Sheila Chandra

Sheila Chandra

What if I’m addicted to clutter?

Most people with cluttered homes think that letting it build up is the easy bit. Actually, that’s not true. It’s true that not being disciplined when making decisions about letting clutter into your home is easy, and it’s true that opting out of a decision about where to store a particular item is easy. But it is far from easy to try to function well and keep to deadlines in a space where all your possessions are getting in your way, sometimes literally…

Living with clutter is not easy…

Think about it. Living in a space where you’re tripping over things piled up near counters or cupboards or beds is far from easy. Not being able to find the phone or your keys or your diary or a pen and scrabbling around trying to work in an environment like that is far from easy. And trying to make dinner on a kitchen counter that’s crammed with jars or recycling or equipment just feels draining.

Clutter can be an addiction

Some clutterholics are just people who don’t know how to be organised, but some are actually clutter addicts. And like most addictions, it feels easier to keep going with the thing you’re addicted to, than to change. What most addicts who can change their habits discover as part of the process, is that they were actually very good at ignoring the things about their addiction that didn’t feel so good. 

Clutter addiction is often about fear of making decisions

Clutter addicts specifically, are addicted to putting off decisions about what to do with their possessions, so they make a default decision that they need to keep pretty much everything. They hate making those decisions so much, that this feels good to them. And they are great at ignoring how awful and draining it feels to live in a space that hinders them in their tasks every day and on every level. They become so good at this that there’s really no incentive for them to change, or even find out what the root of the problem is. Often, this fear of making decisions is reflected in many other areas of their lives too, which may also feel outdated or ‘stuck’ rather than vibrant.

Making decisions about clutter empowers you in other areas of your life too

When all those feng shui experts tell you that you’ll feel better if you clear your clutter, they’re obliquely referring to the fact that a clear out helps you to be better about making decisions in your life for a while afterwards. The way to make this feeling last (and to stop amassing clutter at all) is to start gaining confidence and trust in your ability to make decisions in general.

Small decisions about clutter, such as what to throw away, or what to refuse to allow into your space, are a great way to do this because they’re a good way to ‘warm up’ to making larger life decisions. They can also help you to get into the habit of making small decisions quickly and as you go, so that your life flows more freely. No decision is ‘the perfect one’ but most of them are good enough to keep us going in the right direction, rather than slipping backwards by refusing to make any decision at all. Dealing with your clutter can help you to learn that lesson more easily.

If you find yourself unable to make decisions about your clutter or your life, you might benefit from some coaching. Contact me to learn more about how I can help you…

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