How do you know when it’s time to declutter?

Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed in almost any situation.

The feeling of overwhelm is the red stop light telling you not only is it time to pause, it’s time to take a look around and see what needs to be removed from your path to keep going.

I think there are two major types of clutter that hold us back from creating the life and experiences we most desire –

Physical Clutter in our homes and

Emotional Clutter in our hearts.

Are there other types of clutter? Sure – at work clutter would be volunteering for a project you have no time for in order to please someone outside yourself – however a situation like this can always be traced back to emotional clutter – so when we clear that, the work clutter falls away naturally.

Even physical clutter in our homes is just a mountain of unmade decisions that clearing our emotional clutter will help us make.

For my take on physical clutter, click here and find out the difference between stuff and trash. Stuff is awesome! Trash is not.

Today we are going to focus on emotional clutter.

For me, everything comes back to emotional clutter, and the physical clutter that surrounds us is an outer manifestation of internal clutter in our hearts and minds, whether it’s an overloaded schedule or a mountain of papers on your desk.

Full disclosure – I have not conquered clutter mountain. I am doing this emotional work right along with you.

I have what I call “Zones of Order” both in my home and in my head.

There are things I am super clear on, no extra wasted space, thoughts or issues, and there are just as many things I am still figuring out, testing, playing with. I fall down and get back up daily.

I have messy thoughts and clear thoughts and brilliant thoughts all mixed in together.

There are spaces in my house that are immaculate right next to spaces that need to be cleared, organized and re-imagined.

I still declutter daily at home and in my mind. And I suspect I always will.

Ideas and things come into our life incessantly in this era of constant connectedness. We are constantly being unconsciously asked to select what will remain and what will be discarded.

Does your marriage have clutter?


If you have messy feelings about any issue in your relationship right now – that my friend, is emotional clutter.

If you are ambivalent, unsure or torn – you guessed it – clutter.

And if you have a perspective or assumption that is causing you any kind of pain in your relationship, its highly likely that idea is just another form of mental clutter.

Yes, it could truly be an awful situation – but how you are looking at it is what is causing the pain and when you clear out your thoughts and look at it from a different view – say from a higher perspective or a different emotional mountain – you will begin the heal the hurt and establish a “Zone of Order” around that issue.

There is a reason that the second step in The Love Upgrade – 7 steps to a 5 Star Marriage is to declutter. You can’t move, make changes, or improve anything if you are stuck underneath a mountain of stuff or an avalanche of disempowering ideas and thoughts.

To upgrade – to rise higher in your experience of love and connection and devotion, the first thing you need to do is make space emotionally and physically for that connection to have room to flourish in your life.

Do you know the number one way to Emotionally Declutter your heart and mind?



Let go.

Forgiving does not mean whatever happened was okay or acceptable or good or approved.

Forgiving is allowing yourself to fully feel your anger and frustration, allow that feeling to breathe and flow through you like a wave in the ocean and then stop going back to that feeling over and over again.

I love the definition of forgiveness that involves debt. When you forgive a debt, you stop requiring payment for it.

What emotional debts are you constantly demanding payments for?

“You hurt me. You owe me. You should do this because…”

It’s absolutely healthy to speak your truth. Share your pain and look for a solution.

It is absolutely unhealthy to buy a plot of land in Resentment Village and build a house there.

Coaching Moment – whenever you bring up something from the past that hurt you, check in, ask yourself, “Am I building a house in Resentment Village or am I just passing through on the way to Healing Garden?”

I am making this image vivid and nerdy on purpose. So you can easily and immediately distinguish where you are. That way whenever you start buying bricks in Resentment Village you can make a U-turn and take the path to the Healing Garden instead.

So how do you forgive?

Here are 2 of my favorite forgiveness exercises.

First, I love the ancient Hawaiian Ritual of forgiveness and reconciliation known as Ho’oponopono. The simplified version developed by Dr. Hew Len is to use this mantra –

I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

Look at whatever the situation is and tell it, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

You don’t have to know *how* it’s going to work in your heart and mind, repeating these words bring the energy of love, forgiveness and release into your inner life and your outer life is always a reflection of what is going on inside.

Forgiveness is like a spiritual power tool for cleaning up emotional messes.

My second favorite forgiveness or “emotional decluttering” ritual is to use what I call The Soul View.

The Soul View takes any person or situation and sees two versions of them – the Physical and the Soul.

From a physical perspective – in our current world with our current modes of existence, it was bad, I process the hurt and all my judgments and use the forgiveness mantra above to help me move forward.

From a soulful perspective – I see the soul of the situation – did it eventually turn into a blessing? What good can come from this? Can my pain help another person heal? What feels true at a soul level?

Here is an example – there is a person I deeply love who also deeply hurt me with lies, manipulation, guilt trips, various forms of emotional terrorism. It was bad.

On the physical level – this person is probably a narcissist or has some other un-diagnosed mental disorder.

On a soul level – what I see is a person in pain. I imagine this person walking around with their whole chest open and bleeding. If I was walking around this way, you can bet I wouldn’t be Mrs. Delightful either.

Looking through the Soul View activates my compassion. Of course they did all those things. It wasn’t about me, it was about them and their pain.

Of course I forgive them and send them healing love whenever I think about them.

I do not accept their behavior.

I do not allow it any more in my life.

However I have not bought any land in Resentment Village. I like Love City much better and spend as much time there as possible.

Forgiving does not mean you accept the behavior or situation. It means you will not let it stop you from being the loving, compassionate person you want to be.

Today’s Loving Action?

Print this picture (right click select, “print picture”) and put it somewhere where you will read it, feel it and breathe it in daily.


Let anything unforgiven be released and watch the space in your heart grow and have more room for loving connection – with yourself and others.

Maggie Reyes is a Life Coach, Marriage Mentor and the creator of  

She helps smart, soulful, successful women have healthier, happier, sexier marriages using simple tools she shares on her blog and in her personalized coaching programs. 

Maggie believes you can take the love you have and make it the love you want by making simple shifts in your relationships right now. Get her free mini-guide, “The Love Upgrade: 7 Steps to a 5 Star Marriage.”

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