What is clutter, exactly? The dictionary defines clutter as “a collection of things lying around in an untidy mass.”
In “The Spruce,” Elizabeth Larkin wrote the best article I have ever read about clutter. She defines six different forms of clutter:
1. Clutter without a storage space-Stuff you need, but you haven’t created a place for.
2. Trash Masquerading as Clutter – Unread mail, magazines, expired food laying around.
3. Bargain Clutter (OMG!) – When we can’t resist a good sale.
4. Abundance Clutter – Stocking up can be a favorite activity.
5. Aspiration Clutter – The stuff we buy to appear a more interesting person.
6. Sentimental Clutter – The hardest clutter to get rid of.
Clutter can mess with our psyche when ignored.
According to an article in “Psychology Today,” one study revealed how clutter “compromises an individual’s perception of home, and ultimately feelings of satisfaction with life.” Yikes! Living with clutter has serious consequences.
As a real estate professional and an accredited stager, I have been through thousands of homes during my career.
The only home I have ever seen without some measure of clutter is a vacant one.
I remember vividly some clients who have moved to solve their clutter problem (or that of a spouse). Did you get that? They sold their home and bought a new home to get relief from the pressure of their clutter. (This includes the garage, which many people use as a storage unit!) That is desperation.
While I’m happy to sell your house, this is an expensive solution, especially if you love your current home.
I have a pretty organized house. I don’t keep anything lying around. Imagine my surprise to find that I harbor some clutter, too.
We all have explanations for our clutter, too.
“It’s valuable. I’m going to sell it. I might need it. I’m going to read it. I’m going to put a box together for the Lighthouse.” Yes…me too.
I am an avid learner. I have books, Real Estate magazines, tapes (yes, I said tapes), CD’s, old conference materials (I might need), and loads reference books (I do read). I tackled my “reference vault” with one Ikea two-door cabinet in the basement. That’s all I am allowed to keep. (Thank God for Kindle.) My clutter is a perfect example of what Larkin calls “Abundance Clutter.”
There’s no shame in training ourselves in how to manage any of the six kinds of clutter, and it will feel so great afterward!
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
Here in Oakland County, we are lucky. We have access to all kinds of help with our clutter so that we can stay out of the “dissatisfied with life” category.
Start with this professional organizers website. Beginning at $25/per hour, we can get professionals to come to our house and teach us how while giving us a hand. You might think that’s expensive, but it’s not nearly as expensive as the mental toll it takes living with it.
We can enjoy more life when we have less to manage.
If you are considering a move, but your clutter is holding you back from the process, you’re in the right place. I live in a judgment-free zone, and I’ll help you get started with an assessment and a process. I’m not afraid of untidy masses.
Welcome to the Integrity Team. You belong here.