Life management insights, strategies, hints, ideas, and tips from Dr. DClutter™.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I often read a small town paper online called the Daily Herald. In the opinion section, there is something called Sound Off! The purpose is for readers to share comments about what matters to them, ranging from topics about life in the city, politics and personal pet peeves, to compliments and complaints. I thoroughly enjoy reading Sound Off! and decided to offer something similar to you, my faithful followers. I love it!! In Sound Off! readers are encouraged to stay on topic, be respectful and the use of foul or obscene language, personal attacks or uses of another's identity to post are not allowed. The rules for what I am calling "Let Go!! with Dr. D. Clutter™" are the same. Every Friday will be our official Let Go!! w/Dr. D. Clutter™ day. I'll post your advice, ideas, stories and thoughts. It'll be a place for you to share your life management and organization issues as well as discuss life events that inspire, empower or bother you. You can "leave it all here", as long as you follow the rules I discussed above. All comments will be reviewed before posting. So get ready, get set and Let Go!! w/Dr. D. Clutter™.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Thursday, May 28, 2009

All About Town

It's your day off. Your day of rest is finally here, but you can't enjoy it because you have 25 hours worth of activities to cram into 24 hours. What to do? First, breathe. Then, plan. You know you can't do it all and shouldn't force yourself to try. Combine like activities or look for stores that serve multiple purposes to cut down on the number of stops you'll have to make. Does your grocery store also offer automotive services, a bank and other services? If not, find one that does. Delegate some of the activities that others can help you complete. Can a friend or your husband or wife drop off the dry cleaning while you shop for groceries? Can the children do some of the housework? Of course they can. Maybe, just maybe, there'll be time for you to enjoy your day.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It's amazing how much a few kind words can brighten your day. A past client emailed me such an encouraging note today that it brought a smile to my face. Take the time to encourage someone today!!

Dr. D. Clutter™

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let go pic


Here's a bulletin that won't be a surprise to those of you have followed me for any length of time. I hate to work. If anything feels like work, I don't want to do it. Having to be somewhere Monday-Friday, from 9 to 5, with an hour for lunch is just not for me. Recently, on my bent to experience new things, I participated in a little exercise called "work" to see if my feelings had changed. I'm happy to report that my feelings are the same. I still hate to "work". Now, don't flood me with responses saying that you HAVE to work to survive and support your family. That's not what I'm talking about. I fully understand that the majority of people in the world have to trade time for money. So do I. What I'm talking about is performing a task that brings me so much joy, happiness and peace of mind that it doesn't feel like work. It took years for me to achieve that and it was not without major sacrifice, but when I put my head to my pillow, I feel good about not "working". Find your passion and follow it.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Join me in taking the time to honor those who gave their lives to serve our country. Let's make this day more about those men and women than about the beginning of summer vacation and cookouts. While those things are acceptable, please take a moment to remember those for whom the holiday was created. Please, if you have a loved one you'd like to honor, send their name and branch of service and I'll list them. I'll start with my grandfather:

James Payden, Army

Purcell Matthews, Navy from Tia R. Chase

Dr. D. Clutter™

Friday, May 22, 2009

Paper Trail?

Have you ever looked at a stack of papers and imagined that it had feet? You figure that it must because the stack wasn't as high yesterday. Do you find yourself thinking that? Paper clutter (or clutter in general) is like that. What starts as a simple sheet seems to morph into a pile in no time at all. Of course paper can't walk, so you know it's not the paper. Cut the trail off at the beginning by not allowing it to "grow" in the first place. I've said it before. Do something with each piece as soon as you touch it. File, shred and act on paper to keep it from "growing feet".

