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Is Your Clutter Clinical?

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Is Your Clutter Clinical?

One woman has her attic packed so tightly that she wonders if someday she’ll come home to find all that shit stuff on her living room floor. Another swears that the cabinets in her kitchen are holding her favorite cookware hostage. She won’t let her daughter open the coat closet for fear that the landslide of this-is-so-handies, here-for-nows, assorted-what-nots, and i-remember-whens might flatten her only child. Meanwhile, another swears she’ll dispatch a SWAT team to rub me out if I ever show anyone the pictures she took of her house this morning and emailed to prove that she has clutter.

We are living beyond our means. Yes, I said beyond our means, just like the federal government (in America, at least), spending more than we have to spend. Only instead of money, we’re overspending our space. I once believed that I needed space to hold my stuff, that if I had more stuff than would fit in my space, I could get more space. It meant a bigger places, more closets, more cabinets, more storage, and if that couldn’t be attained… the whole off-site storage industry popped up to reinforce that it’s not just normal but often necessary to possess more than our space will hold.

I since learned that my space is for living my life, not just storing my stuff, and all that stuff was keeping me from actually living in my space. I spent so much time managing that stuff that I wasn’t managing my actual life. Yesterday, a friend said, “There’s so much stuff in this space, I don’t have room to have a party or paint with my kids or dance. … There’s no room for us to play!”

Instead of playing, we’ve been played. That thing we were doing all this time wasn’t playing or living or loving or healing at all. They call it shopping, and beyond the basics, it’s essentially a mind-numbing waste of precious resources (think time, money, energy, attention, and perhaps most importantly in this conversation, space). Shopping is mind-numbing, which we attempt to use to distract ourselves from the realities of fear, pressure, unmet needs, and whatever else ails us. But, look around. Is it working as well as you hoped?

I bet the manufacturers, retailers, marketers, and advertisers of the world released a massive, collective sigh of relief on the day that whole off-site storage thing took off. Our houses were full to the brim and the banks wouldn’t let us buy bigger houses because we’d shopped all of our money and credit away. It looked as if the shopping spree may actually finally be coming to an end but thank goodness they came to the rescue. Now, we just outsource our stuff, instead of actually dealing with it.

We make room in our kitchen by moving not-so-regularly-used kitchen stuff to shelves (or not) in the garage, space that became available when we took the not-so-regularly-used garage stuff down the street to Pay Us To Babysit The Shit You Don’t Need Anymore, LLC, or whatever that place is called.

Next: Lots of you are Sick of Being Stuck…

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Read more: Feng Shui & Organizing, Health, Home, Mental Wellness, Self-Help, Spirit, , , , , , ,

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Christy Diane Farr

Christy Diane Farr is a catalyst. If that sounds like something you want more of in your life, visit 'The Greenhouse' at and join the Wildflower Evolution on Facebook.


+ add your own
6:17AM PDT on Jul 6, 2013


11:47AM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

I find I have to be in a "mood" to really de-clutter. When in that "mood" I have to act fast and ruthless and not stop for anything until it is done. I hate getting rid of books and anything fabric.

4:52AM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

Some people are minimalists and live in a spartan environments. Others are hoarders and one has to mountain climb over the piles of boxes on the floor and search for an inch of free space on the bed, others are either creative or restless souls who change their living spaces every few months before they are hit with the itch yet again.

I like the amount of clutter that I have, small sparkling geodes, prisms that bring colourful light from the windows, pussy willows here and there, an old piece of a wasp nest nestled beside a pine cone, an olive tree mortar and pestle and the cat that owns me who purrsides over everything either giving it her paw of approval or tossing it off the desk and onto the floor for her disposal.

7:55PM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

What superb timing! I was just writing yesterday about how much I need to de-clutter and organize, and then today I stumbled onto this article. Honestly, I like a little bit of clutter and find it sort of inspiring, but I also like to be able to walk to my bed. My clutter has crossed a line. I have stacks of books everywhere and the remnants of my college dormitory still have to be sorted through even though I graduated months ago. I would like to move to another state, but I can't possibly bring all of this rubbish with me. Relocating is my motivation for clearing out the excess stuff.

3:32PM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

Realizing that donations of clothes, books, shoes, etc... could be a tax write off helped motivate us to clear out some of our crap!

1:06PM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

Great article! Thanks for this!

3:55PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

i would hate to live in some of the cluttered homes i see many people living in.

i saw a doctor on tv once say he can tell a person's health before examining them by looking at their wallet or purse. someone who keeps either cluttered generally tends to have the same attitude towards how well they take care of their bodies. i also find people with the most cluttered homes are also unhealthy.

2:37PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

I usually go through my stuff/clutter once every so often and get rid of stuff I don't need.If people are getting rid of things it would be great to freecycle or donate to charity,up to you but would help others out.

2:36PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

I usually go through my stuff/clutter once every so often and get rid of stuff I don't need.If people are getting rid of things it would be great to freecycle or donate to charity,up to you but wiuld help others out.

9:27AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

Thank you

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