Clutter Psychology 101
Clutter can come in all shapes and sizes. For some, it may be a small area that you just can’t seem to get a handle on. For others, it may be a larger space that you have to face everyday or it’s a space that you try your best to avoid. And, for some, it isn’t a physical space at all – it’s time (or lack of time) that clutters up your life. Whatever the situation may be for you, usually clutter is costing you something. Can I tell you a secret: Clutter only isn’t an issue with space and/or time; it’s a psychological issue as well. There are three psychological issues that people face when trying to get a handle on their clutter:
Perfectionism – if you fall into this category, you may feel that you will never get done a project. You may feel that everything has to be done right, or not at all. You may be waiting for just the right person to pass something along. Usually, it all ends up “not getting done.” If you fall into this category, start small and list things by priority. By creating a priority list, you will tackle the immediate items first, and them move on to the others. The hard part: to stop the unreachable perfection. Life is never perfect. My theme song goes like this, “The sun will come out, tomorrow…..” and it always does (even behind the rain clouds).
Passivity – although everyone would love it if we all had magical powers, we don’t. Wishing that something would happen to a space is not going to get that space organized. Again, start small. Decide on one small area of your life that you want to organize (either physical space or time). Be consistent with that small part of your life. Consistency is the key here! By being consistent (i.e.: putting shoes away right when you get home instead of hoping they might just walk over and put themselves away) creates new routines. The more into routine you get, the more automatic things become.
Procrastination - by putting things off, you may be adding guilt to the clutter. If you fall into this category, set a specific time limit for some area you would like to take on. Start with 30 minutes, and then build to one hour. BUT, in this half-hour to one-hour time frame, there are no breaks. No washroom breaks, no drink breaks, no breaks! If you need to, set the over timer, the microwave timer or any other type of timer. You may be amazed when you truly set a chunk of time aside how much you can actually get done. Peter Walsh states that, “Your home reflects your life and you can’t make progress in any other area of your life if your house is a mess.” The mental clutter: tension, anxiety, lack of motivation, will lessen and you will start feeling better about yourself and your clutter issues. Don’t let clutter clog your home or your brain. Take control and live the life you deserve!
Happy Organizing Everyone!
by Sheri Bruneau
© 2010 Get It Together Inc.