top of page

Why is it necessary to forgive yourself when you cannot Declutter your life?

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

This is a perfect picture of chaos!! Many times as parents of kids, teenagers and young persons, we find ourselves in the midst of such a situation. Understandably so considering the many tasks that we have to undertake and juggle in a day.

Today we are fortunate to have Raheela James the champion of helping parents declutter at Raheela shares with us what clutter is and the cycle of clutter, then tells us to be kind and graceful to ourselves even when it all seems so overwhelming. She also kindly shares 4 exceptional steps to help us forgive ourselves when Decluttering:


Have you ever decided to clean out your space? Whether it is a large area like a bedroom or a small area like a desk. You are all set to clean it up, but things happen, and you cannot get anything done. You then continue on a downward spiral, and nothing gets done. You start to feel guilty and upset at yourself. But do you know that to move forward, you need to forgive yourself when you cannot declutter?

What is Clutter?

Let’s first examine what it means to have clutter in your life. Clutter is a collection of things lying about in an untidy mess. Clutter is chaos in your life, and it can be physical things, or it is thoughts in your mind. Unnecessary things or ideas in your life occupy valuable space.

Often when you think of clutter, you may only think of tangible things, but clutter can be physical or intangible in the form of thoughts, your finances, or even your health

People who have clutter or chaos in their lives will come up with excuses to support why they cannot declutter their lives. For example, they may blame others, such as their children or pets as a source of the clutter, or they may blame their circumstances where they don’t have the time to declutter.

However, unless you are willing to make the change and put things into order, you will not be able to do it.

Disadvantages of Clutter

Typical effects of clutter are stress, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, decreased productivity, financial stress, or health problems.

Physical clutter can make it challenging to move around in your space. The presence of unnecessary objects can increase stress and anxiety. It may feel like things are closing in on you. You will start to feel overwhelmed by everything going on around you.

Once you feel overwhelmed, you feel guilty about not being productive with your time. The guilt and lack of productivity can make you more complacent.

You won’t be able to find anything in the house, so you are forced to go out and buy more things. Purchasing more items leads to financial strain.

Accumulation of things adds clutter and chaos in your life.

The Cycle of Clutter

By now, you may have noticed that clutter has a cycle. It goes from the physical, tangible items to intangible items such as mental clutter in the form of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm.

Clutter can then lead to financial strain and health issues. When you lose money because of buying unnecessary things, you decrease the amount that you can use for something that you need.

When you are unable to control the physical clutter, mental clutter, or financial clutter, you can develop health issues.

Often this can lead to aches, and pains in your neck, back, or other joints. You may start to experience headaches or stomach aches.

Guilt starts to set in because life seems out of balance, and you feel that you cannot pull things together.

Mindset Related to Clutter

In his book “Leadership Results,” Sebastian Salicru describes two contrasting thinking patterns called the Internal Locus of Control and the External Locus of Control.

In the Internal Locus of Control, individuals believe that whatever happens to them is the result of their own actions. They are in the driver’s seat and are ultimately responsible for their success or failures.

In the External Locus of Control, individuals believe that their success and failure is outside their control. They tend to blame others when things go wrong and attribute their success to luck or destiny.

A person with an internal locus of control will feel that they are responsible for the clutter or chaos in their lives. He or she will be the one to decide for himself or herself to declutter.

A person with an external locus of control will continuously blame his or her circumstances and not take responsibility for decluttering.

Once you have decided to declutter and organize yourself, your internal locus of control will propel you to move forward and take action.

But what happens if you decide to declutter your life and are unable to follow through.

As stated above, you may fall into the cycle of clutter again. The cycle of clutter will lead you to feel less productive and even guilty for not following through with decluttering. The more guilty you feel, the less work you will do.

Why is it necessary to forgive yourself when you cannot Declutter your life?

Guilt over clutter can increase your feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. You start to feel ashamed by the clutter. You may begin to distance yourself from family or friends because you are so embarrassed by the cluttered life that you lead.

The guilt over the clutter weighs heavily on you, and it can paralyze you into believing that you are a failure. Breaking the cycle of clutter is necessary to forgive yourself when you cannot Declutter your life.

Ask yourself this important question “Does all this need to be cleaned today?”

Most likely, the answer is no. Your life did not become cluttered in one day, so it is impossible to clean it in one day. Once you understand this, you will be able to take steps to forgive yourself.

4 Steps to take to help you forgive yourself

when you are Decluttering:

(1) Choose a small area to work on. Clutter can be overwhelming, so if you think about cleaning everything, you will find it impossible to do. However, a small area is more comfortable to focus on, and you will feel a sense of pride from completing it.

(2) Gather all your supplies beforehand. When you start with all your cleaning supplies, you reduce wasted time from running back and forth to collect things.

(3)Work for a designated amount of time. Make sure to remember that you do not need to clean everything today. Set yourself a set amount of time to work, for example, 30-40 minutes and then stop. The set time will prevent burnout. Startup again in a few hours or the next day.

(4)Give yourself the grace to accept that you are taking things slowly and are decluttering your life in a way that will not overwhelm you.


Clutter is chaos in your life, and it can be physical things or thoughts in your mind. Unnecessary things or ideas in your life occupy valuable space.

Clutter does not have to be only tangible items; it can be intangible items such as mental, financial, or health clutter.

When you are unable to declutter your life, guilt sets in, and you may feel like a failure.

However, if you allow yourself to accept that you are going to take things slow and focus on small areas to declutter, you will be able to forgive yourself when you cannot declutter your life.

Progress is better than perfection!

Raheela James is a blogger and a Family Empowerment Guide. She blogs at Mommy’s Business 101

Raheela is a wife and mom of 4. She guides and empowers moms to Declutter and Organize their lives and households.

She works with moms to help them improve their cluttered homes and manage their overwhelmed and chaotic lives. Raheela created a unique model that she uses to help moms Declutter and Organize their lives and families.

You can reach out to Raheela at

Raising Remarkable Teenagers website and products are managed by Angela Karanja. Psychologist, Researchers, Educator and Parent.

Angela Karanja. Psychologist, Researchers, Educator and Parent.
Angela Karanja. Psychologist, Researchers, Educator and Parent.

Learn more about our Inspiring and Transformational Parenting Programs here.

The All-Time Favourite Transformational Parenting Program GO HERE
Raise Highly Effective Teenagers; Teens who are Respectful, Responsible, Resilient, Robust and Radiant Go Here and join our PRO6 . 6 weeks Raising Remarkable Teenagers Program Grab this at very special subscribers price.
To increase your confidence and competence in parenting teenagers GO HERE and Grab the Unshakable Self Confidence Builder.
366 Days of Daily Inspirational Coaching For Parents of Teenagers GO HERE
We've Reserved These Special Prices Only For Our Blog Readers Check All Our Programs Out Here. 

55 views0 comments


bottom of page