De-Clutter & De-Stress, Part 1

A Two-Part Series

With all the media stories related to clutter and tidying up, our awareness and questions about this topic are heightened. What is clutter? Why do we have it? Does it define who we are? If so, how?

Clutter has been defined as “anything you’re keeping around the house (or anywhere, really) that doesn’t add value to your life.” 1

Research states that clutter reveals an inner state of the mind and is merely a symptom of deeper turmoil within.   Stress, overwork, consumerism, debt, guilt, excess, addiction, etc. are some of the surface causes. We find ourselves disturbed by the over-spending, over-entertaining, over-eating, over-working, over-exercising, over-achieving, etc., all round us. This is expressed through our clutter.

Typically, we try to escape this discomfort, either by indulging in even more materialism (i.e. shopping, entertainment, food, etc.), or by attempting to reject it completely (i.e. ascetic forms of diet, fitness, living, etc.). However, our efforts, though valiant, are frequently extreme, and are soon abandoned in frustration.

stressed_womanWe then find ourselves back to the beginning… engulfed by our stuff as a source of coping or comfort.

Agh!   But wait! Surrounded by pretty photos, simple-sounding tips and attractive storage products, we determine to clean up once & for all! Inspiration strikes…but within a week (or less), our pile has merely been shuffled around. (Or, gulp, it may have even grown!)

Sigh. Now what? Often, because it is easier than purging, moving, or addressing the deeper causes of our clutter, we surrender in despair, and leave it…2

Part 2 to follow next week!