reasons for your clutter

simply stephen / December 4, 2009


Now that you have got an idea of how to organize your life it’s time to discover why you have clutter. There are several main reasons to get rid of your clutter:

  1. Stress – if you have stuff everywhere it is always in your thoughts. Removing it gives you a chance to breath and relax.
  2. Health – stuff takes time to maintain, it gathers dust and is sometimes toxic. A cleaner, less cluttered environment will increase your health
  3. Time – if you don’t have the stuff or don’t have to take the time to organize and maintain it your time will be free. Free to relax or be productive.
  4. Appearance – an aesthetically nice looking place is more relaxing and easier to share with good company.

Changing your mindset is the key. Not having all that stuff can release your past a free your emotions. It helps you live a healthier life building your esteem, confidence and self worth.

Take 20 minutes to watch the Story of Stuff Video (word of warning, it’s an eyeopener).

The reason I wanted you to look at the video above was to give you a chance to explore consumption in general. Don’t you think it’s time to look at your stuff?

Learning the reason behind your clutter give you a starting point in your quest for a more organized environment. If you can get to the crux of why you have a problem getting rid of stuff, than it will give you a starting point. Here’s some of the objections people have:

  1. Procrastination – I’ll get to it later. Generally, this person leaves dirty dishes, clothes and everything lying around. As things pile up they get overwhelmed, which compounds the problem. Try to rethink – for a busy tomorrow, put it off today. If you take care of those basics, there will be less to do later.
  2. Consideration – Are you being stubborn and childlike? Generally rebellious? If the people you live with want an organized space it is not an unreasonable request. Don’t spite them just because you are not getting what you want.
  3. Sentiment – We accumulate a lot of endearing objects over time. Everything becomes sentimental – problem is too many events happen over a lifetime. Try a scrapbook or creating a memory chest – then release the rest.
  4. Standards – having this means success and happiness but it doesn’t really amount to that. Being perfect can be achieved in stages if you are waiting to find the perfect shelving or the perfect replacement getting started doesn’t stop you from looking for it later.
  5. Security – or rather insecurity is a strong reason for clutter. A fear of limited resources is often the underlying cause – if I get rid of my stuff (even though it’s broken), I’ll never have anything. You might have grown up doing without or hungry Just look around – we have Craigslist, Freecycle, Kijiji, Thrift Stores, Garage Sales and countless people throwing perfectly good things out every day. You can always find it again. If you aren’t using it or if it’s broken fix it or get rid of it.
  6. Grief or Loss – sometimes it’s hard to let go of something that belonged to someone you love. Releasing the items does not mean that you have to release your love and memory for them.
  7. Comfort – some people have a problem with shopping and buying things. It is an emotional response, a trigger to make you feel better. Start looking for comfort in other things and consider the short term comfort does not provide it for the long term.
  8. Frugality – this is often passed on from one generation to the next or for someone that lived during difficult times. It is not wasteful to get rid of your stuff. Think about donating it. If you want to earn something for your stuff, have a garage sale. There are many other people that could use it, so your generosity is a good thing.
  9. Self Esteem – sometimes surrounding yourself with things helps build up your esteem much like comfort buying. This may stem from abuse or a variety of environmental reasons from your past. If you explore the reasons other areas in your life can also be resolved. It will let you start new.

There are many more reasons but looking at some of these will help you discover some of the reasons and give you a starting point.

Spend five minutes writing down why you might have clutter.

Now that you’ve taken the time to explore the reasons for you clutter we will look at some solutions in the future. Come back for some more ideas and help in learning to cope with life obstacles – they are all connected.