Do you have clutter in your home? Most of us do at some time in our lives, so what does your clutter say about you?
This past week I have made time available for clearing some of the “clutter” bulging out of the cupboards in our home.
It’s been an interesting observation to discover that much of the clutter is“stuff” handed to me from other people.
Clothes, crockery etc which ended up shoved in our cupboards… now donated to charity for someone else to enjoy.
However through this process I kept questioning myself:
Why did I even accept the stuff to start with?
Why did I hoard it for so long?
What is the real attachment I have to it?
There are 4 main reasons why we tend to collect and hold on to clutter:
#1 The Bargain Clutter
After all who doesn’t love a bargain, and what a terrific feeling we have at the time when we’ve scored a freebie or a bargain!
But then the item just sits and collects dust and we glance at it and think” why did I buy that?
Because you couldn’t resist the sale, and now it seems you can’t even give it away for a bargain price.
# 2 The “Just In Case I Might Need It One Day” Clutter.
In my cupboards, its the cooking appliances and gadgets I purchased thinking they “might be useful one day”.
Items that once had a purpose but haven’t been used for years. We hang on to these because they provide security – just in case we should ever need them! People who hoard or stockpile things are not fully trusting that when they need something, it will appear.
#3 The Sentimental or Memory Clutter
This is the clutter you have an emotional attachment too – the clutter that reminds you of special people or special times. It holds special memories for you. You continue to store this clutter in your house for fear of loosing the attachment to the memory, even though the clutter may be taking up valuable space in you home.
#4 The Valuable Clutter
You paid an expensive price for this clutter so the thought of letting it go is overwhelming. Now years later, you feel guilty about getting rid of it and refuse to discard it because you know no one will pay your value for it. The reality is you probably made a mistake in buying it but it hurts to think about that.
But........The Mess Causes Stress
People become overwhelmed, drained of energy, non functional and non-productive.
There is the possibility that over time it can lead to feeling mentally exhausted and depressed.
Different types of clutter gives us some insight into the inner challenges we may identify when clearing our clutter.
For instance, if you are hoarding a lot of “memory” stuff that keeps dragging you in to the past , you may have have a tendency to dwell on the past and become depressed.
On the other hand, you may too anxious if you are hanging on to a lot of things “ just in case” you might need them in the future. Both of these types of clutter are preventing you living in the “present” .
So how do you simplify the clutter and bring some balance to your life?
Some Top Tips For De-cluttering Your Home
# A great question to ask is “what do I want from this space?” Learn to value the space in your home more than the item than rests there. ( This is helpful to remember before purchasing anything new as well – ask yourself, where will I place this item? )
# Set yourself a realistic goal “ I am going to sort the top two shelves in this cupboard tonight before I go to bed”. Set a smaller task that is achievable so that you will complete it and feel good about it once it is done
# Visualize what you want the room/cupboard/space to look like once it is de-cluttered. Then be selective about what goes back into it once you start sorting it.
# Begin with one area at a time – don’t try and de-clutter the whole house in one day! Start small with an area that bothers you a lot– it may be as simple as your wallet or handbag for instance. Whatever it is just finish it before you start on the next area.
# As you start, pick up one item at a time and ask yourself if you still like and use the item? Would you buy it now if you went shopping? Don’t become immobilized with indecision, instead continue to keep taking action and working through the items.
# Work for a set time – maybe 30 min . If you need to, set a timer. This way you won’t get overwhelmed or drained with the process. Take a break and then go back for another 30 minutes if need be to complete the task.
Set up a box or a bin for different categories:
Charity: Give these items away with an attitude of gratitude as soon as possible. A gentle reminder to yourself that someone can use this now will make it easier.
Keep: Now you will have much more space to store these treasured items
Sell: be proactive about selling these online or locally. If you leave them sitting around thinking “ I will do this one day” they will just become more clutter!
Trash: Get rid of these as soon as you can if they are not recyclable so you do not change your mind!
Undecided: Put items in this pile . Maybe after you sleep on it for a night you will have made a decision, if not leave it in the box and look at it again in a few months.
To sum it all up....
Indecision in a big part of hanging on to clutter. Once you have cleared an area, resolve to keep it clutter free by having a place for everything and everything in it’s place.
Remember, when it comes to the sentimental clutter, holding on means letting go. Throwing the kid’s baby clothes out does not mean you have lost their childhood forever.
Before you purchase anything new, decide on the place where the item will go. Recycle or throw out whatever you are replacing.
Eliminating clutter reduces your stress levels. Your home should be a sanctuary to come home to so get organised, clear the clutter and make it a stress free zone you love to come home to!
“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”
― Wendell Berry
Prefer to download as PDF and read later?Enter your Email Address