Have you ever found yourself wondering why you are always late or why you can’t find your keys daily  or maybe you just can’t seem to get out of a funk? Believe it or not, but the answer is usually due to your home surroundings. Most of us shudder when we hear the word ‘declutter’.

Why do we react to the word ‘declutter’?

I believe, it is because we get overwhelmed. Overwhelmed about the idea of going through the papers or stuff that have accumulated on our desks over the past 4 weeks. Or maybe we have that ‘room’ that is a catch all and one doesn’t really have time to go through it; after all there is always something more pressing to do. Or perhaps we are concerned that we will have to get rid of or throw out the treasures that we have found along the way.

Having areas like this in our life causes subconscious anxiety and unease, and over a period of time can cause insomnia, guilt, and a feeling of hopelessness.

So let’s talk about Clutter.

What is Clutter exactly?

Clutter in the simplest terms, is the gathering of items in one place that hasn’t been looked at or sifted through for a long period of time. The first time my husband suggested that I declutter my sewing room, I had a full-on temper tantrum.  In my mind, to declutter meant to throw things out, so I got very defensive and unreasonable. When the dust settled and it was safe for my husband to talk to me again, he gently re-approached the subject to find out why I had been so explosive. With discussion and tears, I began to understand that my definition of the term ‘declutter’ was not the same as his. My understanding meant to throw things and his not so much. But rather find a home for each item to clean up the space. And with all clean up, there inadvertently always are items that do get thrown away or passed along to an agency that can reuse it for someone else.

When I have been asked to assist someone with their decluttering, I always tread carefully as I don’t know what that person has been through or where they might be emotionally at that moment. This process always hits trigger points of the emotional kind.  It is truly important to take the time and care on this decluttering journey not to rush or push a person too far. It is important to be compassionate but firm in remembering that with clutter one will always find emotions of all kinds and we must honor all thoughts and feelings.

Three Questions?

So, to move things along I always ask these 3 questions: Why do I have this? Would I buy this myself today? What purpose does this item have? This simple step helps determine the actual need for any items that may have been collecting dust. If the item holds an emotional statement as in a gift from a loved one and the inclination is to keep it, I always encourage all such items be put on display of some kind. This creates a point of interest or a conversation starter that gives opportunity to truly enjoy and honor the memory.

With spring approaching now is a good time to take stock of the areas that require some ‘finding’. If there is still a feeling of overwhelm, I recommend starting in one room and making your way through it first. This gives you a chance to close the door and take a break. Start small. Before you know it, you will be tackling the bigger areas.

And remember, be kind to yourself. It has taken a while for your clutter to build up, it will take a while for you to reduce it too. Good luck!

I am so proud of you!