Sunday, November 15, 2009

Clutter Free Day Report

The first Berkeley, California Clutter Free Day was held on Saturday, November 7 from 10 AM until 5 PM at the Lutheran Church of the Cross on University Ave, right down the street from UC Berkeley.  The event marked the 3rd anniversary of the Berkeley Tuesday morning CLA meeting and was a resounding success on all accounts, from number of attendees, to information shared, to fellowship extended.  There are currently 7 San Francisco Bay Area meetings within a 140 mile range.  Around 60 people attended arriving from near and far including Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Concord, Costa Mesa, Danville, Davis, El Cerrito, Fremont, Long Beach, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Martinez, Menlo Park, Moraga, Oakland, Palo Alto, Rancho Cordova, Richmond, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.

The theme for the day was using the Tools of Recovery in CLA.  All attendees were treated to presentations by the CLA WSO chair, Kathy, speaking about What CLA Offers and Susie, from CLA phone meetings, talking about taking action to use the CLA tools.  Berkeley CLA members presented individual sessions that attendees could choose, including a newcomer's meeting and daily action with Cindy; Clutter, kids, and parenting with Ingrid: Where did all this stuff come from, with Joan; Working steps 1 through 3 with Wendy; and Forgiving Yourself with Uzuri.  Highlights of the day were Uzuri's welcome singing, as well as her rendition of Q's lyrics from the 2008 LA CFD.  People were still laughing all day after attending Joan's session, where she shared things from her home as examples of her creativity and rational for keeping things too valuable to let go of.

The day culminated with an open microphone where people could share with everyone.  Some things shared were:  

“I’m a single mom who uses the tool of a sense of humor and laughter.  I am with my people at a CLA meeting.  I know I am not judged or criticized.  Thank you all.  I urge you to attend meetings.”

“My favorite session was on forgiveness.  I liked looking around that circle of people and seeing myself a bit in everyone.”

“I am so grateful to the people I heard from today.  Even though we have unique stories there are always similarities.  I learned how to really connect via the phone meetings that I didn’t fully understand before.  Celebrate! I learned to let go and trust.  Good connections with people here today.”

“I didn’t expect to laugh so much today.  Joan’s workshop was freeing by the laughter of identification.  I was able to relax & let things make connections in my mind that I hadn’t notice before in my idiosyncrasies.  Maybe Joan would take that on the stage!  Her workshop really lifted me after challenges trying to get here.”

“When I found the Berkeley group, I really thought I was at the end of my rope.  Oh, I can’t do that.  My friend went with me to my first meeting.  I found people like me who understood!  Like oh the closet, the office, filled from the floor to the ceiling. I had to move out of my home of 17 years.  Those CLA women helped me clean and sort through my stuff.  I was frightened to let them in.  But it was such a wonderful, beautiful thing that they did.  To help me clean and sort and box.  They asked me, “Do you want to keep this or do you think you can let it go?”  Every time I let it go, they cheered.  And I got hooked on the cheers.  CLA is a wonderful place of love & caring.  Each of you understand what this is about.  We are all working together to get to that other place.  I thank CLA, the fellowship, the members that allowed me to do my work today.  For letting me be myself today.  This is wonderful!  Thank you.”

The day ended with a discussion of forming a Bay Area CLA intergroup, doing another Clutter Free Day, and Sharon agreeing to be the service person for an intergroup conference call.

Before they left, people passed in the plastic name tag holders and evaluations.  Across the board, every single person said that the day “exceeded their expectations” with some sessions being “exceptional”.  Written comments included
“Today was fabulous – I’m no longer alone with my shame, guilt and paralysis.  I understand what "together we can" means now.”
“I came here today for motivation and inspiration – important enough to clear my cluttered calendar.  I found what I’ve been looking for and plan to be a participant in this group and hope to help and be helped.”

Everyone was moved when they joined hands to recite the closing prayer, (which had not been used previously at Berkeley CLA meetings)

God, grant me the Serenity of an organized life with leisure time,

The Courage to change my habits to ensure these joys, and

The Wisdom to be flexible.

