I came across a program on TV the other day about clutter and learned a few interesting things. It wasn't about just clutter in the house or office, but more about clutter in the soul. Often the two go hand-in-hand. In fact, the main point was that clutter usually causes problems within the soul, ...or vica versa. Since I'm endlessly fascinated with human behavior and psychology and all that jazz, I found the program very fascinating and insightful. I actually took notes! How weird is that? Now I have a few more sticky notes on clutter cluttering up my desk.
I'm really glad that TV seems to be giving a lot of attention given to this issue these days. Here's some interesting points I garnered from the program:
- Clutter is LITTER - It is pollution plain and simple. Cluttery people do not see (what everyone else can clear see) that he/she is polluting their own environment. It is offensive, unsightly, and unpleasant. Subconsciously it may "stink" or even register as foul or dangerous in the mind of a visitor, not unlike taking a trip to a garbage dump or a trashy side of town.
- Clutter Diminishes Clarity - Like dirt on a windshield, clutter will decrease your ability is see and focus on what is important. It can even create blind spots and cause you to miss your turn or even have a wreck.
- Clutter Robs Valuable Time - It takes time and energy to dig through stuff to find what you need. Or if we are talking about the soul, it wastes months or even years of years having to dig through disorganized priorities, principles, wrong-thinking, and all the other stuff that clutters up the mind.
- Clutter Drains Energy and Creativity - By the time you are finished dealing with a mountain of insignificant crap, who has the energy to be creative?
- Clutter Impedes Movement or Progress - Whether you are talking about clutter in the mind or soul, too much junk in the way is going to slow you down. Waaaay down! In fact, it can even slow you down to the point you wake up dead one day and realize you've just wasted most of your life on nothing valuable.
- Clutter Detracts from Efficiency and Effectiveness - Just like getting through an airport with a carry-on, you can move much freer, faster, and stress-free through life if you are carry less baggage.
- Clutter Exposes our Mess to the World - Our outer environment is a reflection of what's going on inside us. Clutter is often a visible manifestation of a compulsion, self-absorption, or an attempt to fill an emotional void. Don't want anyone to know your business? Then don't be a clutter bug because otherwise you are hanging a sign around your neck that says, "I have dysfunction in my life."
- Clutter is a Talisman - Think you are more sophisticated than someone that believes in charms and magic? Think again. Clutter is usually all about possessing something that has power that you "might need someday" to rectify a situation, or it may possess great emotional power that conjures up feelings of love and sentiment when clutched.
- Clutter is Valued junk but Discarded People - People that clutter tend to see items of great value in a pile of trash and disorganized junk and therefore keep it all. But they tend to rarely treasure their relationships with people and see nothing but fault or intrusion. Clutterers will collect junk like a priceless idols of gold, but dismiss people as if worthless trash.
The main point of the TV program, however, was that clutter interferes with relationships. Sometimes cluttery people send a very clear message to the other people in their life: preserving, storing, nurturing, and valuing my stuff (whether it actual stuff, or time and space), is far more important than preserving my relationship with you
. You are down the list somewhere. Maybe not completely devalued
, but certainly diminished
in importance. The unspoken message continues with instructions: "If you want to be in a relationship with me, you must accommodate and schedule your time with me around my clutter just as I do. If you don't like it, then there is the door... um, just be careful not to trip over those boxes and piles of magazines and laundry on your way out. Sorry sweetie, I'd love to spend time with you, but it is my way or the highway. Adios if you disagree
Most of the time the clutter-bug doesn't even realize he/she is sending out the message, and the recipient doesn't consciously hear it, but nonetheless it is felt and received.
As the program continued, the host defined "Soul Clutter" as a collection of 'junky' emotions, habits, history, values, beliefs and principles that fill up your mind and daily life and impede you from enjoying your full potential in relationships, personal, and professional life. I found that interesting so I went to Thesaurus.com and found these additional tidbits on the word "clutter":
- Synonyms: "Chaos, confusion, derangement, disorder, hodgepodge, huddle, jumble, litter, medley, melange, muddle."
- Antonyms: "calm, harmony, normality, order, organization, quiet, system"
The program also went on to describe the FOUR different types of clutter as defined by Teri Lynn Mabbitt, a professional organizer in Denver:
- Technical: Actual collection of stuff that fills up storage space and spills over into living/working space.
- Life changes: Clutter caused by a new baby, a death in the family, a move or anything responsibility or demand on your time that has thrown a life out of balance.
- Behavioral/psychological: Clutter caused by depression, attention deficit disorder, low self-esteem or lack of personal boundaries.
- Time/life management: Clutter caused by the need for better planning.
Even our conversation can be littered with clutter. If you are trying to share information or an idea with someone else, the message can often get lost in a confusing mess of descriptions, questions, and lots of other unnecessary verbage. More information can be found here: Project-Presentation
Good stuff! Great program. Who knew weekend Television could be so educational?
Want to learn more? Check out these links I found through Google. Some profound insights here...
Top 6 clutter excuses:
- 'If I get rid of this [sentimental object], I'll feel guilty'
- 'I might need this some day'
- 'I think this brooch/chair/knickknack might be valuable again'
- 'If I move the bills off the table, I'll forget to pay them on time'
- 'I want these shoes to go to a good home, but Goodwill is out of the way.'
- 'I want to de-clutter, but I can't get motivated and I don't have time.'
Two more good links:
- Top 6: Here's another list only shorter and more to the point.
- Sink Reflections: Highly recommended!! 4 1/2 stars out of 5 on Amazon. Perhaps the best book ever written on the topic of clutter. I love her acronym C.H.A.O.S (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome).
And even more links. Warning: these are harsh!
Not for the faint of heart or conflict avoidant:
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- Clutter is an orgy of consumption. Hoarders are gluttons. Just like an over-eater, the glutton will craves stuff, feeds his appetite through constant consumption, and stores the excess junk the same as our bodies store excess fat.
- Clutter is a type of talisman: The objects clutched are held as a type of "charm" in case of future need.
- It's not about stuff! Ouch! This article describes clutter as a means for a person to hide, evade, or avoid dealing with soulish issues. It also says clutter is a sign of a lack of faith that God or Life will provide what you need when you need it. It also describes clutter as a clear sign of rejection of others and relationships.