Dr. D. Clutter™

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kitchen Aid

I recently helped a friend to declutter and organize her kitchen. She was greatly appreciative. She told me that her kitchen now looked like a kitchen and she could actually use it for its intended purpose. Plainly, she could eat at her table (and see it again), store food in her refrigerator and wash dishes in her sink-you know, normal kitchen stuff. "Everything is so neat and scrubbed. I feel differently now when I walk into this room. I had avoided this room as if it was the plague, but now I don't have to fear it anymore". She'd concurred her fear and disorganization. More importantly, she felt empowered to concur other areas of disorganization in her life. That's a gift that really keeps on giving. Priceless.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Do you find that you hold on to items that serve little or no purpose? The items have no sentimental or monetary value, except the price you paid, yet you won't discard them. Why? Be brutally honest with yourself about why you feel the need to hold on to items of no value. If an item is past its point of function, value or sentimentality, let it go.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I was watching a "reality" show on a local cable channel and one of the peeves of the viewers was that one of the "characters" was always late. When she was confronted, she decided to use her children as her excuse, which wasn't readily accepted. Many of the events to which she chose to arrive late began well after her young children should have been tucked away and gone "beddie-bye". One thing I pride myself on is being punctual. Of course, there's the occasional slip-up and I may be a few minutes late, but it's a rarity. I've talked about this before, but it's such an issue for many, it's time to do it again. What you're saying with your actions (or lack of-by not being present) is that your time is more precious than the person who has taken the time to invite you to an event. Remember a start time is not an approximation. Arrive when you should-on time.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Monday, May 18, 2009

Start Small

I had a client who suffered from massive clutter, so we started slowly with just a small bag a day. Today's challenge is to start small. Throw away something unimportant and that has no meaning. You should start to feel "lighter" and more in control. Do this for the next seven days and let me know the results.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just Do It-Again

I've touched on this subject before, but it warrants revisiting. A newfound friend and I were talking about our after vacation habits. I am the type who does not really like to travel, but will. She likes to travel and takes every opportunity to do so. She shared with me that she dreads the return because she hates unpacking, washing clothes and putting things back after the vacation, so she waits a few days to do any of that. I'm the opposite. While I don't LOVE unpacking and washing clothes, I don't loathe them either. Putting things back in the proper place-love that!! Anyhoo, we discussed the pros and cons of each of our behaviors. I am happy to report that she has come over to the other team. She's a convert!! She realizes and now appreciates that if she performs those tasks as soon as she returns, she is less frustrated, stressed and doesn't have to avoid the elephant in the room-procrastination.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I was watching Jay Leno the other night. Yes, I should have been asleep, but it was one of those nights when sleep was not my friend. Jamie Lee Curtis was a guest and was talking about her need to be organized. Jay retorted that he lived a life that was ruled by the belief that in chaos, there is order. Well-NO. There is no order in chaos, only CHAOS. Yes, for many years people have said that they function better in a messy environment or can find anything they need in the midst of disorganization. Again-NO. Do you see the pattern here? Order is order. Chaos is chaos. Disorganization is disorganization.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Make The Time

How many times have you ever uttered these words? "I'll do it when I get the time." Probably more times than you will admit. I was driving along in my car yesterday, listening to a comedy routine on the radio and heard these words: "You don't get time, you make it". Okay, that’s not so funny, but is poignant; no truer statement has ever been spoken. If you've been putting off doing things because you're waiting to "get the time"-STOP. Make those things a priority and "make the time".

Dr. D. Clutter™

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Second

I had the opportunity to meet two wonderfully interesting people yesterday, both senior members of our society. The man was a retired firefighter and the woman, a minister. They both shared stories of how the world, their neighborhoods and the people in them had changed in their lifetime. They both expressed sadness that people didn't seem as friendly as they used to be. As people passed by their homes, they shared, the simple gesture of returning a response to a simple five-letter word, seemed to elude them. The word? "Hello". It takes less than a second to say it. I know, I timed it, but go ahead, time it yourself. Unless you're like the Forest Gump character and add syllables to every word, it's less than a second out of your life. Take the time-A SECOND-and say hello.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Monday, May 11, 2009


Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of a person? Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Life is full of encounters and events that allow you the opportunity to be positive or negative. It's how you choose to perceive those encounters and events that determine your outlook. Choose to be positive.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Not the Hope Diamond

Do you have a mini anxiety attack each time you have to throw something away. Do you have to "retire" to your bed at the thought of parting with your treasures? Let me help alleviate your fears: You'll probably never discard anything that is irreplaceable or that holds extreme sentimental value. As for the other "stuff", don’t be as "careful" about letting go. You'll not only lighten your "load", but you will improve your life as well.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Life Altering Change?

