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Why Do We Clutter?

Looking back over my adult life, I try to figure out when we accumulated too much stuff. I remember when my husband and I first got married. We barely had anything in our one bedroom apartment. But, some time in the fifteen years we gathered more and more stuff. I know that over that time we’ve held yard sales, donated stuff and taken other stuff to the dump. So, why do we still have so much clutter?

I wanted answer to that question. So, I researched why people clutter and I looked deep within myself. By knowing why I clutter I could then fix it, overcome it or know how to “not do it”. I found four major categories. These categories are Spaces and organization, Guilt, Life changes, and Behavior.

Spaces and Organization

  • When you don’t have enough storage solutions
  • Too much stuff for spaces you do have
  • Or you have the space but stuggle with using the space to its fullest potential

Guilt

  • When trying to determine if you should get rid of an item but you don’t because someone gave it to you as a gift.
  • When trying to determine if you should get rid of an item but you don’t because you feel guilty about the money you spent on it and haven’t used it.
  • You keep an item because it belonged to a family member who is no longer with you.

Life Changes

  • You have a baby. Babies require lots of stuff life a crib, a dresser, clothes, more toys, playpen, bouncy chair, etc.
  • A new family member moves in, like a husband/wife, a mother or mother-in-law, a cousin, etc.
  • Maybe a family member passes away; a parent and/or grandparent. they left all their belongings to you.

Behavior

  • Maybe you have depression
  • Maybe you have low self-esteem
  • Maybe you have ADD or ADHD
  • Maybe you have gotten out of the habit of putting things away when you are done using them.
  • Maybe you struggle with making decisions and/or letting things go.

After my research and learning about these reasons why people clutter, I discovered that I fall under more than one category. We live in a house that is too small for six people. It doesn’t take much for our house to look cluttered and unorganized. Some times I feel guilt about not needing an item I just bought or received as a gift. I’m trying to work on that guilt especially since I know the person who gave me the gift wouldn’t mind if I gave it to someone else who would more likely use it. Over the years, I’ve learned that I get distracted easily. To be honest, I’m pretty sure I have ADD but just was never diagnosed by a professional. This makes it hard to stay focused on getting things done. In my quest to declutter my house, I’ve learned that writing a daily to-do list and scheduling out my day helps me to get things done.

What categories do you fall under? What is your reasons for not having a clutter free home?

Visualizing

Decluttering any space takes time, focus, motivation, and vision. In this post I want to discuss the important of visualization. If doing something is important, like a promotion at work, you visualize that goal. You imagine yourself in that job and what it would mean to your life. Well, why should decluttering your home/life be any different? Decluttering you home/life is a goal. In your mind, what does that look like?

When you are going to declutter a room, a closet, drawers, etc, you should imagine what it looks like. If you are going to declutter a bedroom, imagine the dresser tops clear of clutter. Imagine any chairs free of clutter. Imagine the bed made and free of laundry. Imagine the corners free of clutter. Imagine the nightstands free of clutter and the closet organized and free of clutter. Once you have that image in your head, write it down. Make sure to label what space it is. Don’t be afraid to go into detail.

It is important to visualize what you want because by visualizing it, you set a goal for what you want and a clutter free home/life. The visualization can help you make decisions on what you should keep and what you need to donate or throw away. Having a clear vision/goal can be motivating and create positive thinking.

When visualizing the space you are planning to declutter make sure you aren’t redecorating, that comes later. You want to visualize the room/space with its current decorations or less. Maybe some of the decorations and furniture needs to be donated or tossed. Don’t visualize the room with decorations and furniture you don’t already own. Just don’t add.

When decluttering an entire house, break it down to individual rooms and/or spaces. Some areas may be bigger or smaller than others. For example, you make have a vision for your bedroom but the vision for the closet may be separate goal. The goal/vision may depend how much time you have to devote to it. Next week I will be discussing how to create the perfect plan for achieving you vision/ goals of having a clutter free home/life. Hopefully this post has helped you get a vision of what your clutter free home/life will look like. Comment below on what space you plan to declutter first.