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How to Clear the Clutter

Clutter is a problem that plagues many people. It can take many forms, such as piles of junk in your home or workspace, too many unnecessary items crowding your closets, or simply a general sense of disorganization and chaos.

woman sitting down with boxes to control clutter in her life

If you find yourself struggling with clutter and want to understand what causes it, as well as how to overcome it, this article is for you.

There are many reasons why a person might clutter. Some people have a hard time letting go of possessions because of emotional attachment or fear of scarcity.

Others might have a hard time staying organized due to ADHD, depression, or anxiety. Still, others may find it challenging to declutter because they lack the necessary skills or knowledge to do so effectively.

One common reason people clutter is due to emotional attachment. Often, items that we keep out of sentimentality are ones that are connected to a significant event in our lives, such as a wedding dress, a trophy from an important game, or a photo album.

Holding onto these items helps us relive the experience and maintain a connection to our past. However, we need to be mindful that these items might not always be valuable, useful, or good for our well-being.

It is essential to ask ourselves if an object is still serving a purpose and to be okay with letting go of items that no longer bring us joy.

Another reason for clutter is a fear of scarcity. Some people hold onto items because they worry about not having enough in the future. They may also keep items that they once needed but are now redundant, as they have been replaced by newer and better versions.

To overcome this, it is crucial to challenge our thoughts and beliefs about what we truly need. We can reframe our mindset by adopting a focus on abundance instead of scarcity. Knowing that we can always find more of what we need will help us to be more mindful about what we keep and what we let go of.

Contrary to popular belief, clutter is not solely a physical problem - it can also be an emotional issue. When our space is cluttered and unorganized, it can cause us to experience feelings of anxiety and stress.

It is difficult to relax and be productive in a chaotic environment, so decluttering can be incredibly beneficial for our mental health. We can use mindfulness techniques to observe our thoughts and feelings around clutter and identify the emotional roadblocks that might be hindering our ability to achieve an organized lifestyle.

ADHD, depression, and anxiety can also be reasons why a person might struggle with clutter. When our focus is compromised, it is easy for our space to become disorganized, and it becomes challenging to stay on top of everyday tasks.

People with ADHD might need to use different strategies and techniques to make decluttering more straightforward, such as breaking down tasks into smaller steps, using deadlines for cleaning sessions, and working in increments.

With depression and anxiety, negative thoughts and the lack of motivation might exacerbate clutter. A technique that can be helpful is to identify small, achievable tasks and celebrate their completion, no matter how small.

It is also possible that we clutter simply because we lack information or the necessary knowledge. There is no right or wrong way to declutter, but some strategies can be more or less efficient and effective, depending on the individual.

A common mistake for people is to attempt to declutter their entire space all at once, which can be overwhelming and lead to quick burnout. Instead, it is advisable to break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks and prioritize what to declutter first.

Going room by room or category by category can help ease the process and make it more attainable.

graphic poster advising to get rid of clutter for your life

Now that we know what causes clutter let’s talk about overcoming it.

Here are some tips to help you break free from your cluttered space, streamline your possessions, and adopt a more organized way of life:

Reflect on the items you own, and keep only what you love and what serves a purpose.

Keep like-items together and create homes for them, so you always know where to find them.

Learn to let go of items that no longer bring you joy or serve a purpose in your life.

Tackle small decluttering tasks one at a time, starting with the most critical areas or categories.

Create a schedule that can help keep you accountable and motivated when decluttering.

Break down each decluttering task into small, manageable steps and celebrate your progress.

Consider seeking help from a professional organizer, friend or family member.

Adopt new habits that will help keep your space organized, such as regularly cleaning your space or doing a quick declutter every week.

Clutter is a common problem that can have a significant impact on our lives; physically, emotionally, and mentally. Understanding what causes clutter will help us to overcome it.

Be gentle with yourself and remember that mess happens - it is okay! It is important to remember that decluttering is a process and one that requires patience and dedication.

It may not happen overnight, but with perseverance and dedication, individuals can successfully overcome clutter and live a happier and healthier life.


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