Reasons for Clutter and How to Overcome Them

There are many reasons why we might become cluttered.  Do you know what yours are?

I had two main reasons for my clutter:

1) Having lots of things on the go and never ever finishing anything
2) What I percieved of as lack of energy to do anything about the clutter

I used to have lots of creative projects and none of them were completed.  Plus of course, lots of supplies: fabrics, paints, papers, wools etc.

I realised last year that I probably have a form of ADHD which explains a lot in my life, including having a creative, scatterbrained mind which needs routines and systems to function properly.

This needed a mindset shift on my part.  I realised that having all these half completed projects was a real energy drain.  It never felt good that all these ideas never got finished.  I did two things: firstly I got rid of the things that I really didn`t like very much and then made up my mind to complete the rest before starting anything new.

It worked and I keep this up to this day.  At the moment all I have is a cross stitch on the go and that`s it.  If I want to make a present for someone’s birthday then I`ll break the rule, but that`s it.

The second reason for my clutter habit was my low energy: I`ve always been a very low energy person so getting organised just seemed like too much effort.  I wanted to reserve my energy for other things, certainly not for sorting and organising.

What I didn`t realise was that not clearing the clutter was more of an energy drain.  Once it was clear and I had created systems for myself then I had more energy, not less. Again, this was about mindset and about tackling the clutter little by little on the days when my energy was lower.

How about you?

There are so many reasons for the clutter in our lives.  Here are some more which may apply to you:

Issues of time

Too busy – lots of people feel that the reason they have so much clutter is that they are so busy they have no time to dedicate to clearing their clutter. We live in a very busy world  and when a time space clears then we fill it with another activity.

Conclusion: clutter and disorganisation actually make our time issues worse.

We are in a rush –  We go to the wardrobe in the morning to find something to wear……… everything is in a jumble and there’s just too much of it……… we spend extra time scrabbling around trying to find a suitable outfit ………. because it’s in a jumble it’s now creased. We have to iron it. We spend the rest of the day like this. We waste an awful lot of time!

If we spent just 10 minutes a day clearing the clutter we could make some headway. We feel we don’t have the time. It’s a vicious circle. You can break it.

That’s why I often recommend tackling the areas that would benefit you the most. When you begin to see the benefits you will begin to feel that it’s worth taking out the time to get started.

Procrastination – procrastination can stifle us in all areas of our life. In terms of clutter it’s just very visible.

You know what you need to do, you have the time and other resources  but you keep putting it off. Every time you put it off you feel bad about yourself. You look  at the paperwork and say to yourself ‘I must do something about that today.’ Another day  goes by. You feel worse. It’s like a rut. Break the back of it by gently getting into the habit of 10 mins a day. That’s all. Even at our worst we can do that.

Stress – sometimes when we are overstretched we become stressed and then everything is just too difficult to cope with. When you feel like this you need to take some time out before you even begin to clear your clutter. Try and create time for self care.  When you feel more relaxed you will be able to tackle your clutter.

Health Issues

Ill health and disability – Try to enlist the help of others and do a little at a time. You do as much as your health/disability will allow.

Emotional Issues

Lack of self-esteem – you don’t feel good about yourself and your surroundings are just a mirror image of this. You don’t look after yourself, your appearance or your surroundings.  If you have deep seated issues it might be beneficial for you to speak to a professional but in the meantime setting the clutter clearing wheels in motion will make a  positive start on your journey.

Depression – sometimes clients are just plain depressed and depression can be crippling. The best place to start would be your GP. Get checked over and get some help. It’s very  hard to get motivated when you have depression but even tiny amounts of time spent decluttering may boost your reserves.  Any small decluttering action you take will be worth it.

Inability to let go – sometimes we are stuck in the past. In cases of bereavement you may not be able to face your pain and grief and your possessions are a comforting security blanket. Time heals.  Allow yourself the time you need – you will know when you are ready and you can seek help when its time.

Sometimes we are holding on to a former version of ourselves.  An example of this would be holding on to a whole wardrobe of clothes which have not fitted you since 2010.  We change, sometimes this can be hard to accept but its hard to move on when you are living in the past.

Guilt – we often hang on to things through guilt. If we are given something as a gift we feel disparaging and unappreciative if we do not like the item. We feel too guilty to just give it  away to someone who will appreciate it more. When a gift is given it is released with love. It  then belongs to the recipient to do with as they wish. Would you want someone to keep something you had given them even though they didn’t really want it anymore?

Waste – we live in a consumer society where we acquire more things than we actually need.

Throwing things out makes us feel guilty because we acknowledge that there is too much.Its true there is too much and once you have cleared your clutter you will be in control of what comes into your house.In the meantime your priority is to clear the clutter you have to move your energy and life on.

Just in case – we sometimes keep an assortment of things ‘just in case’. A spare kettle – ‘just in case’ the one we have breaks down. If you follow this through we could accumulate double of  everything we own ‘just in case’.

Keeping things ‘just in case’ is about not having the faith that we will be able to have all that we need in the future. A lot depends on space too. If you live in a small flat and you are keeping ‘spares’ of everything you will probably feel very  cluttered and lacking in space.

Knowing your Clutter Reasons

Understanding your reasons for clutter can help.

Understanding the why will help you to create solutions. And for me, that`s what its all about: Simple creative solutions and systems – they make life easier and more fun.

When you are stuck, it`s the first step.

If you would like some support and inspiration to start your decluttering journey then I am here to help.  At the moment I am offering an amazing coaching experience to help get you kick-started.  Have a look here to see how we can declutter together.

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