The “Please Save Me From My Stuff” Approach – Clutter Guilt Conversations

Please Help Save Me From My Stuff!! Clutter Guilt Conversations (VIDEOS at

Another video for the Clutter Guilt Series I have going this week!

Honestly, other than just not telling someone I’m donating something they gave me, this is the method I use most. It’s what I’ve found to be most effective when explaining to someone that I need to get rid of something they think I should keep.

It’s always been pretty obvious to anyone I know that I struggle with clutter. People love to be helpful. Framing the conversation that way can really defuse the argument.

If you can’t see the video, watch it here.

Here’s the script:

The Please Save Me From My Stuff Approach

GUILTEE: (on the phone) Hey, how are you?

GUILTER: Good, what’s going on with you?

GUILTEE: Well . . . I’m working on getting the clutter out of my house.

GUILTER: (Too excited) Oh that’s great! I’m so glad!!!!!

GUILTEE: Yes, it’s so much work, but I’m determined to make get my house in shape!

GUILTER: Oh, I’m so proud of you! You are going to be so much happier when you’re done!

GUILTEE: Oh I know! I can already tell a difference in how I feel and I still have more to declutter!!

GUILTER: (Overly, annoyingly excited.) Lots more, I bet!

GUILTEE: Yes, and I’m amazed at how much easier it is to clean up in the rooms I’ve decluttered.

GUILTER: (Big, annoying, know-it-all nod) Mmm-hmmmm. Girl, you are sooo right. I think you’ll be able to finally keep it clean if you can get rid of all that junk you have.

GUILTEE: (crossed eyes and pained smile) Mmmm-hmmm. Thanks for the encouragement.

GUILTER: Listen, sweetie, if there’s ANYthing I can do to help you, just let me know. I mean, I’ve always wanted to get in there and . . .

GUILTEE: Actually, that’s why I was calling.

GUILTER: (Surprised) It is?

GUILTEE: Yep. I have an entire BOX full of things you’ve given me over the years that I’ve decided I don’t need.

GUILTER: (offended) Really? Hmmph.

GUILTEE: Yes, like all those games you gave me when you cleaned out your closet?

GUILTER: Mmm-hmm.

GUILTEE: We haven’t EVER even played them! And that old-timey-looking shoe-shining-thingy? I’ve never really had a place to put it, I haven’t shined a shoe in years, and I’ve tripped over it ten times in the last year! (hahahaha)

GUILTER: I just thought it was cool. And that you might like it.

GUILTEE: Oh I did. I did! I LOVED that thing! But you know me! Always thinking things are cool but then they just turn into clutter!!

GUILTER: well, I guess I understand.

GUILTEE: So should I bring that stuff over? Or should I donate it? It is going to help me SOOO much to get this house under control to get the clutter out!!

GUILTER: I guess you can donate it. I mean, if you really don’t like it anymore.

GUILTEE: Thank you SOOO much! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help!!!


“It’s Not You . . . It’s Me.” Another Clutter Guilt Conversation Strategy (With Video)

It's Not You, It's Me. Another Clutter Guilt Conversation with video and script from


Another Clutter Guilt Conversation. I explained my thoughts on Clutter Guilt in yesterday’s post (that also has a video!!).

My first choice is to not worry about the guilt, but sometimes that isn’t possible. If you’re paralyzed, and can’t get rid of things because of the guilt, you might try one of the conversations I’m sharing this week!


(Go here if you can’t see the video!)

The It’s Not You, It’s Me Approach (the script)

GUILTEE: Hey, I need to get rid of that coffee table you gave me.


GUILTEE: Oh, I just don’t have a place for it in my living room anymore. And it doesn’t match the new furniture anyway.

GUILTER: But I got that when I was in college!

GUILTEE: I know. And I loved getting to use it, but I don’t have space for it anymore.

GUILTER: I can’t believe you don’t want that coffee table. I didn’t eat out for three months so I could save up to buy that.

GUILTEE: Oh, it’s a beautiful coffee table, and it served me well for such a long time. But you know how I am. I tend to keep stuff for way longer than I should and I’ve realized that’s a big part of my problem. It’s one of the reasons I have such a hard time keeping my house under control. Thanks so much for giving it to me to use for all those years. That was so nice of you.

GUILTER: So you’ll keep it?

GUILTEE: (crossing eyes) No. I can’t. Do you want it back or should I donate it? I mean, it IS such a nice coffee table . . .

GUILTER: Well, I don’t need it, but you . . .

GUILTEE: (Interrupting) OK then. I’ll donate it. Thanks so much! I just wanted to check with you because I was so grateful you let me use it and didn’t want to donate it without asking you if you wanted it back! Oh, I am so sorry, I have to go.

GUILTER: Hello?? Hello?


Approaches to Clutter Guilt – (Sample Conversations and Videos)

The "Playing Dumb" Approach - A Sample Clutter Guilt Conversation (with script and video) from Nony of

Clutter Guilt is a real thing. I get questions about it. I did a podcast on the subject last week, and then had this idea for a series of videos.

For my own Clutter Guilt situations, I have the unique advantage of having a blog about decluttering, which means most people in my life (most, not all) KNOW I can’t handle stuff and understand when I have to get rid of things.

Most of them understood pre-blog, anyway.

But honestly, through the past five years of decluttering like a crazy woman, I’ve gained enough Decluttering Momentum that I no longer worry about offending the person who unloaded their own clutter on me. If they don’t want it in their home, I feel no obligation to keep it in mine.

I know. Sometimes it isn’t that simple.

There are times when you can feel obligated to offer the clutter/stuff/junk back to the giver before donating. I’m sharing a few approaches to these conversations this week.

(And mostly, I’m having fun.)

(Click here if you can’t see the video!)


Clutter Guilt Script – The “Playing Dumb” Approach


Guilter: (Answers door.) Well, hello!! How are y . . . What’s that? (looking down)

Guiltee: It’s those Christmas decorations you love so much! I kept one for memory’s sake (I hope that’s okay!!) but I thought I’d give them back to you since I don’t need them anymore and we just don’t have the space to store them!

Guilter: No, when I got new ones I gave those to you. They’re very special to me.

Guiltee: (Very serious.) I know. That’s why I’m bringing them back to you! (continue nodding seriously while attempting to place the box inside his/her house.)

Guilter: I don’t want them.

Guiltee: (Confused) I thought you said they were really special? Oh, I must have misunderstood. I don’t mind at all dropping them by Goodwill.

Guilter: You’re going to DONATE them?

Guiltee: (Confused) Of course! I don’t have the room, and you don’t want them. What else would I do with them? I wouldn’t throw them away!! I mean, these are very nice Christmas decorations!!

Guilter: But I got those at a garage sale in a very fancy neighborhood when I was pregnant with you.

Guiltee: Oh, so you do want them?(starts putting the box down)

Guilter: No, I don’t want them!

Guiltee: OK great! Then I’ll take care of everything! There’s a place I can drop them off on my way to pick up the kids from school.

Guilter: Bu. . .wha . .

Guiltee: Oh, I gotta go! See ya later!!


Feel free to memorize and use!!


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