And God grant me patience for the changes that take time,

Appreciation for all that I have,

Tolerance for those with different struggles,

And the Strength to get up and try again,

One moment, one hour, one day at a time.

The Berkeley CLA wishes to thank everyone who attended, especially those that came up from LA to support the event, share their experience, strength and hope, and everyone who did service, including support from previous CFDs.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Closing Prayer from Clutter Free Day

Closing Prayer— 
God, grant me the Serenity of an organized life with leisure time,
The Courage to change my habits to ensure these joys, and
The Wisdom to be flexible.

And God grant me patience for the changes that take time,
Appreciation for all that I have,
Tolerance for those with different struggles,
And the Strength to get up and try again,

One moment, one hour, one day at a time.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Clutter Free Day, Berkeley - A Clutter Free Zone of Success!!!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making Clutter Free Day an amazing success!
Thank you to all the CLA members who contributed time before and after, resources, energy, suggestions, love and recovery:
Thank you Kathy for coming up from Long Beach and speaking!
Thank you for Susie for coming west to speak!
Thank you to our presenters for preparing valuable, insightful workshops:
Joan, Wendy, Uzuri, Ingrid
Thank you to everyone who contributed materials, food, copying, distributing flyers, doing out reach!

More than 55 people attended our first Berkeley Clutter Free Day.  They arrived from near and far:
Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Concord, Costa Mesa, Danville, Davis, El Cerrito, Fremont, Long Beach, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Martinez, Menlo Park, Moraga, Oakland, Palo Alto, Rancho Cordova, Richmond, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Ramon, Walnut Creek.

Clutter Free Day Schedule

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Clutter Free Day Registration Information

Click Here to Register Online

Click to Print Out
Registration Form, then fill out and mail in

Email for more information:

Travel Directions to 
Lutheran Church of the Cross, 1744 University Ave, Berkeley, CA  94703

By Public Transportation:

BART & Walk
Take BART to Downtown Berkeley Stop
Walk to Center St & Shattuck Sq, Berkeley
Walk North toward University
Take Left onto University
Walk 11 minutes West on University (towards water and SF)

From Downtown Berkeley Stop
Board AC Transit - 51 - towards University Ave & 3rd
at NE Corner of Shattuck Sq & Center St
Fare $ 2.00
Get Off at NE Corner of University Ave & Grant St (2 min ride)


From South (Los Angeles)
Take I-5 North to I-580-W
Exit onto University Ave (after Ashby Exit in Berkeley)
Church is on Right

From North (Sacramento)
Exit 11 to merge onto University Ave (after Gilman Exit in Berkeley)
Church is on Right

LODGING NEAR EVENT (Suggestion:  Book rooms asap.  If there is a sports event at Berkeley University, all rooms will be taken.  Prices range from under $100/night up.)
Berkeley Travelodge, 1820 University Ave, Berkeley,  CA  94703 (510)843-4262

Vista Inn, 1761 University Avenue - Berkeley, CA, United States 94703 (510) 841-4242

Super 8 Berkeley, 1619 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94703  (510) 841-3844

Rodeway Inn, 1461 University Ave - Berkeley, CA, United States 94702 (510) 848-3840

Holiday Inn Express, 1175 University Ave - Berkeley, CA, United States 94702 (510) 548-1700

La Quinta Inn, 920 University Ave, Berkeley, CA (510) 849-1121

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bay Area Clutter Free Day Registration Open!

Berkeley Clutter Free Day
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Location: Lutheran Church of the Cross, 1744 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703
For your convenience, you can register before the event online and save money. Or show up day of event with cash or check at door.
Want to help? Click here to email your contact information to be invited to planning meetings.

Theme: Putting the Tools of Recovery to work for you

Remember, we can't do this alone, but together we can!

Put the word out to get involved to make this happen, HERE!

The timing of the first annual Bay Area Clutter Free Day is coincidentally the Saturday following the Mental Health Institute of San Francisco's 2009 Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

14th Clutter Free Day, CLA East

I attended the Clutter Free Day in Brooklyn, New York on May 17, 2009 and was priviledged to be the keynote speaker. You can listen to my qualification by downloading mp3 files. They are broken down into 7 different files so they are small enough to upload. In order to listen, you have to save them one at a time to your computer, download them, and watch what file they're put into. Then you have to click on them and open an audio program on your computer to listen. They are titled as follows:
1. Keynote intro CFD East - Cindy track01.mp3 7.0 MB
2. Keynote CFD East - Cindy track02.mp3 7.0 MB
3. Keynote CFD East - Cindy track03.mp3 6.9 MB
4. Keynote CFD East - Cindy track04.mp3 7.0 MB
5. Keynote CFD East - Cindy track05.mp3 6.9 MB
6. Keynote CFD EAst - Cindy track06.mp3 7.0 MB
7. Keynote CFD East - Cindytrack07.mp3 4.8 MB

The Schedule:
Spiritual Timing: Fredrick W, NY
Notes from Spiritual Timing

Steps 1-3: Questions to Ask Yourself: Peter L, NJ
Getting Motivated to Declutter: Beryl, NY
Nonphysical Decluttering: Ruthe S, PA
Powerless Over Paper: Mary P, NY
Using the Tools of CLA: Tova B, NY
Keynote Speaker: Cindy S, CA
Steps Linked To Strategies: Naomi L, NY
Clutter & Relationships: Andrew S, MD
Book Hoarding: Mary Agnes, MA

In recovery,

FYI: You can purchase physical CDs to listen on your CD player or in your car from Glenn K Audio Tapes at There is a choice to purchase the complete set of 10 CDs or individual ones from the most recent 14th Clutter Free Day, Brooklyn, NY, 5/17/2009. Audio from previous Clutter Free Days are also available in the same location. (NOTE: This information is for your information and recovery only, CLA does not endorse or promote any business entity nor does it make any profit from this media availability.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CLA Phone Meeting Format

(After you call in, and put in the Access code, you will be in a "room" with up to 30 other people on their phones. This is a generic format for what to expect at a CLA phone meeing.)

Hello, I am ______, a clutterer, and your Leader for this meeting.

Would those who care to, join me in the Serenity Prayer.

Is there someone on the line who can read the Clutterers Anonymous Preamble?
(If not, Leader reads from attachment)

Is there someone on the line who can read the CLA Group Purpose?
(If not, Leader reads from attachment.)

Is there someone on the line who can read the CLA How It Works and Twelve Steps?
(If not, Leader reads from attachment)

Is there someone on the line who can read the Tradition of the Month and the Twelfth Tradition? (If not, Leader reads from attachment.)

Will everyone who cares to, join me in Identifying Ourselves, sharing our first names and where we are calling from?

Now I'm going to read the Announcements specific to this Phone Meeting:
Phone Meeting Etiquette (Leader reads from attachment).

I am very pleased to introduce our Qualifier for this meeting, ________, who will share her Experience, Strength and Hope with us for 15 - 20 minutes. (What it was like, What Happened, What it is like now.)

Treasurer's Report:
There are no dues or fees for CLA membership. There are expenses associated with this phone meeting. Rental of the phone bridge is $12 per hour so we need to ask for Seventh Tradition donations so that we can pay the $48 or $60 a month to maintain this meeting. (Treasurer/Leader provides Treasurer's Address - see attachment - and donation types allowed [cash, checks made out to "Cash"].)

Are there any CLA-related Announcements?

Is there anyone Counting Days of CLA-Basic 4 Abstinence?

I am going to ask Available CLA Sponsors or Buddies to identify themselves and give their phone numbers - slowly! If you need a sponsor or Buddy or phone numbers, please listen carefully and write the numbers down. We will not be repeating them. However, the meeting will close a few minutes before the hour so that people may exchange numbers again at that time.

I'm going to Open the Meeting now, to positive pitches on CLA abstinence. Ten Minutes before the hour we will share tips and goals. Who would like to speak first?

We'll go around the room now and Share a Short Tip that has helped us this week.

Would everyone who would like to Share A Goal For The Week.. It is suggested that the goal be small, i.e. sewing on a button, so that we can keep the commitment! If there is still time, we can have more sharing.

Would those who care to, join me in the Serenity Prayer.

"Keep Coming Back, It Works If You Work It, So work it because You Are Worth It!
Give a Lot of Love!"

CLA Phone Meeting Etiquette

There are daily CLA Phone meetings to attend. There a few guidelines to help the phone meeting run smoothly.

· If you have one, please use your phone’s mute button, except when sharing. Otherwise press *6 to mute and unmute (Star + 6).

· If you are on a cordless phone, please sit near the base of the phone to eliminate static. If your battery is low, we will all hear a constant beeping.

· You are at a CLA telephone meeting. Please do not do other things while at the meeting. Background noise is very distracting. (There are up to 30 callers on the line at one time.)

· If your location becomes noisy (children, pets, visitors, etc), please hang up, move locations, and call back from a quiet location.

· Some people breathe 'heavier' than others. Most heavy breathers don't realize it. Please use your mute button, or hold the mouthpiece away from your mouth and nose unless you are speaking.

· Do not put your phone on hold during the meeting. This often causes beeping, ringing, or even recorded messages to interrupt the meeting.

· If there is an echo, static, or other interference when you dial into the phone bridge, it is probably your phone causing the disturbance. Please hang up and try another phone, especially if you are using a mobile phone.

By group conscience, the leader (and only the leader) is empowered to interrupt the phone meeting at any time to address distractions.

Berkeley Clutterers Anonymous

You are cordially invited to join us in person!
North Berkeley Clutterers Anonymous Meeting

Monday evening 7:15-8:30 PM

Tuesday morning
10:00 AM sharp until 11:15 AM

Epworth United Methodist Church
1953 Hopkins Street
Berkeley, Ca 94707

Directions to Epworth:
Epworth United Methodist Church is located at 1953 Hopkins Street at Napa Avenue, near the south portal of the Solano Avenue tunnel.

By Public Transit:

AC Transit local routes 43, 9, and 7 stop at the corner of Hopkins and Sutter (Shattuck Avenue), near the south portal of the Solano Avenue tunnel. (Route FS provides TransBay service, weekday commute hours only.)

From there, it's a one-block downhill walk to the church. Route
15 stops at the corner of Hopkins and The Alameda (MLK Jr. Way), near the North Berkeley Branch Library. Walk uphill on Hopkins past Milvia - the church will be on your left.

Transfer to the 43, 9, and 7 buses at the Berkeley BART station. (Route 9 no longer stops at North Berkeley BART.)

On Your Bike:

The northern end of the Milvia Street Bicycle Boulevard intersects Hopkins Street, just a block from the church.

From Major Highways:

From the Eastshore Freeway (I-80) take the Gilman Street exit and continue eastward until Gilman intersects with Hopkins. Turn left and proceed uphill on Hopkins. You'll pass Monterey Foods, MLK Middle School, and the North Berkeley Branch Library on the way.

From Highway 24, take the Tunnel Road exit, and proceed west on Ashby Avenue to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. Turn right on MLK, drive north for about two miles, then right again on Hopkins.

First Tuesday of the Month: Business Meeting
Second Tuesday: Speaker Meeting
Third, Fourth, Fifth Tuesdays:
CLA Literature

Our blog at exists to achieve the goal of the 5th Traditon: "Each group has but one primary purpose; to carry its message to the person who still suffers."

We have a Google Group for email discussions!
Group email

Google Group

Isolation and shame are two major factors from which many clutterers suffer. Sometimes it takes a long time to really see improvements in our physical clutter and our thinking. We welcome you! You are taking a bold step forward and you are not alone! Remember: Progress, not perfection! The information posted here, the tools, readings, phone meetings and resources support us all in our process to recovering from cluttering.