Clutter and coffee. (How to make everything feel better in an hour!)

A half-drunk mug of cold coffee lurks dangerously close to my lap top, random scribbled Post It notes and a pile of unopen bank statements on my desk.

I’m hunched over, trying to write a blog but flitting distractedly between projects, Facebook scrolling and Insta checking.

My mind’s racing and the unhelpful shadow thoughts are winning the race.

clutter blog 1Focus Shona.

 You are way behind.

What are you even doing?

No one is going to be interested in your retreat!

 People are bored hearing about your treks.

 You’ve nothing new to say.

 Maybe it’s time to get a ‘real job’

 Stop kidding yourself”.


My body feels completely in sync with my head situation:  heavy, dull, lethargic and defeated.

Coffee seems like a good idea – the only idea.

Pushing back my chair the stack of books and the papers on the coffee table catch my eye.

Their brazen misplacedness irritates me.

Leaving the lounge, my tall grubby white washing basket menacingly blocks my way.

clutter blog 2

At the bottom of the stair a mountain of outdoor gear – shoes, hats, gloves, bags, spill out of the shelves.

The letter dump area by my small window SCREAMS of delayed decisions and procrastination.

My head’s hurting now.

I’m completely out of alignment.

My mind’s scattered all over the house.

So, I stop.

And breath.

And I remember what to do.

I give myself over to blatant, un-adulterated selfcare.

Blatant un-adulterated decluttering and sorting.

Letters are opened, filed or chucked into recycling.

Decisions are made about woolly hats requirements.

Boots and shoes are put in their boot and shoe homes.

Books are re-shelved.

Time stands still as I absorb myself in this beautiful act of self-love.

As each item is homed to its place or discarded, I feel a growing expansion in my chest and dropping of my shoulders.

A wave of pride runs through me as I fill a Tesco’s shopper:

  • A pink stripy woolly hat with a bobble that gets in the way of my hood ,
  • A red running top that doesn’t suit me,
  • A bunch of old recipe books which I’d kept ‘just in case’.
  • Counselling text books that have gathered dust over the last 10 years.

Letting go.

This simple act of letting go of things takes me from the shadows of self-doubt to a lighter clearer and freer space.

And I remember things:

That I can do little things well.

That I love and respect myself enough to sort out the basics.

That making my physical space clear gives me a beautiful freedom in my headspace.


I’m sat at my desk, with a piping hot coffee and an open lap top. I can’t wait to start writing a decluttering blog:

“A half-drunk mug of cold coffee lurks dangerously close to my lap top…”

clutter 3

Post script:

We each have our own relationship with our physical things and I’m probably at the higher end of the scale in terms of sensitivity to clutter! Please read no judgement to your space from my blog.

I know intuitively and from experience that decluttering and caring for our physical spaces has a direct relationship with our inner world. There’s growing scientific evidence of this also [J Neurosci. 2011 Jan 12;31(2):587-97. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3766-10.2011.]

As a life coach I’m passionate about us finding freedom in our lives.  One tool I use in helping people find freedom is using your body as a compass to guide you when things aren’t quite right.  As you can read in this blog my body was giving me some pretty strong signals.

If you are based in the Highlands of Scotland my colleague and I are running a Mind Over Clutter Workshop on the 25th August, read more here. 

Where ever you live, if you are like me and get overwhelmed at times, I’d massively encourage you to look at your physical space and see if you can make any changes there.

Good stuff usually happens when we let go of what we don’t need.










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