Here is the psychology of clutter in a nutshell:
The Six Kinds of Clutter
Just recognizing what kind of clutter it is and having a strategy for tackling it may make it easier to let go. Here are six basic kinds:
1. Sentimental Clutter- If you are attached to it, then it is not clutter...maybe this object is loved. Have too many items you consider to all have sentimental value? Problem.
What to do: Ask yourself: If it’s not important enough for to display, and you don’t find yourself paying attention to it for months on end, it probably doesn’t have the sentimental value you’re assigning it.
2. Gift Clutter- Often we are reluctant to declutter items from friends and family, whether we like the gift, need it, want it, or have room for it. The primary motive for keeping gifts is to not hurt the person’s feelings.
What to do: Try to mentally separate the item from your feelings of the person, and make every attempt to get rid of it.
3. Dream clutter- most all of us cling to the dream that some day we’re going to get back into something we use to love...like crafts etc. And because none of us likes admitting that we didn’t accomplish a dream, our “dream clutter” can become overwhelming.
What to do: As you get rid of this clutter, it’s a lot like giving yourself permission to mark lots of stuff off your “to do” list that you know you’ll never get to anyway.
4. Expensive clutter- So often we keep an object around because we spent a lot of money on it. Throwing or giving it away just seems like wasting money.
What to do: Remind yourself that the past is past and you can’t fix what you’ve done with the money by keeping these objects around. In fact, your bad purchases are costing you an emotional toll by adding to the clutter in your life.
5. Depression Era Mentality- we “might need them some day,” right? But if you haven’t “needed it” in the past few years, chances are you won’t need it in the future.
What to do: Ask yourself how realistic is it to hang on to these things? Can they be replaced if you truly need them? If so—get rid of them.
6. Overwhelming Clutter- we can’t find the desire to move forward because we are overwhelmed.
What to do: Break down overwhelming tasks into small, bite size chunks, to make the task seem less stressful and more doable. Take one step at a time, and don’t think about the whole project.
Here are a few articles to help you get started. Hopefully one of these articles speaks to you and helps you take that first step.
1. The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Decluttering Your Home
2. Declutter 101: Hot to Cut Clutter at Home
3. How to successfully declutter anything in your home!
4. 50 Ways to Leave Your Clutter
Good luck de-cluttering! As the old saying goes, “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions!”