Would you agree that it's easier to maintain a way of life versus making a major life change? For some the answer would be a resounding, "Yes!!" but for others, an even more resounding, "No!!" It's usually a lot easier and more sustainable to make small changes that you will be able to maintain, than it is in declaring, "I will change my entire life", and then falling woefully short of that goal. I've said it before and it bears repeating, "Small and consistent is the way to affect the most effective change".

Dr. D. Clutter™

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why Am I?

Have you given any thought to why you are disorganized or have clutter in your life? One person may say it is because of a family history, "I was raised that way." Another person may say, "I became overwhelmed by a life event and never recovered". Both are part of a long list of absolutely valid reasons. Here's my challenge to you. Don't allow the past to control your present or future. Take control and make a change that will improve your quality of life.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


No, I’m not talking about the famous singing group; I’m talking about those things that cause you to make negative choices. For me, that includes food and shopping. I love both equally. I have to fight daily to make certain I don’t eat the wrong foods and buy too many things I don’t need. To help in my battle, I rarely bring into my home those things that are my triggers-you know, basically anything that tastes so very good, but is also not so very healthy for me? Seriously, I love and crave sugary snacks and any carbohydrate, so I am very careful not to buy those things or at least not to buy them in any great quantity. I don’t believe in total deprivation because that just makes the thing you crave all the more “sweet” and makes you want “it” more. I have been known to put myself on “restrictions”. That's where I only allow myself to eat my favorites in moderation on certain days (usually Sunday) and only after exercising faithfully because of my “temptations”. As for shopping, I always shop with a list. Just as you’ve heard that you should never grocery shop while you’re hungry, you should not shop while “wanting”. One way I combat this is as soon as the mail is delivered, I shred or trash circulars. Here’s my thought: if I didn’t think I needed something until a catalog “told” me I did, then I really didn’t need it. So I won’t be “tricked” into thinking I do. Make sense? I’ve won a partial battle by limiting the number of catalogs that come into my home by opting out of most junk mail, but a few still make it in. Honestly, it’s a daily battle, but one that I claim victory over-most days. All in all, you have to identify those things that you know will use all of your will power, prayer, and coping skills. Maybe for you it’s not food or shopping, but whatever it is, identify it and take steps to conquer the temptation.

Dr. D. Clutter™

Monday, May 4, 2009

Favorite Things

If you're alive and on Earth, you've seen the Sound of Music, or at least heard the songs-it's unavoidable. I love the songs from that movie, especially the one about favorite things. Julie Andrews singing about rain drops on roses and snowflakes just makes me smile. Take the time to think about your favorite things and challenge yourself to create a poem, story, list or song. Then, when you're feeling sad, you can think about those things and hopefully start to feel better in no time at all. I've placed the lyrics below for you to enjoy. I'm sure you'll hum the tune all day long and not be able to get it out of your head. I apologize (SMILE).

Dr. D. Clutter™

My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Copyright 1965 by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein 2d

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Special Day!!

This is a special alert!! If you were not aware of the newest national holiday, let me bring you up to speed. Today is my birthday!! Okay, so it’s not a national holiday (yet), but I celebrate it as if it was (without the parade).

