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.

Reasons to Stay Cluttered: The Shadow Side

We want to get organised

We want to declutter

Our gut tells us it would help us in our lives and business

But yet ….. we find it impossible and we delay

We put it off

We get overshelmed at the very thought of it

We tell ourselves its not that important

Why is this?

Its because there is always a shadow side.  A side where not doing it is benefitting us in some way.

We all have shadow sides and its in the integration of our shadows that we can become free of our limitations.

When we don`t act when out gut tells us we should there is always a hidden benefit to carrying on just as we are.

Your shadow side will have a hidden agenda

Your shadow may whisper like this into your ear:

“I can do what I want and I like doing what I want.  It’s my mess and I like having it like this.  Nobody can tell me what to do.  I do what I want and that includes keeping my clutter.”

“My things make me feel safe.  I wouldn`t be me without them.”

“I don’t want to look after myself. I love being irresponsible and revelling in my chaos.”

“I don`t want people in my home.  If I`m cluttered they can`t come.”

“Clutter means I don’t have to try. I like not having to make so much effort.  I can`t progress my business because I have too much clutter. My clutter means that I can`t really try.”

Listen to your Shadow

Yes, your shadow has something to say and its important to listen.

I`ve know people to ignore their shadow, declutter and then within a couple of years find themselves in exactly the same cluttered place again.  That reminds me of the lottery winners with money mindsets that don`t support their new acquisition of funds.

Respect and listen to your shadow.  Listen and take action on its behalf.

What does your shadow need?

How can you help it feel valued?

Listen to your shadow, not so that you can clear your clutter (that`s just a bonus) but so that you can free yourself from her restrictions and drama!

If you would like some support and inspiration to start your decluttering journey then I am here to help.  Click here to find out more.

Recovery for the PDF Clutter Junkie

Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash

Are your devices cluttered with  PDF freebies?

I must confess, I’m a recovering PDF junkie. How about you?

When we are starting in business or wanting to learn more about a topic, its no surprise that we want to download every freebie we can. Learning how to do business online is big business and every one wants a piece of our inbox.    What becomes of those juicy little gifts that give us that hit of momentary endorfins? The inbox gets full and we get into PDF clutter overwhelm.

The Inbox Magic Portal

I like to talk about the Magic Portals of energy in our lives and businesses.  One such portal is the inbox.  Its an energetic gateway into our space.  We give and receive through our inbox.  But let’f face it digital clutter can be an issue for many of us.

PDF’s are a particularly interesting part of our digital clutter.  They can be a modern day  super drug for the business entrepreneur.  Very addictive, particularly for the addictive amongst us.  Let’s face it, who doesn’t want a little gift in their inbox every day?

I love that feeling to be honest.  That little rush of excitement:

  • What will it be like?
  • Will it be useful?
  • Will it answer my question?
  • Will it help me?
But sometimes I have felt like a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter.  Hoarding nuts for the winter and then finding that there aren’t enough hours in the day to eat all the nuts or enjoy them.  But there are all the nuts, taking up all the space in the nest.

What can you do about PDF Clutter Overwhelm?

After many years of digital hoarding, I sorted out my PDF clutter overhelm this past month and this is what I did:

A PDF Sabbatical

I’ve stopped signing up willy nilly.  This has been as hard as stopping biting my nails.  With such targeted Facebook ads it was hard to control the ‘sign up’ urge.

If you are finding it tricky, just start a day at a time ….. literally.  Just say to your self ‘today will be ‘sign up’ free!’ And take it from there, one day at a time.  Currently I will only download something that is directly linked and useful to whatever my business goal of the month is.  Ironically, this month one of my goals is list building and creating a freebie!  Oh dear.  Lol!

Speaking to the Clutter Buts

The Clutter Buts are the objections your mind makes when you are trying to declutter.  And PDF decluttering brings up just as many Clutter Buts as anything else. When you are trying to stop downloading PDFs this is what the Clutter Buts sound like:

‘Oh, but that might come in really useful one day.’

‘She’s a great coach, I’m sure to learn something important!’

‘There will be new information in there that I don’t want to miss.’

‘I’ll just get this one.’

Ignore the Clutter Buts.  Focus on you, your business, your message and your goals.  That’s what’s important.  The rest is noise that can throw you off track and delay your progress.

When you really need to find information online, it will still be there for you to download when the time is right.

What about the PDFs you already have?

I’ve had a great time this month working through all my PDFs.  My other business goal this month was to declutter everything digital.  Its been amazing and eye-opening.  Also it’s taken some time and a little patience.

