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Changing Cluttering Behavior Starts Here!
“Things do not change; we change.” – Henry David Thoreau

  • Why Here?
  • Not Organizing
  • Why We Clutter
  • How We Stop
  • Real Value

If you clutter and want to stop cluttering, welcome home. There are no quick fixes. I was just as overwhelmed by the idea of decluttering in 1998 as you are today. I started developing decluttering programs to help chronically disorganized clutterers like you and me then. We must change our emotional behavior before organizing techniques can help us get decluttered and stay uncluttered. That is why traditional organizing methods do not work for us.

The last Stop Clutter book has been sold. It is out of print, so, except for some used copies on Amazon, the only way to get it is at your library. My heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of thousands of you who bought the book during its long life. I doubt I will be writing any more, but this site contains some valuable information to help people struggling with cluttering, so I am leaving it online. There is hope and there are solutions. May you find a little of each on these pages. - Mike.

We at Clutterless Recovery Groups are not Professional Organizers or psychiatric professionals, nor do we compete with them. We do not compete with anyone. Our philosophy complements the work of counselors and organizers. We teach clutterers how to declutter their emotions. Combining this with a counselor and an organizer's skills heals the whole person.

Clutterless Recovery Groups aren't the only solution to everyone's cluttering problems. You don't need a support group to benefit from the wisdom offered here. We sell a few books (and occasionally Mike consults when he has the time), but mostly this site isn't about money. We want to help you change your cluttering behavior and live a fuller life. We don't know everything. Everything here won't apply to everyone. But, if you find answers here that you haven't seen anywhere else, welcome to the club, my brothers and sisters.

Clutterers clutter not because we don't know how to organize, but because cluttering is a physical expression of our emotional condition. Cluttering is about emotions & psychology not just organizing skills. Cluttering is different than hoarding (an Obsessive Compulsive disorder), but many confuse the two. Cluttering is often related to ADD (AD/HD), OCD, anxiety, depression. Clutterless Recovery Groups and Mike Nelson's books are not just about organizing; they're about organizing your life from the inside out. YOU are more important than your clutter.

When we clutterers understand the psychological and emotional reasons for our cluttering, we can stop cluttering. Cluttering is often a manifestation of issues like depression, anxiety, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), attention-deficit disorder or AD/HD (ADD) tendencies we all have. We do not use the terms, messies, packrats, slobs.  These are demeaning and a first step to changing our cluttering mentality is to change our negative self-talk.

Clutterless Recovery Groups believes in a psychological approach to changing our cluttering behavior through support groups. Organizing systems are valuable, but before we can apply them, we need to address the underlying psychological, emotional reasons we clutter. How often have you "organized" and found that the clutter just came back? It's not your fault, it's not that you don't know "how" to organize, or that you aren't motivated. It's that you've been approaching the problem from the outside, not the inside. Professional organizers provide a valuable service, but we have to do the inner work before their systems can be of lasting use to us.

Mike Nelson, founder of Clutterless Recovery Groups Inc..and author of three books on cluttering from a psychological perspective, writes the pages on this site. Mike experienced Xtreme Decluttering when his apartment burned down and he was left clutterless (a good thing) and homeless (not such a good thing).

While we don't recommend this method of decluttering, it could help you to know that stuff really is secondary. Friends, family and pets are important, not things. Life goes on without stuff.

All those papers I agonized about filing. all those items that would come in handy one day were gone and I did not miss them. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Without stuff it's easier to be free. Naturally, things like a drivers licence and a social security card later became important, but they could be replaced. Everything could be replaced. Today I have stuff, but I own it. My stuff does not own me.

If you would like me to help you with a personal consultation, I will be happy to help. Please read my page on consultations to decide if that is a good idea for you. My time is limited and I only work with those who are sincerely motivated to change.