As a child, I felt so much happiness, coupled with unabashed excitement of the impending day when it was nearing my birthday. My mother always baked a cake for me and despite the fact that they were often lopsided (you try baking with 2 or 3 sons in the kitchen and see how well your cakes would look), I loved them. There were usually just a few people at my “party”, mainly my mother, grandmother, and brothers and on occasion, a cousin or friend. But it felt as if I’d had one of those Hollywood type parties celebrities throw for themselves; lavish, festive and memorable. I would tell anyone that my birthday was coming or was here (it was a kinder world then). But then a strange thing happened as I got older; my “happiness” was replaced by gratefulness. I don’t feel those child-like emotions or even get excited about my birthday anymore. Instead, a strong feeling of gratitude for the blessing of another birthday has replaced those more outwardly visible emotions.

I don’t worry or concern myself with the fact that I’m a year older, or that I’m aging; I’ve never been concerned with getting older or finding the fountain of youth. My fountain springs eternal, internally. Does that make sense to you? It makes perfect sense to me. I embrace that I’m getting older (and hopefully, wiser)!! So, there will be no lopsided cake this year. My grandmother is in heaven and my brothers, cousins and friends are living their lives, so there won’t be a “party”. Despite all of the changes, it’s still a great birthday.

Well, it’s off to the spa to be pampered, then to a tranquil place to watch the birds, planes and boats. Then there’s dinner (Mommy’s still hanging in for that). Wow!! What a great birthday and I’m so GRATEFUL!!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Mindless is often defined as giving or showing little attention or care, whereas mindful relates to being attentive, aware or careful. Confession time-I can be totally mindless when there is Girl Scout cookie, specifically Samoas within 100 feet. I seem to lose all control and want to eat the entire box (or two). To combat this, when I buy them (hey don’t judge me, I am supporting a great cause and my niece, Diamond in the process-or at least that’s what I tell myself) I keep one box out and freeze the rest. You would think that would be the end of the story and I could wow you with my ability to resist the urge. Not so. I have, in the past, been known to eat them while frozen. Yes, even I have my moments of weakness. Here’s what I tell myself: the cookies are only available for a short time and then the temptation is gone. If I eat more that a couple, I know that I then have to either accept that I’ve let the “cookies” win and feel sad or mad at myself. That doesn’t work very well for me because I don’t like berating myself. I love me. What I do instead is tell myself that it’s over and accept my momentary lapse. Of course, I also tell myself that for my indulgence there is a consequence-EXERCISE-above and beyond the normal. So, when the Girl Scout cookies come, I’m prepared to “eat and run”, literally.

Dr. D. Clutter™

About Me

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Washington, DC, United States
I am Dr. Darnita L. Payden, Executive Director/Owner of Dr. DClutter™ Life Management, a division of PreciousOnes™ LLC. I have a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and over 20 years of experience working to help clients discover their strengths and talents. Having worked as a therapist, college professor, grief specialist and trainer, I have encountered in my journey many of the issues my clients may face. I have a sincere desire to help you find clarity, organization and independence in your life and environments. I know that life can be hectic, but I desire to help my clients bring as much order, peace and enjoyment back into their lives as is possible. What separates me from the norm? I focus on the client from a holistic perspective. I realize that most people desire a functional and an organized life, but may simply need support, understanding and information about why they have the habits or tendencies that have led to disorganization. I do not perform “quick fixes” or provide “one-size-fits-all” guidance, but I strive to provide strategies to my clients that will be life changing and useful for a lifetime. Dr. DClutter™ is a name well earned!!

Dr. DClutter's™ Publications

  • Dr. DClutter's™ Wiseisms and Thruthisms™ Daily Inspirations, Observations and Humorous Musings
  • Dr. DClutter's™ One-Day-a-Week-Guide to a Year of Random Acts of Kindness (plus 20 extra days just in case)
  • Dr. DClutter's™ 21-Day Journey to a New You
  • Declutter-Four Benefits of an Organized Life
  • Clutter Makes You S.I.G.H.™
  • Simplify. Simplify. How to Declutter Your Life

Four Benefits of Organization

Four Benefits of Organization

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