Now In Print!
Clearing Clutter as a Sacred Act: Essays, Poems, and Practices

Clearing Clutter as a Sacred Act

First Edition (2019), by Carolyn Koehnline
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It’s been eight years since the last edition of my book, Confronting Your Clutter. My new book, Clearing Clutter as a Sacred Act, includes what I’ve gathered and learned in the intervening time. It offers guidance on how to address the various kinds of clutter that may be holding you back, while honoring the transitions, seasons of life, and opportunities clutter represents and often obscures.

Clearing Clutter as a Sacred Act offers perspectives and practical tasks intended to provide insight and momentum in your clutter-clearing process, including writing exercises to reveal your own inner wisdom. Twenty-two original color illustrations, photographs, and original poems underscore the book’s main points with whimsy and humor.

Once in a while a book comes along that makes me want to dance with joy. Clearing Clutter as a Sacred Act is one of those books. It is not a “how to” book in the usual sense. Rather, with compassion and kindness, Carolyn Koehnline elevates what often feels like a thankless task to something that is to be approached with reverence. The journal prompts are thoughtful calls to action, and there are suggestions for celebrating small victories. After reading this book I feel inspired and excited to begin the process of letting go of physical, mental and emotional clutter. I will recommend this book to clients.” –Elaine Brooks, Board Certified Nurse Coach, CAPF, Certified Transition Writing Specialist


Carolyn Koehnline is a masterful guide through the process of healing the relationship that we have with our stuff, whether it’s on the shelf, in the drawer, or in our brain, heart, or soul. She offers perspective, practices and permission to intentionally release what no longer serves, while inviting you to consider, ‘What you are making space for?’ You will reach for this integrated companion time and again as you honor the sacredness of your life’s journey.”—Deborah Ross, LPC, CJT, co-author of Your Brain on Ink

The Book Includes:

  • Making it Sacred: Finding meaningful ways to frame your process.
  • A Trustworthy Companion: Identifying and developing the kinds of support that will help you most.
  • Casting Sheepishness to the Wind: Summoning your courage and accessing your clarity and compassion.
  • A Gentle Plan: Creating a plan that provides the right balance of structure and flexibility and fits your sensibilities.
  • Gentle Practices: Small actions to establish new patterns.
  • Making Peace with Time: Strategies for engaging with time in friendlier ways.
  • Letting Go: What to do with emotionally loaded items.
  • Soul Spaces: Remembering and envisioning spaces where you can feel truly yourself.
  • Setting Intentions: If you’re clearing clutter, what are you making space for?


Why Treat Clutter Clearing as a “Sacred Act?”

The process of going through belongings you’ve accumulated over the years, and deciding what to keep and what to release often brings up deep questions: If I let go of this will I be okay? Will I still be me? What is enough? Can I make peace with past chapters of my life? What is important for this chapter of my life? How do I deal with the fact that I’m not going to live forever?

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by questions like these, treating clutter clearing as a “sacred” act can help you refocus and approach it with reverence and intention. There are many ways to do that. You can dedicate your clutter clearing to something or someone that matters to you. You can incorporate little gestures of self-compassion. You can pause when you get stuck and engage in five minutes of writing to get more clarity. You can invoke unseen help. You can use simple rituals to release emotionally loaded items. You can say an intentional goodbye to objects related to a past life chapter, role, or stance. This can help you be more present and open to new possibilities.

Listen in on an excerpt from my conversation with Kim Scanlon—friend, colleague, and creator of the no solos approach to mentoring and artistic practice—where I discuss who this book is for.