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11 reasons you have clutter

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about the reasons we have clutter.

Try as we might, we all have some clutter in our lives. Understanding the reasons why we accumulate so many things can help us turn it around and begin to reduce clutter.

1 . You’re not sure what clutter actually is.

Clutter, as defined by Merriam-Webster is, “Scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness. A crowded or confused mass or collection.”

2. You can’t resist a sale.

Do you ever buy things you already have? You may buy things in bulk because you think you’ll use them, but then don’t. Often you take advantage of items that are on sale that you think you might need, but never do.

3. You don’t know how long to keep things before throwing them away.

How long do you keep clothing that you never wear? Are you keeping food, makeup or prescriptions past their expiration dates?

4. Once you decide to get rid of things, you are not sure how to do it.

Do you know about where the closest Goodwill, Savers or Salvation Army is located? Are there drop-off boxes near your home? Vietnam Vets of America makes regular pickups around town. You can visit their website and sign up to have them come and pick up usable items within a week or two.

5. You have a fear of change.

Change, good or bad, is always hard and takes adjustments. Once you have less clutter, you will appreciate the new methods and hopefully will keep it going.

6. You had a life changing event.

A death, divorce and even marriage or a new baby can turn your household upside down. Going through someone’s belongings after a death can be emotionally tough. Divorce can be just as painful. A new baby or a new spouse can take over a part of your home that was used for something else in the past. These adjustments happen and the longer you wait to clear out the space, the harder it gets.

7. A sentimental attachment keeps you from getting rid of things.

Just because your grandmother passed down something to you, or your sister gave you something for your birthday, doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever. This is especially true if you don’t particularly care for the piece. Don’t become emotionally attached to objects. It doesn’t honor the person who gave it to you.

8. You have hobby clutter.

We all go through phases where we are really into a hobby and then the interest fades with time. Even though the hobby may have cost you a lot of money, keeping these things around can cause guilt about not using them. Hobbies can take up a lot of space. Clearing out those supplies can give you space to do what makes you happy today.

9. You don’t have enough room to put everything away.

All of your belongings need a place where they can be put away. If there isn’t room for your things, purge some objects that you no longer need and make space for the things you love.

10. You don’t know where to begin.

Every journey begins with the first step. Pick something small and easy to start. Break the big jobs into smaller tasks so they don’t seem as overwhelming.

11. You don’t have a system in place to deal with clutter.

When you have a system for organizing and decluttering, it is easier to deal with paper piles, clothing, shoes, kid’s toys and everything else. If you need help, contact me. I’m happy to discuss ways we can work to reduce and manage clutter.

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