Where are the PDFs hiding?

I knew I had a lot of files lurking in unknown areas. My first goal was to search everywhere for PDFs.  There were lots and lots of them, dating back many years.
For this you can just type PDF in your search bars wherever you are looking.  Go through systematically, system by system.  Storage by storage.

Finding the juicy PDF nuggets

The next goal was to delete or store.  This is where I had the most fun.  Because I allocated some time every day for this,  it was easy and overwhelm free.

1) I love the decluttering feeling of releasing things that I don’t want any more.  It’s so liberating!

2) I got to look at all the amazing PDFs again.  Ooops, there goes the endorphin rush again  (but I love to learn so that’s how I roll)!  Aproach this step with caution as you could spend all day imersed in reading and then wanting to impletment all the information.  We are talking scanning here, not in depth reading of everything.

Yes there were a lot but the purpose of doing it was two-fold: firstly to declutter and secondly, and most importantly, to find the juicy pdf nuggets and deal with them accordingly.

Decide on where you are going to store your PDFs

This is a crucial step.  Once you decide where you are going to store your PDFs then you literally start to go through them one by one.

I decided to store everything in Evernote, which I adore, and keep it in a folder named ‘research’.   I tagged each note with the main content topic.

I deleted lots of PDFs of course.  Some contained information that I assimilated a long time ago.  Some where just not very useful.  Others were not relevant to me any more.

But others were … magnificent juicy resources that I intend to get back to when the time comes for me to delve deeper into an area.

If you want help with your digital clutter I am here to gently assist you.  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.

Are you Ashamed of your Clutter?

Understanding Clutter Shame

I am kind and respectful when I’m working with people, helping them to declutter. I understand that it can feel exposing to put it all out there and let someone see your clutter. Sometimes people feel ashamed. That makes me sad because shame is such a horrible feeling.

Banish Shame

Shame has no place in your life. So you have clutter, so what? You want to do something about it but you haven’t yet and that is 100% fine. Shame is a horrible feeling. You don’t need it. You are good enough as you are.

Declutter Shame from the Past

Shame can come from the past. Perhaps from parents who moaned and hated the way you kept your room. They made you feel guilty about yourself and you carry this through now into your adult life.

Clutter Comparitonistis

Shame can come from comparitonitis (comparing yourself to your seemingly more organised business friends and colleagues.)

Sometimes people struggle to show me their clutter because they think I have it all sorted. Let me tell you that I get it. I was once very cluttered and its still an ongoing process. Decluttering is an ongoing thing for me and I like to share that with you in this blog.  Areas in my home and business get cluttered.  My circumstances change and what was once fine then feels cluttered again.

Observing a Perfect Clutter Free World

Things can look very shiny from the outside but we all know that isn’t always reality for everyone. Just like you, there are people who are cluttered but don’t think anyone else is. You watch your fellow entrepreneurs and they look very uncluttered. But are they? Image is important. Its very easy to set up a beautiful uncluttered back drop to record your video but what lurks off camera? They could have clutter too and hate it just as much as you.

Being a Perfectionist

The people who are most ashamed are the perfectionists. They can’t understand how they are in a cluttered state. Sometimes perfectionists procrastinate the most because they let their very high standards stop them from taking action. Understanding this can help the perfectionism release its grip on you and move you from procrastination to action. It does not have to be perfect it just has to get done. Start small and start today. Don’t let your perfectionism stand in the way.

Some People don’t Mind their Clutter

When you feel ashamed about your own clutter this will be almost impossible to understand. But its true. Some people are totally, 100% happy with their clutter. And that is fantastic. I’m not here to change people into copy cat versions of my uncluttered heaven. I’m here to support business women who find that their clutter is distressing and impeding them in some way. But believe me when I tell you that some people function perfectly with clutter and it does not bother them what others think.

Imagine that! Does that help you to reframe your own clutter? Imagine having no shame at all around this! Bliss.

Important Question Alert!

If you had no feelings of shame around your clutter would it actually bother you at all?

Would you feel the need to declutter or would you be quite fine as you are?

As I said lots of people function perfectly well with lots of things in their lives. In fact they ebrace their clutter, its part of their style and identity.  It really is true.  What’s shameful to you is perfectly fine for other women.

If the answer is no to the above question  …… then you need to work on your mindset and not your clutter. Imagine if you cleared that shame out of your system. How would you feel after?  If you want help with this contact me here and I can point you in the right direction.

If you would like some support and inspiration to start you 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.