25 Responses to “Kill Inner Clutter Before it Kills You”


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  1. Courtney, nice post. I like when I read something and never looked at it that way. Stress, inner turmoil, etc., is nothing more than clutter, but internalized. What a novel way of looking at it. Thank you.

  2. Very nice. One thing that’s funny about inner clutter is the solution to it is the opposite of how you solve physical clutter. With physical clutter you take notice of something something and physically take action to put it out of your environment. With inner clutter it’s more like you’ve succeeded in eliminating it when you do NOT notice it and when you no longer feel a need to move it out of your environment. You just accept that it’s there (in the past) and stop worrying about it.

  3. This is such a great post. It takes so much mental energy to hold onto things. Even things that we wish to forget – because instead of dealing with them, we try to avoid them, and constantly pushing unwanted thoughts and feelings back takes energy. Much better to acknowledge those feelings, and then move on. Yes, it’s hard, but once it’s done it’s done. Things that we are actively trying to avoid have power over us. Things that we have dealt with and laid to rest, don’t.

  4. What a great post! I need to constantly remind myself of this. I’m so great at holding onto things and not forgiving myself. I haven’t buried my past ‘sins’ yet. Anytime things happen in the present that are upsetting, I find a way to connect them with my past big mistakes.
    I’m trying hard to Let Go, through meditation and lots of talking to myself, reading such things as you’ve written and just lots of inner work.
    Thank you for your wonderful postings. They are so right on.

  5. Luce

    Thanks for this Courtney! I should write on the wall of my bedroom “Luce, please let go!” For years I have never let go anything and never dismissed a single trasgression…it is time to stop poisoning my lovely life, isn’t it???

  6. You nailed it Courtney.

    Stress, and generally most bad feelings are inner clutter.

    I sometimes catch myself not feeling well. In those cases I try to understand why, and then try some more (I get to the root cause after 2-3 whys), and only then I can let go of the inner clutter. Phew! :)

  7. So glad you are addressing inner clutter! This is a huge item to address. It might be of interest to you to check out my blog post on “Decluttering Your Love” Would so appreciate your feedback!
    Thanks Courtney!

  8. The gentleness one really resonated with me, especially “praise your progress”. It’s so easy to focus on what we havent achieved rather than what we have. I’m learning to celebrate getting things done or the small wins rather than always looking at the mountain of things left to do. That mountain will always be there, but its so much less stressful looking back at how far you’ve climbed rather than the peaks yet to be conquered.

    Great post, I never thought of clutter as being internal but I completely agree!

  9. I’ve been alllll about the self-punishment for things that happened in my past. Things I did wrong, things I didn’t change but could have, things I said, things I didn’t say.

    It’s only been the last 12 months where I’ve really put time and effort into understanding the physical toll this punishment and living in the past has been taking. And let me tell you, the toll has been enormous.

    Through a lot of therapy and work I’ve learned how to let go, and I cannot tell you how alive it makes me feel.

    In fact, I think, for me, the process of physically simplifying, decluttering and minimising started because I saw the benefit of living in the present, rather than wallowing in the past, telling myself I wasn’t worthy.

    Now, I relish the wonderful life I have and I do things that I only ever dreamed of a year ago. I love my role as a mum and wife, I write every day, I’ve thrown myself into running and people are constantly telling me I look “lighter”.

    Which is exactly how I feel – lighter. Because the weight of my internal clutter is gone. Not to return.

    • Wow Brooke – that’s a powerful comment right there. As someone who has burnt out from exhaustion at work and wrestled with “inner clutter” all my life, I find that really inspiring. I’m working really hard on living in the moment – Carpe Diem! – but it’s not as easy as I would like to let go of the baggage. Congrats on your achievement!

      • Thanks, Buzz. It’s a long road, but absolutely worth the journey.

        If there was a phrase that could sum up the past three years of my life, it would be “burnt out”. So I hear you, completely!

        It is really hard, but the fact is you’re aware and actively changing. Don’t lose heart, as you’ve probably changed for the better so much more than you even know.

        And if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: “Don’t be so hard on yourself”! :)

  10. Sharon

    Great post! I wonder if there is a link between inner clutter and physical clutter? Is our physical clutter a reflection of the inner? Physical clutter certainly is a distraction, I find it hard to deal with the inner stuff if I’m drowning in mess… do we put off dealing with our physical clutter because we don’t want to deal with what’s inside … not sure, but it is something to think about.

  11. Rebecca

    This post really spoke to me this morning…I’ve been working on getting rid of physical and emotional clutter for a long time, and have actually been making good progress lately. Thank you for putting into words exactly what I needed today.

  12. Thank you. I couldn’t read through this whole post in one sitting. It wasn’t too long or too hard to handle it was too hard to resist.
    “Do it anyway” stopped me in my tracks. I got up and started working on a little project I had been debating with myself about starting. The paint is drying and I came back to finish reading. Thanks again.

  13. Thank you. I couldn’t read through this whole post in one sitting.
    It wasn’t too long or too hard to handle it was too hard to resist. “Do it anyway” stopped me in my tracks.
    I got up and started working on a little project I had been debating with myself about starting. Taking my ideas out of my head and giving them a life of their own. The paint is drying and I came back to finish reading. Thanks again.

  14. Karen

    Very profound – I recommend meditation as another possible way to deal with ‘inner clutter’.

  15. Great post. It’s amazing how much our baggage can hold us back. It can be hard to take the time to really stop and wrestle with our inner demons for a couple reasons.

    1. It’s not pleasant. It can be easier to avoid and bury our issues than confront them. But the consequences of not addressing our inner clutter are very real (as you describe)

    2. We don’t have time. In our go, go, go culture of constantly rushing around from one thing to the next it can be hard to find time to stop for thoughtful reflection/meditation. Another benefit to simple living/slowing down — giving us the space for self improvement.

  16. I read an article in January that discussed resolution “not” to do things. It lined up with the decision I made in December as I addressed my Christmas cards and came across the names of family from whom, for many reasons, we’re estranged. I decided I would no longer participate in the hostilities, even tacitly. It made me feel terrible to ignore these people just because they dictated that we’re at war…right then and there, I addressed the envelopes, wrote out friendly cards, and put in the picture of my children into each and every one of them. It felt so good to truly, completely, live by my values, not theirs. It felt so right do send those cards and I will do it every year, even if I never hear from any of them. Why? Because I want ot be that person…it is just that simple.

  17. Rachel Frost

    Great post Courtney!

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