Case Study Of A Reluctant Declutterer

photo of Sarah Williams, the self-titled ‘Reluctant Declutterer'

Meet Sarah Williams, the self-titled ‘Reluctant Declutterer’.


Sarah approached me at a local networking event and I gave her the link to my Facebook page. She then got in touch with some questions about the decluttering program.

Sarah was interested in learning more but had reservations about how much time she’d have to complete the program with working full-time and studying towards a professional qualification. Understandably, money was also an issue so she wasn’t sure she’d even be able to afford it.

Her motivation for looking into the program was needing to downsize to a one-bedroomed flat. She was living in a two-bedroom flat and prior to that a spacious three-bed maisonette with her ex-partner and their 9 year-old daughter. She would still share with her ex-partner stayed but in a much smaller space with one bedroom between them, albeit every other week for a week at a time – still a challenge!

Whilst Sarah had no choice but to move to a one-bedroomed flat for various reasons, she just couldn’t see how this was going to be possible or how she could possibly fit all of her belongings into the new place. Even when she’d downsized from three bedrooms to two a few years previously, she was only moving half the contents because the rest belonged to her ex-partner.

Here’s what Sarah said:

Me and my boyfriend split up and for a long time, I felt drained of energy and really low. But it never occurred to me that it could be partly down to the amount of stuff I owned, Until I read about toxic clutter.

At first, I wasn’t convinced it was the right time for me to do the course, even though there wasn’t enough space for everything in the new place. My daughter and I were tripping over each other. I even considered paying more for a two-bed as it felt easier than tackling my belongings. I didn’t think it was the right fit for me or the right time in my life, given a recent painful break-up from a long-term relationship.

In the end, I went for it helped by the discount Katherine offered me. The course was really easy to follow with ten self-contained lessons I could apply straightaway. I found the forum really helpful in terms of the support it offered and the area to upload before and after pictures of my old flat and the results in the new one. I enjoyed the course so much that I’m now one of Katherine’s key mentors. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet you in the members’ forum where I share more of my own experiences and am on hand to help.

One of the main takeaways for me was learning how to identify my needs and wants. I was so much more ruthless as a result and a year down the line, haven’t once been tempted to buy back any of my stuff. I’m still getting there but I’m now much braver about what I throw away. I also live on a street with loads of charity shops which helps as I don’t drive.

I’ve also learned to be less proud and now I’m not afraid to borrow things from other people where possible. In fact, I get a buzz out of the money I’ve saved. I now have more spare cash for my two loves, crafting and painting and have even joined a crafting group.

I want a great future for my daughter and am retraining to be a teacher. But there’s a long way to go. Having said that, I don’t think I could have got there without the course. It gave me the headspace to sort everything else out. I now have a plan, rather than a future I had no idea how to achieve.

For anyone that’s even considering decluttering, just do it! Just having a clear-out once in a while doesn’t work. It takes commitment and patience, but the rewards really are worthwhile and I’m living proof of that.


Does anything about Sarah’s story ring true for your own situation? Even if it does, let’s make one thing clear. My decluttering program is NOT a tidying-up course. If that’s what you’re looking for, I recommend Marie Kondo’s book about the Japanese art of tidying.

The MO of Ten Simple Steps To Declutter Your Home Forever is to teach you how to implement my methods for the long-term and get your mojo back!

You will:

  • banish the frustration with your living space and the amount you own
  • gain the life skills to take back control – live well with less, strip back and reconnect with your authentic self
  • rediscover how to enjoy life without the need to own more stuff
  • relearn how to be grateful for what you have and stop hearing ‘Zeit noise’

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