There are many reasons why we have clutter and these can vary for each individual. It is very important to try to figure out why you might have issues with clutter because this will help you to be able to challenge the thought process that’s goes along with that and to work through some of the emotional comforts whether they are positive or negative.
These are some of the reasons that the participants in my support group came up with:
– Loss in life – material things as well as people
– Emotional attachments
– Protection – I built a fortress around myself, no one can steal from me, this is my personal space
– Security – people cannot come in so I cannot be hurt again
– Control – our stuff is the one thing we feel we have control of
– Not putting things away, don’t know where to put things
– Shopoholic – wanting to buy things (buying things on sale) – buying too much – escaping other things – socializing with staff at stores
– Traumatic changes – situational, moving, a divorce or death
– Worries about the future – “I might need it later”
– Fear of missing out on information
– Gifts people give you – that you have no use for or don’t love
– Fear of forgetting information if you don’t keep it
So how does all of this serve us? Well, as you can see often there is a lot of avoidance, avoidance of anything that is uncomfortable or unfamiliar which of course is our natural inclination. There is a feeling that all of this keeps us safe, we are comfortable here and it is scary to think about stepping outside of that comfort. Why would we want to put ourselves through anything that is unpleasant? What are the feelings that are buried under that clutter, things you just do not want to look at for fear of what it might bring up for you, anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, memories from the past (good and bad), etc. This work is intense and it is a process. Can you relate to some of the beliefs above? Is there something that you can start to uncover?