of clutter is so common that I developed a workshop called, “The Decluttering Battle Plan” that we offer out in the community to seniors and cultural groups, and also online via regularly scheduled Zoom meetings. 

It presents a straightforward five step process that begins with “Starting Strong.” This first step involves setting your intention by marking the start date on the calendar, gathering your supplies, and notifying your loved ones of your resolve to get going on this. By telling someone else about your plans, research shows you’re 7x more likely to follow through. So get an accountability partner!

Step Two is called, “Take Back the Territory” and this involves chunking both your time and the area you work on into manageable segments. We use the “Pomodoro” method, which involves setting a timer 25 minutes in which you work with no distractions or interruptions. You’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish in one of these decluttering sessions. 

Along with limiting the time, we also suggest limiting the area that you work on. Start with the area of your home that needs the most attention, whether that is the basement, garage or craft room. By starting in the most cluttered area first while your motivation is high, you’ll get positive reinforcement as you make progress to keep going. 

We call step three, “Call in Reinforcements,” because at some point your energy and enthusiasm for the project is going to wane, and you’re going to need extra help. Maybe this is a friend who you trade off decluttering sessions with, or maybe it’s a relative that can help lift down some boxes or take a carload to a donation depot. Whatever this help looks like in your particular situation, now is the time to lean a bit on the connections you have.

But what happens if you don’t have this kind of support system to call upon? Well, then it’s time for Step Four: “Hire Mercenaries.” These hired guns come in and deal with the enemy for you. By this I mean the plethora of professional companies that exist to help seniors just like you declutter their homes for a fee. (As a side note:  People sometimes think it’s me who does this work. But oh no, I am just a realtor who can refer you to the right people.) 

There is a fifth step, Marilyn, called “Campaign Divide and Conquer,” but we’re almost out of time together, so I will just have to leave that as a tease. And also an encouragement for your listeners to reach out to me for their own copy of the workbook, “The Decluttering Battle Plan.” They can reach me at or call me at 416-460-5636 and we’ll get them set up. 

The other unique offering we have is “The 30-Day Decluttering Challenge.” This is an email program that we developed to help our clients overcome the overwhelm and just get started on a daily task that can be completed in under 30 minutes. Each day you’ll get a reminder, some encouragement and pro tips to keep you on the road to decluttered freedom. 

And finally, Marilyn, I just want to extend the offer to anyone listening in the Greater Toronto Area, that if they belong to a community, seniors, faith-based or cultural group looking for a speaker to reach out to me, too. There is no cost, obligation or sales pitch. Just fun, interactive workshops that can be tailored to the interests of the group. 

It all starts with a visit to our website: or a phone call to me, Sharon at 416-460-5636

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