By Amy Anderson:
I've been at war with clutter for a few years now. OK, maybe war is a strong word. Let's say, I've gone to battle here and there over the years. Every now and again I reach a tipping point where it drives me nuts, I demand that all of our surfaces be slanted and I freak out a little, yelling at everyone to clean up their shit (maybe not always in those words) and they do. That one time. And tomorrow, there's more shit. (Poor them because it quietly builds up until I can't take it anymore and to them it just came out of nowhere!)
After I work and work at it and it nothing changes, I eventually give up and decide it's just life, and we are cluttery people and it is what it is (OK, I never said that last part, I hate that saying but you get the gist).
Recently though, say, a couple of weeks ago I think, a switch flipped. I'm more determined than ever. Thing is, I'm evolving. And it's really quite fabulous. I'm realizing that the clutter isn't just about a messy space or too much shit. It's really affecting my level of success, happiness, concentration and creativity. I can do, be and have so much more. Clutter be damned. Maybe you know what I mean? Maybe I'm not alone.
4 Types of Clutter that could be messing with your life:
There are a few varieties of clutter that most of us deal with. Some of us have all, some maybe one or two. I've narrowed it down to 4 main types, which helps when trying to clear it.
Physical- This of course is the obvious one. Junk everywhere in the form of piles of mail on the table, magazines on the counter, books and receipts on the nightstands, toys (in my case the dog's toys) strewn all over the house, as well as our socks that she leaves everywhere, stuff for projects that never got done or got done but everything didn't get put away....I think you know what I mean, the usual stuff. (I don't want to give the impression that my house is from an episode of Hoarders, but it's a far, far cry from a Joanna Gains fixed up Fixer Upper, that's for damn sure!)
Mental- This is the stuff that keeps you up at night. The things that bog you down during the day. The things you don't want to forget like the meeting with the teacher, the wireless bill, the dryer that needs to get fixed soon because 4 people somehow wear 15 people's worth of clothes in a week, and the mammogram that you scheduled over a year ago (what on earth did I do with that appointment card?). And also the things you'd like to forget like that rude thing someone said to you in front of everyone or that birthday that everyone forgot or the jerky kid that messed with your kid and your kid got in trouble for it but it's all been handled but you're still stewing.
Digital- Oh yes, digital clutter is a thing. 2382 emails not deleted (and 3 million junk mail accounts you need to unsubscribe to). 1364 photos on your phone (1/2 of them repeats or totally blurry, ugly or of the grocery list or that random screen shot you sent your husband so he knew what kind of knee pads your daughter needs for volleyball). How about the 13 apps on your phone that you never ever use (maybe even forgot what it is they do).
Relationship- This is people clutter. The toxic friendship, the ex that haunts you. The person at work that tries to wrap you up in the office drama. I'm pretty clutter free in this department but I know many people who could stand to declutter this area (see Facebook memes that people post that make me say "why do you have so many awful people like this in your life, you poor thing!").
Anything hitting home here? You feel like getting some garbage bags and "cleaning house" yet or what? If you're not there yet, I'm thinking it's for one of two reasons. 1. You're just not a cluttery person so you don't have this problem (I'm so envious) or 2. You don't mind it. It doesn't bother you. You can't see how this has any effect on the other areas of your life other than having to quick throw everything into the guest bedroom when it's your turn to host a holiday.
Consider these effects clutter might be having on your day to day.
It's a massive distraction, it aids and abets procrastination. It keeps you stuck in your old ways (and in your old clothes). It messes with your sleep (that mental clutter is a beast). It keeps you in the space of resentment, regret and sometimes fear. It's using up all of your digital storage. And if you want to get a little woo woo (I do), there's just no room for the positive things (feelings, dreams, nicer stuff) to come into your life. You gotta make space for that. Not to mention, that cluttery house might be making life feel even more chaotic than it needs to. A tidy space definitely fosters more comfort and calm. I am learning this. Bit by bit. Ill fitting t-shirt by purse I know I'll never use again.
I'm not afraid to admit, I'm a work in progress (always), but the flood light has been flipped on and I'm moving on it, taking action one small corner/room/file at a time. Even with the few areas I have tackled thus far, I'm already feeling better. My thoughts are a little more organized. I'm sleeping a little better. My goals are getting bigger and all this stuff I've been hanging onto for what? is going!
Are you in need of a major declutter in one or more areas of your life? Tell us your struggles. We're here to let you know, you're not alone!
* Join us for a workshop on this very topic on February 26, 2019 at 7 pm EST (from the comfort of your own home). Let's win this battle once and for all.