Updated: Apr 17, 2020
… and what to actually do about it all! It's probably not what you think!
Most people have some degree of clutter. When you ask people why, most people will say some variation or combination of because they either have too much stuff or struggle keeping it put away. I've gone back to the basic principles to provide a little bit more clarity on why you clutter has actual built up. Once you understand why it's there, you can more successfully create a plan to get rid of it!
“When it comes to clutter, there are four main reasons and each has a different solution: Not enough time, Not enough space, No home, and what I call Broken Window Syndrome (BWS).”
When it comes to clutter, there are four main reasons and each has a different solution: Not enough time, Not enough space, No home, and what I call Broken Window Syndrome (BWS).
Not Enough Time
This is probably the most common one. People know how to put their stuff away, they know where to put it, they just feel like they don't have enough time and life gets in the way.
As an example, maybe the wrapping paper is left out as they dash to a friend's birthday party. Later when they get home they're tired so they say tomorrow it'll get put away.
Tomorrow comes and Tommy needs help with his school project he forgot about that's due tomorrow so you shove it in the closet to make space on the table to help him.
Before you know it, the closet is cluttered, the Christmas decorations are left at the top of the stairs ready to make their way down to the basement "soon", and it's already May.
This is probably the biggest hang up for people because it seems like there is no answer. "There's only 24 hours in a day", "I can't control things like Tommy forgetting his project". I've heard all the reasons, and not just from my clients, but especially from my own mouth!
And guess what? As long as I was telling myself "there just isn't enough time", there wasn't.
The moment I started a serious study of time management and began to just say to myself "there is always enough time and more" (even before I actually started to believe this mind you...) things slowly began to change.
In the future I'll share more about my time management journey and how to take back control of your own time
For now I'll leave you with this thought: Consider, how much time will it actually take you?
Do you really not have 30 seconds to make your bed and instantly get a hit of accomplishment, a rush of stress relief, and greater calm throughout your day? This is where I started, and it changed everything.
Quick Start Tip: Consider, how much time it will actually take you? Do you really not have 30 seconds to make your bed and instantly get a hit of accomplishment, a rush of stress relief, and greater calm throughout your day? This is where I started, and it changed everything.
Not Enough Space
This is another really common one. Many of us, myself included, are often not actively thinking about the space in our home.
We aren't intentional. We don't consider what we want to store there, how much we want in it, how open we want it to feel, how easily accessible we'd like it to be, etc. And perhaps especially, do you consider where you intend to store something and if there's actually enough room there?
Mudrooms/entryways/coat closets. These are a typical culprit of not enough space. We typically think "this is where everyone's coats and shoes can go" and maybe even "there's even a hook and cubby for each person, we'll be so organized". (I'm looking at you especially home builders...)
But then we get frustrated when there are coats and shoes thrown all over the place and it's constantly a disaster.
Not many of us stop and consider is there actually enough space to put everyone's coats and shoes here, and if not how realistic is it to expect everyone to put what doesn't fit here, somewhere else?
Be intention with your space. Accept the limitations of it and use that as a way to empower your relationship with your stuff. It's worth it, I promise.
Quick Start Tip: Be intention with your space. Ask yourself if there is enough room. Accept any limitations of it and use that as a way to empower your relationship with your stuff. It's worth it, I promise.