My New Word for “De-clutter” and Why it Changes Everything



(Photo Credit – Studio Choo Florists)

So you’re hip to the idea of a spring cleaning — not just to tidy things up, but to reconnect to your precious heart and desires. You’re ready to squeeze every ounce of personal transformation you can from this process. You’ve identified some clutter — in your home and in your life — and you’re ready to clear it out, and make way for new + beautiful things ready to emerge.

Awesome! Ok. At this point (even though you may think I am crazy)…

I beg of you: Please don’t de-clutter!

What?? Have I lost my marbles? No. I have a completely different way to think about “de-cluttering” and trust me: it changes everything.

Don’t De-Clutter. Edit.

I don’t know about you, but the word “de-clutter” always has a major “ugh” factor in it for me. It sounds boring. Exhausting. Daunting and tedious. Like a long, painful process of agonizing over what to keep and what to toss. It’s no wonder why so many of us put it off — easily finding something “better” to do, every time. Sound familiar?

Thankfully, I was introduced to the concept of “editing” years ago and I never looked back.

Here’s how to start making the shift:

 De-cluttering is about your stuff. Editing is about YOU.

De-cluttering removes the things you (or your Mom or someone else) think “shouldn’t” be there.  Editing breathes spaciousness, fosters flow, and sparks conscious evolution.

De-cluttering beckons my inner rebellious child who doesn’t want to clean up her room.  Editing invokes my clearest, most creative and motivated self.

De-cluttering is draining. Editing is exciting and empowering.

De-cluttering is all about removing objects. Editing is multi-dimensional. From this place, you may remove whats no longer is serving you, but you also might add in spices of vitality and sweeps of beauty.  You could rearrange the furniture to create more flow or upgrade certain items to provide greater ease, support and joy.

De-cluttering places a magnifying glass over all the stuff and dust of your home. Editing places you at the center of the process. It helps acknowledge that your space and all the things in it are an extension of you. Beautiful, alive, ever-changing you.

Don’t just deal with your space.

Shower it — and yourself – with loving attention.

When I was introduced to “editing” many years ago, it truly changed everything for me. Back then, I didn’t want to deal with my space — it felt too overwhelming. But I did want to deal with me.

Editing placed me back in my power — at the center of my story — and from this vantage point, working with my space became a natural extension, an empowering creative process and an opportunity that created big shifts in my life.

Editing is the real, vital process of aligning your inner and outer worlds — in ways that support who you are now and who you are are growing into be.

Edit to move forward. To be more present and clear. To create greater flow and vitality. To let go of what’s no longer serving you and to fill your space with what you love.

 Editing your space is an act of self -care and self -creation.

– Click to Tweet

What are your thoughts?

In the comments below, I would love to know… Does “editing” feel different to “de-cluttering” for you? Does it change how you relate to the task of spring cleaning, to your space, to yourself?

Ready for more?
The next post in the Make Room to Bloom Series is right HERE.

If you found this useful please share it with your family and friends to spread the love. (Believe it or not their spaces affect you too! But more on this another day.)

If you’re not already, be sure to subscribed to my newsletter (at the top right of this page) so you don’t miss a post! We have a beautiful growing community and would to have you join us!

Sending love,


18 Comments on “My New Word for “De-clutter” and Why it Changes Everything

  1.  by  Laura Wooten

    I love the idea of editing over de-cluttering. It surely is a more loving and gentle approach! I just “edited” out a closet full of little kid clothes and toys to donate to charity. My boy is ten and getting ready to go to middle school next year, and has outgrown all this stuff. He actually initiated the editing, telling me that he wanted his room to be “cooler and less babyish!” This turned into a fun project that we did together, including some re-decorating. (Out with the pirate bedding and in with sports and guitar-themed stuff!) I saved a couple boxes of special children’s books, and donated the rest. This process felt really great for both of us. I realized I had been stashing all these baby clothes for years, thinking I would have a second child. After five years of trying and not getting pregnant, my husband and I made peace with the idea that one wonderful child was a great blessing and all that we needed. But deep down it was hard to let go. Bags and bags of toddler clothes stashed in the closet showed me that. When I finally dropped them off at the Good Will, a great burden was lifted from my shoulders. Now I can move forward fully present, embracing the reality of what I have: one heart-burstingly awesome child, a wonderful husband, and a new dream career that may not have happened if I were caring for a second child now. I am grateful.

