Clutter and disorganization can be the result of many things. Most commonly it happens because of a life changing transition such as moving and relocating, getting married or divorced, having children or becoming an empty nester, a career change or even something as simple as taking on more than you can handle.
Often when I begin working with anyone I soon discover a point in their life not long ago they felt in control and they wonder why they now experience a difficulty in keeping clutter away.
Identifying the root cause of your clutter is the first step in recovery. Being able to fully understand why and what has been the reason for clutter helps to establish a plan of action to get you back in control.
Many people have an emotional attachment to their stuff. It could be a pile of unread magazines, clothes that are never worn, outdated electronics, even random items they may “need someday”. This stuff contains some of our deepest thoughts and feelings.
It helps to understand why you save what you save, or things will inevitably pile up again. In some cases, therapists are working along with organizers to help clients confront their psychological challenges.
As a professional organizer, my role goes deeper than making their closets look tidy. It requires a full understanding of their mindset.
Over the last 10 years that I’ve been working with my clients, I’ve discovered there’s a common fear and uncertainty with everyone. It could be physical, mental, emotional, financial and spiritual clutter.
Consider where you’re going to put the new item you just bought or where to save a file you downloaded from the internet? Or how about that special gift your in- law gave you that just doesn’t fit into your decor? You have to decide and manage this stuff.
Clutter becomes a fear that manifests into a physical, mental, and emotional form.
It’s never about the stuff; it’s about why it’s piling up. You can buy container after container and create all the systems you want, but it’s important to understand why you have clutter to really make a change.
How do you start? You start by making decisions. You don’t try. As Yoda said “do or do not – to try is a failed attempt at action.” The more decisions you make now, the less decisions that need to be made in the future and soon clutter begins to disappear.