Weekly Quick Tips

Seven Lies That Keep You Caught In Clutter

‘Hoarders’ is on television, yet again. It got us thinking about the lies we tell ourselves to avoid letting go of the stuff that fills up our homes and lives. Of course extreme hoarding is associated with mental illness, but more commonly though we justify mounting mounds of matter with the little lies we tell ourselves.

Here are seven of the most common self-delusions we hear, along with a decent dose of reality.

1. I don’t have time

We have no doubt you’re time-poor – nearly everyone today is. But how much time do you lose each day to:

  • feeling frustrated
  • shopping for things you already have, but can’t find
  • feeling bad about your home and inventing excuses to stop people coming over
  • searching the rubble for papers, sunglasses, your youngest child
  • being unproductive because your office is a mess

Think about all the time you lose over a year. You could gain more than that back with just a little daily decluttering. Take 10 minutes to get rid of stuff you’ve been hoarding today. Don’t be surprised if you gain 30 or more minutes in productivity right away.

2. It will be awful, horrible, painful….

The pain of taking action is over quickly, but the pain of living in clutter can be yours to love and cherish for the rest of your life.The truth is, the anticipation of decluttering is far, far worse that the decluttering itself. Don’t believe us?

3. It’s too hard

If you’re talking about organizing your entire home, car, and office all at once then yes, it is. You wouldn’t catch us doing it, no matter how much chocolate you offered us…..  🙂 Don’t even try to organize everything or tackle a lifetime of hoarding all at once. Start with something small- a drawer, a paper pile, a mound that’s starting to evolve its own ecosystem. Do a little each day. It might take you a month, or three months, or a year. But it won’t be too hard at all.

4. I’ll do it later

Um, no you won’t. You know it, we know it, your husband/wife/best friend knows it. Let’s move on.

5. I like it this way

If we had a dollar for every But-I’m-happy-this-way person who, after finally getting rid of things they’d been ‘collecting’, admitted they’d been kidding themselves big time – well we’d have a lot of dollars. This is the mother of all clutter self-delusions. Bust yourself on it, start releasing things that don’t enhance your life, and enjoy denial-free happiness.

6. It’s not that bad

It could be worse, that’s true. But please, dear reader, don’t choose that as a measure for your life. ‘Hoarders’ is not a measure for your life either. If excessive stuff is costing you serious time, money and peace of mind, it is that bad. Start letting go of things you don’t need or love today.

7. I can keep it if I want

This is a completely reasonable assertion – if you’re a preschooler… Otherwise, a more helpful one might be ‘I can be happy and feel good about my space if I want’. Yes, you certainly can – and all it will take is big dose of reality and a little time most days to chip away at your clutter.

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