We’re living in a world consumed with the acquisition of stuff. There are always better deals for things that advertisers convince us we need. Stuff we believe should make our lives easier and better. This can often lead to a home filled with clutter. And, once your home is filled with all sorts of stuff, it’s difficult to prioritize and declutter!
Many people think that clutter is an issue involving having too much stuff, in a space too little and no adequate time to organize them. However, scientific research now indicates that clutter is an inside job. When it comes to clutter, the stuff are not the problem. It’s the mindset of the people, which manifests as a complete mess in the overflowing closets and messy desks. Hence, if we want to declutter our home, we should address our mindset!
Why Do We Clutter?
The stuff we own embody our memories, dreams, and hopes. They show who we believe to be now, and who we plan and hope to be in the future, when our finest self eventually shows up.
Decluttering can therefore evoke a feeling or admission of our failings. For instance, getting rid of clothes that have become too small might make you feel as if you’re admitting defeat in your weight loss journey.
The main reason why we hold onto things we no longer need is fear. The stuff we own give us a sense of status, security, love, and comfort. Letting go of a thing we own might take away that false sense security, which we naturally crave as human beings.
Yet another reason why we have difficulties getting rid of stuff is guilt. Sometimes, we just want to justify our spending. So, we hold onto the things we don’t use or need, because getting rid of them would evoke a sense of guilt and an admission that we wasted money. This can be very difficult to handle, especially if you’re struggling financially.
Lastly, we hold onto stuff because we fear regret. What if you throw something away, but then you happen to need it later? This fear of regret can affect your ability to declutter, even when it’s absolutely necessary.
When Does Clutter Become A Problem?
We all tolerate clutter differently. Some of us are extremely organized, while others are disorganized. Which is normal? When can you tell that you’ve crossed the line between acceptable levels of clutter to problematic levels?
If you can find the things you need when you need them, feel content in your space and not overwhelmed with clutter, then you’re most probably adequately well organized. However, if you avoid being in you space area because it evokes a feeling of stress, if you’re constantly losing items, and your productivity is impaired, then you most likely have a clutter problem.
How To Declutter
The best way to declutter is to do it in phases. If it’s your home, start one room at a time. In each room, categorize all your items into these five groups: keep, sell, give away, trash and undecided. You don’t have to do it all at once, because it can be overwhelming.
Remember, your environment is a reflection of your mental health and your mental health is reflected in your surrounding environment.