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Podcast 318: Look at Your Home with the Eyes of a Stranger, Some Terrific Before-and-After Clutter Stories, and Valuable Lessons from the Pandemic


Update: We mention Urban Hikes KC. We can't wait to take an urban hike around our beloved hometown of Kansas City ourselves. And the founder was inspired by the terrific podcast Side Hustle School, hosted by our friend Chris Guillebeau. Worlds collide.

In response to episode 312, a listener explains how, as a clutter-blind person, she finds ways to clear clutter in a way that works for her.

Try This at Home: Look at your home with the eyes of a stranger—a strategy to use for spring cleaning.

You might look through the eyes of...

  • guests
  • a real-estate broker
  • renters on Airbnb
  • a professional organizer or house-cleaner preparing a bid

In this episode of A Little Happier, I tell the story of how in college, my friend Sarah told me, "Don’t wait until you’re moving out to clean your apartment. After it’s clean, you realize how nice it was all along."

If you want more ideas, check out my book Outer Order, Inner Calm. It's packed with hacks and strategies for clearing clutter.

Happiness Hack: Use hooks! They are so handy for so many situations. And if you don't know about Command Hooks, they're a great tool.

Gosh, I love hooks.

Before & After: We loved hearing and seeing these clutter-clearing triumphs. 

Transforming an art room/laundry room:

Toiling away at cleaning out a classroom with layers of other people's stuff:

(About the above photo, Amanda said: "The nicer weather, open windows, and sunshine often make me feel motivated to declutter my classroom and start fresh! This photo is of a string bass I inherited this school year that I am hoping to either exchange for parts or get repaired—it's such a good feeling when items can be put to good use OR removed from your teaching space all together.")

Finding a way to use an inexpensive way to make use of a tricky corner cabinet:

And one listener suggests using Twitter's Room Rater and Zoom to identify clutter.

Keep sending them in, or post to #beforeandafter or #outerorderinnercalm. So fun!

If you want some simple concrete ways to reduce clutter, check out my Outer Order Inner Calm 30-day SMS challenge. This is a 30-day text (SMS) challenge to help you de-clutter your life. Click here to sign up and use code GROOICPOD during checkout for 25% off.

Listener Answers: In episode 316, we asked listeners, "What valuable lessons have you learned from the pandemic period?"

Answers include:

  • slow down to see what's important
  • don't cling too tightly to your career and be ready to welcome new seasons of change
  • even with all the time in the world, certain things just aren't going to get done
  • wear brighter lipstick
  • it's a delight to send (and receive) a handwritten note

Elizabeth's Demerit: Despite declaring that she was going to cut down on ordering dinner, she's still doing it.

Gretchen's Gold Star: I give a gold star to a terrific podcast, Imaginary Worlds. It's a fascinating bi-weekly podcast about science fiction and other fantasy genres hosted by Eric Molinsky.


  • Because we so appreciate it when listeners recommend our podcast to others, if you recommend it to six people—in honor of our sixth anniversary—we'll mail you a sheet of gold stars. Honor system! United States and Canada only (mailing costs). For easy instructions on how to share a link to the show, click here. To provide your address for us to mail the gold stars, click here. This really is a huge help to us—word of mouth is the best.

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