Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

10 Types of Emotional Clutter

One of the most popular New Year's resolution is to get organized. And much of that relates to clutter. Since January is Get Organized month, I thought you might enjoy thinking about the reasons why we hang on to clutter. I found these on Carole Fogerty's blog. Any look familiar?

"1. Emotional guilt clutter:
Presents and gifts hiding around your house that are not lot loved nor used can be classified as clutter. You simply feel obliged to keep them. If you threw them out you would feel guilty.

Shift your thinking to “conscious sharing” or “re-gifting”. Start this year by “re-giving” your unwanted, unloved gifts to those who really would value and appreciate them and release the emotional guilt energy from your home once and for all.

2. Fear of “lack” clutter:
You keep all kinds of stuff just in case. Just in case you might need it some day, just in case you couldn’t afford to buy another one in the future, just in case you might read it some time soon, just in case you lose weight or just in case for no particular reason. The fact that you haven’t used it in 2, 3 or 5 years generally means its once useful purpose has expired.

To create flow in your life things must be constantly be coming in and going out. You must let go when no longer needed and receive when necessary. Once you block stuff going out of your life ( by holding onto your clutter with scarcity and fear of lack) you stop the flow of abundance.

3. Unhappy relationship clutter:
Keeping stuff from past unhappy relationships keeps a part of you tied to that relationship and tied to the past.

There is absolutely nothing healthy or advantageous from hanging onto memorabilia or gifts from a past unhappy relationship. Be strong, be honest and ask yourself, what is the benefit for holding onto these things.

If in doubt as to your attachment and the draining effect then try the “energy up, energy down” exercise.

4. Depression clutter:
People with depression tend to have a lot of things stored on the floor. Stuff on the ground pulls your energies down and encourages you to withdraw from the world emotionally.

If your floor surfaces are covered with lots of stuff make an effort each day to start moving things up from off the floor. I guarantee it won’t be long until you start noticing a difference in your moods and how your home feels.

5. Addiction clutter:
Compulsive buying for the sake of it and addicted to sales and bargains without any thought simply adds to the congestion and confusion already filling your home and life.

Take an honest look at your stuff and see if you have any addiction clutter floating around. Better still never go shopping without a list, consciously choose what you intend to bring into your home and for every new item purchased throw out at least two. Keep the energy flowing.

6. Need to impress clutter:
You feel your sense of self worth is reflected by the appearance (or value) of the stuff in your living space. You generally don’t like many of your possessions but have them because they are the latest trend, most impressive or even most expensive.

Filling your home stuff to impress your ego or others, simply means you are out of alignment with your life and the energy in your home. This can be as obvious as a bookcase full of books that you never look at or even care about. It simply gives the impression you are well read and knowledgeable.

7. Unhappiness clutter:
Buying stuff to make you feel happy again is a quick fix solution. It does not bring deep long lasting satisfaction to your life and the item you bought only brings happiness momentarily. Unhappiness clutter can then turn into guilt clutter when you realize a few days later you don’t really need it and feel guilty for buying it.

8. Emotional hiding behind your clutter:
Overfilling your rooms, cupboards and home with stuff is often used to hide from the outside world or your true self. It keeps the attention away from you and focused more on the hundreds of nick knacks you have everywhere.

9. Denial clutter:
If you are scared of change then you will have denial clutter. You have a sense that your world may fall apart if you start removing serious amounts of clutter from your home. You may be consistent in throwing out surface clutter but when it comes to a serious clutter busting session to invite wonderful change you consistently tell yourself this item or that possession is not clutter.

Do you really need all those plates and salad bowls in your kitchen or clothes in your wardrobe?

10. Other peoples clutter:
When you look after stuff for other people get clear with how long you are minding it for. Short term is generally fine as you are being helpful. If however their stuff turns into annoyance or frustration then your act of kindness has evolved into energy draining clutter that’s not even yours. Your friends or family need to find other arrangements or put it in storage."

Enlightening, wasn't it?

More on clutter:

Hoarding - There Are No Easy Answers!

The "Do It Now" Mindset

Clutter in Your House or Office Means Clutter in Your Mind


Lowbudget said...

Thanks for this list. I am working on removing a lot of clutter at home and at work in my office.

Terri said...

Have you been watching the show called "Hoarders"? You can tell that many of these people they help on the show have emotional loss issues that they need therapy for. I was struck by one fellow who lost his father and kept the father's van that the father died in from a heart attack.Really helpful and insightful TV show.