There is one more psychological aspect of clutter that I would like to share before we wrap up this Weekly Wisdom article and that’s finding your own clutter “sweet spot”. Here’s what I’m talking about…
Some people thrive in a very sparse and clean environment with no unneeded item in sight and everything in its place. Others need quite a bit of organized clutter around them to feel calm and comfortable. Most of us tend to fall somewhere in the middle.
It’s important to realize that your house doesn’t have to be Architectural Digest perfect at the end of the day. It simply has to work well for you and your family. This means you don’t have to work from a blank desk or that the books on your shelves have to be perfectly organized by topic, author or size.
If you work better at a desk that includes a couple of family pictures, a notepad and assortment of pens and a stress ball, then go for it. Just be careful that you don’t let the clutter take over. It has a tendency to multiply.
The key is to find your very own sweet spot when it comes to clutter and how much stuff you have laying around. Finding the spot can be a little tricky. To find it, start with a completely clutter-free environment. Spend the time and effort to declutter, clean, and organize until you’re left with a space that’s as sparse as you can make it.
Don’t strive for perfection, just do the very best you can for your personal situation. For example, if you’re living with young children, your house will never look like a model home and there will always be toys around. That’s ok. Give it your best shot and use that as your starting point. If you’re comfortable there, great.
If it feels a little cold and uncomfortable, start adding a few more personal items here and there. Add a comfy blanket to the couch or put a scented candle on your desk. Put a few personal items here and there and see how you feel about your space now. Rinse and repeat until you find your very own sweet spot when it comes to “stuff” and “clutter”. Then do your best to keep it there.
There are two important things you need to keep in mind with this idea of finding your own personal level of clutter. Chances are that what works well for you changes over time. We all go through periods in life where we need more stuff around us to feel comfortable and times when we want things more clean and orderly. It’s part of life and the seasons we go through. Keep this in mind as time goes by and adjust as needed.
More importantly, clutter will sneak up on you. You may have experienced this first hand. You start out with a clean dining room table, put one item on it and before long the table is so covered that you can no longer see the surface.
Clutter attracts more clutter and you have to stay on top of it or it will start to take over. One of the big appeals of minimalism for many people is that they no longer have to worry about clutter taking over. You don’t have to go that far of course. You simply need to be aware of the phenomenon and deal with it as time goes by. Give your home or office a quick scan once a week and see if there’s an area where clutter is accumulating. Take care of it by returning items to the place they belong or getting rid of them. If you find the same spot attracting clutter week after week, see if you can come up with a solution. Maybe there needs to be a new house rule that nothing can be left on the dining room table, or maybe you can put a pretty table cloth and some candles on it in an effort to avoid the clutter attraction.
I hope you’ve found this short exploration on the psychology of clutter helpful. If nothing else, it can inspire you to examine the spaces you live and work in and make you think about how comfortable you are in those spaces.
Getting rid of clutter can be challenging. It’s physically and mentally taxing, but it is well worth it when you get done and find yourself taking control of the spaces you occupy and you get to have more peace of mind and you will find it more time savings having a clearer, more organized place.
Don’t let clutter to rule you. Instead, make smart choices and surround yourself with items that you love and that make your life easier or more pleasant. Find that sweet spot between minimalism and clutter. Not only will you create a more comfortable home for yourself and your loved ones, it will also greatly reduce any stress you might be feeling.
Remember, less is more, but how little you want to surround yourself with is entirely up to you.
I’m Hazel Palache, still not perfect but definitely enjoying life. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to connect with me. Hazel@Liveyourabundantlife.com
I’m Hazel Palache, author, success coach, clinical hypnotherapist, stress management counselor and entrepreneur. If you have any questions I would love to connect with you. Over my 30 years as a Mindset Expert I’ve helped many hundreds of people to change their lives and businesses so they are living a life they love with less stress and more fun. Everything I write about and teach, I’ve been through and come out the other side myself so, although I have lots of training, I speak from vast personal experience.
If you would like a complimentary chat just email me at Hazel@LiveYourAbundantLife.com and you will be contacted to set up a 30 minute session by Zoom or phone. Your choice. There's never going to be a better time than NOW.