    •  by

      Hi Laura,

      Beautiful and inspiring on so many levels. Thank you so much for sharing your story.


      P.S Just took a peek at your gorgeous art on your site. Amazing work! :-)

    •  by  Maria

      Oh, I totally relate. My only child’s crib is in our garage – and he’s 13! Goodwill won’t even take it because it has the drop down side that’s now considered unsafe. Time to let that stuff go.

      •  by

        Yay Maria! Let us know how it feels when after you release it!

  2.  by  Rae

    This is brilliant, so spot on.

    Before I even read to the punchline, I just knew editing was about enhancing and supporting the inner me – the person I really want to be seen as.

    De-cluttering for me is so often demoralising in that it confronts me with all my failures, whereas editing immediately invokes paring away to create success.

    Editing is what I can do and most importantly, want to do!

    Thank you for this shift in consciousness.

    •  by

      Hi Rae!

      So glad this resonated so strongly for you! It really is such a shift in consciousness and can make a HUGE difference in finding motivation to release thing that are holding us back!

      Thanks for you comment!


  3.  by  Catherine

    April is so about renewal and making a clean sweep this year. I have had that ‘de-clutter’ this that and the other my list of things to do all month and then some but have resisted so much so far. I think like Rae said I find the whole de-cluttering thing demoralising. It’s just another big highlight against the things I’ve started but not finished and stuff I’ve just not gotten round to.
    I’m really going for this now, I’m also doing Anna Kunnecke’s Queen Sweep. Anna had suggested reframing things and I now have that springboard for getting my studio and living space set up. I am now ready to ‘Edit’. I have been uncovering my dream of writing and what better way to deal with my central space than to edit.
    Thank you Rebecca, I’m already looking forward to your next installment.
    Catherine x

    •  by

      Hi Catherine!

      Yay for April being a month of renewal and some big editing for you. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

      Be sure to check back in and let us know!


  4.  by  Maria

    Yes!! I did this unknowingly this week with my living room. I find it so dark that I don’t want to spend time in it. So I spent 3 hours moving things around and got rid of two pieces of furniture. Now it feels so good and more open and free. Totally an edit. Great concept.

    •  by

      Fabulous Maria!

      That sounds like a very successful edit full that made a huge impact. I love it!

      Thanks for your comment!


  5. Pingback: Energy Tip #9: Take control of clutter | Nicholette von ReicheNicholette von Reiche

  6.  by  Nicholette von Reiche

    How funny Rebecca, ever since I started my blog the “universe” would show me a similar post to confirm to me that the topic is a needed one and that there is someone that needs to see/read it in that time.

    This week that beautiful re-affirming article was yours.

    I love your work, site and this article. Truly needed, inspiring + beautiful.

    Thank you!

    •  by  Rebecca McLoughlin

      Thanks so much Nicholette! I love when the universe works that way! Thanks so much for the mention over on your site as well. Glad we are connect!


  7.  by  Amber-Rose

    I love this post!

    I’m now off to ‘edit’ my kitchen to make room for my new healthy way of life. (I’ve no deleted the words declutter AND diet from my vocabulary!)

    I just discovered your website last week and I really love what you do. I’m really tempted to fly you over to the UK to help me edit my whole house! 😉


    •  by  Rebecca McLoughlin

      Hi Amber-Rose!

      Welcome and YAY for making the shift to the “edit” mentality! Really makes such a huge difference. Be sure to check back in and let us know how the kitchen edit goes. And how fun to think about coming to work with you in the UK! My husband is from Ireland so I definitely travel and come across the pond often! 😉 Please feel free to reach out if you are interested in working together.

      Sending love,

  8.  by  Shirley

    actually when I saw the photo at the top of this post and it said…. “Making Room to Bloom” …. my heart just lit UP. THAT is my new word for decluttering. when I am editing/decluttering…. I am essentially Making Room to Bloom. yes. yes. yes!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *