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FREQUENTLY ASKED

QUESTIONS
  1. There are no meetings in my area. What do I do?
  2. How do I start a meeting?
  3. Is there a CLA online group, Bulletin Board, or a chat room?
  4. Is there a CLA book?
  5. Is there more CLA literature besides the items listed for sale on the site?
  6. What are the requirements for CLA membership?
  7. What happens at a meeting?
  8. Do you have sponsors as AA does?
  9. Who runs CLA meetings?
  10. Do you allow outside speakers and non-CLA literature?
  11. How is CLA funded?
  12. Do you accept commercial ads on your web site?
  13. Can I download and/or print out the pages from your web site?
  14. Let me know if you get people interested in starting a weekly meeting in my area.
  15. I would like permission to use the name of CLA to start a 12-Step meeting in my area. I have the beginners' packet and the CLA literature.
  16. I started a meeting. What do I do now?
  17. Could I be permitted to start a CLA board at Yahoo Groups patterned on the casual friendly style of my alcoholic groups? The internet group is casual and not a meeting on the web -- everyone attends their home meeting, this is more like a meeting after the meeting!
  18. Who runs CLA?
  19. How do you decide issues if you have differences of opinion about how a meeting should be run?
  20. Do you have refreshments at meetings?
  21. How do we insure that what we say in meetings won't be repeated outside the meeting?
  22. Is CLA a religious program?
  23. How long is the term for meeting officers?
  24. Can we vary the format in the starter kit to meet the needs of our meeting?
  25. I am the spouse of a clutterer in denial. Is CLA open to me? Is there an Al-Anon for CLA?
  26. How do you break through the denial barrier with a clutterer with whom you care about and live?
  27. Do you have a mailing list?
  28. Can you send me your pamphlets?
  29. Does CLA have a defined abstinence and a specific approach to throwing things away?
  30. I'm interested in finding a person I can share with.

 

ANSWERS 

1. There are no meetings in my area. What do I do?
Every CLA meeting was started by someone who needed a meeting close to them. See answer to question 
#2.  QUESTIONS
 
2.  How do I start a meeting?
Order the CLA Meeting Starter Kit from 
CLA Literature Order Form OR send $15 suggested donation to P.O. Box 91413, Los Angeles, CA 90009-1413 to cover cost of the CLA Meeting Starter Kit. QUESTIONS

3. Is there a CLA online group, Bulletin Board, or a chat room?
No, this is the only CLA WSO site.  Other local meetings and Intergroups may have their own web locations.  QUESTIONS
 
4. Is there a CLA book?
Not yet. In the meantime, we use the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book as a guide. About CLA use of AA Literature.  QUESTIONS
 
5. Is there more CLA literature besides the items listed for sale on the site?
There are eight (8) CLA-approved leaflets at present. More are in the development process. Please go to the CLA Literature Order page for more information on purchasing our literature.  QUESTIONS

6. What are the requirements for CLA membership?
"The only requirement for membership is a desire to eliminate clutter." From the leaflet, Clutterers Anonymous, A Brief Guide.  QUESTIONS

7. What happens at a meeting?
Members share their experience, strength, and hope. Meetings have different formats. Some include listening to a speaker, discussing the literature, studying the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions. Purchase the CLA leaflet: Recovery from Cluttering: The 12 Steps of Clutterers Anonymous from the CLA Literature Order page. QUESTIONS

8. Do you have sponsors like Alcoholics Anonymous does?
Yes.

"Sponsors are CLA members who are committed to recovery through the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions. A Step Sponsor leads us through the 12 Steps of recovery. We choose a sponsor who has what we want." 

We also have Buddies. "Buddies are CLA members and helpmates in recovery. We may call them with our daily plan or ask them for help with a project." From 
Tools of RecoveryQUESTIONS


9. Who runs CLA meetings?
The meeting's members elect officers such as Meeting Leader (Secretary or Chair), Treasurer, Delegate to World Service, and Literature person. Giving service to the fellowship is part of our recovery. It gives us a chance to pay back what we have been freely given. "Our officers are trusted servants, they do not govern." From Tradition #2.  QUESTIONS

10. Do you allow outside speakers and non-CLA literature?
No. Speakers must be CLA members. They share how they used the CLA program to recover and their experience, hope, and strength. With the exception of the AA Big Book and the AA Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, only CLA-approved literature is to be used at CLA meetings.  QUESTIONS
 
11. How is CLA funded?
By member contributions only.
"Every CLA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions." From 7th Tradition contributions
.  QUESTIONS

 
12. Do you accept commercial ads on your web site?
No, we do not run ads in our printed literature or on our web site.
"A CLA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the Clutterers Anonymous name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose." From 
Tradition #6QUESTIONS


13. Can I download and/or print out the pages from your web site?
Yes, as long as they are used for your own personal non-commercial use or to refer someone else to our program. Short excerpts can be used for journalistic purposes, provided credit is given to our organization, including CLA copyright.  QUESTIONS
 
14. Let me know if you get people interested in starting a weekly meeting in my area.
We don't keep inquiries or make referrals. Start a meeting by sending for the CLA Meeting Starter Kit. It suggests ways to attract people to your meeting.  QUESTIONS
 
15. I would like permission to use the name of CLA to start a 12-Step meeting in my area. I have the beginners' packet and the CLA literature.
As long as you follow the CLA 12 Traditions you have permission. Good luck with your meeting.  QUESTIONS
 
16. I started a meeting. What do I do now?
Please register it with CLA World Service by filling out the Meeting Information Sheet and send it to us.  QUESTIONS
 
17. Could I be permitted to start a CLA board at Yahoo Groups patterned on the casual friendly style of my alcoholic groups? The internet group is casual and not a meeting on the web -- everyone attends their home meeting, this is more like a meeting after the meeting!
Sure, as long as you post a disclaimer that this is not an official CLA meeting. QUESTIONS
 
18. Who runs CLA?
According to our Tradition #2, "Our officers are trusted servants, they do not govern." The members of the CLA-WSO Board are elected by Delegates from meetings. The officers of each meeting are elected by the members of that meeting. QUESTIONS
 
19. How do you decide issues if you have differences of opinion about how a meeting should be run?
Many meetings hold regular business meetings, for example, at the last meeting of the month. If a problem demands immediate attention, you can schedule a meeting sooner. At the business meeting, the meeting officers (secretary, treasurer, delegate) give reports and members bring up issues on their mind. We take what we call a "group conscience," trying to get a common understanding of the topic and then either agree by consensus or take a vote. QUESTIONS

20. Do you have refreshments at meetings?
That's decided by the meeting members who take a group conscience. Many of us feel that refreshments are a distraction. Those who want refreshments often have fellowship at a nearby restaurant before or after the meeting.  QUESTIONS
 
21. How do we insure that what we say in meetings won't be repeated outside the meeting?
You can't, but you can inform members of this by putting up a sign where members can see it and/or reading a statement saying: "WHAT YOU SEE HERE, WHAT YOU HEAR HERE, WHEN YOU LEAVE HERE, LET IT STAY HERE."  QUESTIONS
                 
22. Is CLA a religious program?
CLA is a spiritual program, based on the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. We believe that we are powerless over our clutter and that our recovery comes when we surrender the self-will which has brought us to our desperation. We then turn our life and our will over to a Higher Power, a power greater than ourselves. We each choose how to define Higher Power. All clutterers, whether they are religious or not, believers, atheists, or agnostics, are welcome at CLA. 

"The only requirement for CLA membership is a desire to eliminate clutter." From 
Tradition #3.   QUESTIONS

 
23.How long is the term for meeting officers?
If a weekly meeting, six months is suggested. If a monthly meeting, a year. Rotation of officers is healthy because it prevents burnout and gives members a chance to be of service and pay back what they have received. QUESTIONS
 
24. Can we vary the format in the starter kit to meet the needs of our meeting?
Each meeting is autonomous. The only proviso is that it follows the 12 TraditionsQUESTIONS

25. I am the spouse of a clutterer in denial. Is CLA open to me? Is there an Al-Anon for CLA?
There is no CLA-Anon as of yet. Here are some suggestions:
A. You might start a CLA-Anon meeting.
B. You are welcome to attend CLA meetings to help you understand the problem. 
QUESTIONS


26. How do you break through the denial barrier with a clutterer whom you care about or with whom you live?
A. Work on your own attitude first. Go to a CLA meeting. Read our literature. Work the 12 Steps. Accept that this is an addiction just as real as alcohol.
B. Realize that the cluttering is not meant to annoy and would be the same (probably worse) if you weren't there.
C. Make sure your interest is compassionate, rather than a way to build your own self-esteem.
D. The more you accept clutterers as they are, the more you show that you care about their welfare, the more they become willing to change.
E. Don't expect instant change. Their way of coping by hoarding may be all they know, and change can be scary. Expect relapses -- they're part of the growth process. 
QUESTIONS


27. Do you have a mailing list?
No. CLA membership is anonymous. We do not track, retain or make public any information regarding CLA members. QUESTIONS

28. Can you send me your leaflets?
All of our eight (8) leaflets are available for purchase from our CLA Order Literature page. QUESTIONS

29. Does CLA have a defined abstinence and a specific approach to throwing things away?
Members define their own abstinence and their own decluttering method. For some, abstinence is not having anything they don't need, use, or want. For decluttering methods, see the Tools of Recovery, and the CLA leaflets titled Decluttering Resentment and Declutter Your Mind. The problem is recognizing how clutter prevents us from achieving our life purpose. Once we grasp this, we will be able to organize our decluttering. QUESTIONS

30. I'm interested in finding a person I can share with.
We refer people only to meetings. We have both phone and face-to-face meetings.  If there is no meeting in your area, you can start one. See question #2 above. QUESTIONS

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