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What is clutter?

Clutter – we all talk about it, our cluttered lives, homes and diaries – but what exactly IS clutter?

I went to the dictionary definition first – and a quick google search later came back with this:-

Definition of clutter

(Picture courtesy of Google)

So, in its most basic form, clutter is anything that’s untidy and messy in your space.

I also believe that clutter is delayed decision – meaning that you need to decide whether it belongs in your home, where it belongs, and action that decision. Only then can you be clutter free.

But clutter also comes in many forms – and two of the main areas that you should consider when talking about clutter are physical and emotional clutter.

Both inside your home, and inside your head can get cluttered all too easily, and if we can’t identify the issue and deal with that, then the clutter will keep coming back no matter how much decluttering we do – decluttering is only the surface layer – you have to understand the underlying issues to make it a permanent change.

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So, let’s start with the more obvious – the physical clutter

My definition of physical clutter is any item that prevents you from living the life you want.

There are many types of physical clutter – lets see if you recognise any of them:-

  • Items that are simply rubbish – awaiting the bin! (out of dates items, broken items, items not used any longer)
  • Items that are out of their usual home, lying around (wrong room, wrong space etc…)
  • Items bought that are not useful or necessary for your life (unwanted gifts, items bought in error)
  • Items that belong to someone else

They are the items that get in your way – that stop you from seeing your home properly – and that you have to work around in your day to day life.

These items need to go – so that you have more space – so decluttering is the answer.

TIP – If you struggle with decluttering, then it may well help to go around your home with each of these specific bullet points in mind. i.e. start by looking for the rubbish and deal with that, then items in the wrong place etc….. – this may break the task down for you and stop you feeling overwhelmed by the experience.

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The next is emotional clutter

Harder to see, but just as negative in your life when it’s there.

It can be anything that is in your mind that stops you functioning to your maximum.

Maybe you are trying to remember everything, maybe you have people in your life that are creating negativity and stress, maybe you have a busy life and can’t relax, or maybe you can’t stop thinking about your physical clutter and thats taking its toll as well – whatever the issue then your mind needs to take a break.

Just as you would declutter your physical space, you need to be able to declutter your mental space as well.

Give yourself room to breathe.

However tidy your physical space is – if your mind is still cluttered then you have only got halfway there.

Try and sit down and think about everything that’s on your mind. Identify the clutter in your head and write it down.

Some things are easier to deal with than others:-

For things that you are trying to remember all the time – start to write things down more – carry around a notepad to jot things down that come into your head – then transfer to your diary etc… each evening – that way you can stop having to remind yourself of things.

What is clutter? Messy Bedroom PictureGet rid of people in your life who bring you down and who create stress, lifes too short for that amount of worry – or try and resolve any issues – it may be hard but its so worth it if you can sort things out.

Basically take action on the clutter in your mind.

When you can identity what clutter is, you are more capable of being able to do something about it.


So – what clutter do you have in your life?

Identifying and understanding the clutter in your own life will help you to work out the best way to deal with it, once and for all.

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2 Responses to What is clutter?

  1. Organise My House Sep 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Hi Stephanie – thanks for the comment – I think every home has clutter in it – thats the stuff of life – its just how we deal with it thats important really – and I'm really glad you like the emotional clutter side of things, so often forgot

  2. Stephanie Arsoska Sep 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    When I saw this I thought my house! We are trying to declutter all the time. Harder with kids, so many toys. Good point about the emotional clutter.

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