Many of us are locked in an ongoing battle with some level of clutter in our lives. Most of us are not happy about it. And pretty much all of us have no idea how we even got here in the first place, let alone how to fix the problem.
First things first—It feels like in order to understand how we got here, we need to figure out our relationship to our stuff. So, we present for your consideration 10 “Clutter Personality Types”:
- Pack Rat: I’m afraid to throw anything away.
- Procrastinator: I’ll deal with it later.
- Dreamer: I might need it someday.
- Fixer: I’ll fix it and use it again.
- Gifter: It’s too good to donate, someone I know may want it!
- Cheapskate: But, I spent good money on it!
- Rebuyer: Oops, I forgot I had that.
- Collector: I just love anything with an owl on it!
- Sentimentalist: But, (insert name of special person here) gave it to me!
- Clueless: Who me? I don’t have clutter.
To these, add on what we’re calling a “Clutter Style”:
- Stacker: Clutter is in neat piles or even organized into containers.
- Stuffer: House looks clean, but don’t open that closet!
- Slob: Clutter is hanging out for all to see.
In looking around our home, it’s clear that I’m a Procrastinator/Stacker with Dreamer, Sentimentalist and Fixer tendencies. A couple examples:
There are recipes here that I need to put into Evernote, and articles I’m going to read, and… (Oh hey, there’s the mitten I couldn’t find in with the onions and garlic.)
A lot of what’s on this bookshelf (only showing s small section of it!) is past client projects and old notebooks. I have referred to an old notebook exactly never, but hold onto them anyway.
Liz is a Dreamer-Gifter/Stacker-Stuffer. With her daughters getting close to the age when they’ll move into their own apartments, she finds herself “dreaming” that they will use (insert item here) one day and thinking that it’s much better for her to save stuff to “gift” to them, rather than have to buy it again later. This is all good for the 18 year old, but not as good for the 15 year old, since it means most likely holding onto stuff for another seven years!
As you can see by our self-identified Clutter Personality Types/Styles, the problem is that most of us have multiple personalities when it comes to clutter, i.e. we don’t fit into a neat category, nor does our stuff (we approach expensive out-of-date olive oil one way and yellowing crocheted doilies from our grandmother another). But, it’s helpful to understand what the underlying emotions that drive our inability to declutter our lives.
Take a minute to figure out your Clutter Personality Type/Style and then watch for our next post where we’ll break down each one and share thoughts about how to overcome it so you can start making space for what you love!