Looking to lighten the load in your home? First, determine whether you’re a woodpecker or butterfly. Then, follow these user-friendly directions to find deliverance from your mess.

Dear readers, March is here and spring is in the air, inspiring me to take a break from our usual Q & A format for the next two weeks to do something fun and help you create positive energy at the same time. Are you up for doing a little something about your clutter instead of just talking about it? If so, there’s no time like the present to commit, and in my opinion, there’s no better way to do it than together!


My lightening up your home’s energy and getting more organized at the same time, your home will have better energetic flow and a positive impact on all those who live there. I’ll make the plan, set the rules, give you homework, and keep you inspired and accountable, and all you have to do is set aside the time. Are you in?

The purpose

The purpose of this two-week “Let’s Clear Some Clutter” challenge is to get you going on a commitment to do something, as even the smallest effort will make a difference and may in turn inspire you to do more. For many reasons, people can’t get motivated to clear their clutter, but the biggest obstacle is the idea that you have to get rid of all your clutter in one fell swoop.


The clutter in your home has taken years, maybe decades, or even generations, to accumulate, yet with an “all or nothing” mindset about clearing it out, you set yourself up to fail before you even start. Over the next two weeks I hope to help you see that even a little bit of effort makes a big difference. Your goal will be to complete what you commit to doing.

Why is it important to clear clutter?

Clearing clutter seems like a formidable task, but to inspire at least one of you to reconsider sitting this one out, remember, energy that flows through your space carries opportunities, abundance, renewal and everything that we think of as good and awesome. If the energy can’t flow, it will be reflected in your life in the form of obstacles and challenges. Getting rid of a portion of your clutter, or even getting a bit more organized can be life enhancing. Getting started is always the hardest part, but once you are done, you and those you love will reap the benefits.

Are you in?

If you are “in” and want to commit to our challenge, I’ve come up with a fun way to clear according to how you best operate, and where you need the most help. First, to find out what group you are in, and what assignments you will complete over the next two weeks, answer the following questions:

Are you a woodpecker or a butterfly?

A “woodpecker” likes to get in, get deep and focus on one area of the home until fin ished. If this sounds like you, follow the instructions for woodpecker.

A “butterfly” likes to work on multiple areas in the home at the same time. If this sounds like you, follow the instructions for butterfly.

The entrance


The first assignment for both butterflies and woodpeckers is to work on your entrance. The main entrance is considered the architectural front door and where all energy enters. By starting here, you set the intent for fresh energy to enter, and this will best prepare you for next week’s assignment. If you have a side or back entrance, include them in your clearing this week. Let go of shoes you no longer wear, dead plants, old welcome mats, broken umbrellas, etc. Follow the general instructions below.

Woodpecker: Remove any accumulated clutter and organize both the outer and inner areas around your entrance. If you have more than one entrance, focus on the front door first, and then the side and back doors, respectively.

Butterfly: The same decluttering rule applies, but give yourself permission to go back and forth between the various entrances and clear and organize as you feel the need. Do a little here and a little there.

Whether you’re a woodpecker or a butterfly, if you are not ready to let go of some of the things you find as you are clearing, at the very least remove them from your entrance and put them aside. Next week, I will address some common obstacles that may come up in letting go of things, and how to see them from a different perspective. You should be finished with this assignment by next Sunday.

It’s not real until you schedule it

When will you do this? Get your calendar out and put a few hours of clutter clearing time in your schedule this coming week, just like you would a meeting with someone. If you think you don’t have time, look at your schedule again and cancel a social event, reschedule a meeting, skip a gathering, use a sick day, or do whatever it takes to make this happen for yourself! Have someone you know hold you accountable or join you.

Document your efforts

Take a photo of the area before you start and after you finish. Next week, I’ll give you another assignment. Remember to focus on the inspiring outcome and how great you will feel afterwards. Know that hundreds, or possibly even thousands of people across the island will be joining you in this effort. Good luck and make it happen for yourself! Remember, the goal is to complete one small area, but if you are inspired to do more, keep going.

Until next week, dear butterflies and woodpeckers …


Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U, a friendly and warm educational establishment at Gentry Pacific Center on Nimitz Highway. At Happiness U, one can learn how to be happy, a subject you won’t find in a traditional school. Happiness U offers classes such as feng shui 101, clutter clearing plan 101, positive mindset 101, happiness 101 and more. www.YourHappinessU.com