I have devoted these blogs to the subject of HOW to clear clutter, but I haven’t written much on WHY to clear it. As we begin the new year, it is a good time to look at our motivations for getting organized. The best commentary I have found on how clutter affects you comes from Karen Kingston’s 1998 classic “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui.” It still rings true in 2010. Here are some excerpts.
Most people have no idea how much their clutter affects them. You may actually fondly believe yours to be an asset, or at least a potential asset, after it has been sorted through and organized. It is only when you start clearing it out that you will realize how much better you feel without it. Here are some effects to watch for:
Having Clutter Can Make You Feel Tired and Lethargic
Most people who have clutter say they can’t find the energy to begin to clear it. They constantly feel tired. But the stagnant energy that stacks up around clutter actually causes tiredness and lethargy. Clearing it frees up the energy in your home and releases new vitality in your body.
Having Clutter can Keep You in the Past
When all your available space is filled with clutter, there is no room for anything new to come into your life. Your thoughts tend to dwell in the past, and you feel bogged down with problems that have dogged you for some time. Clearing your clutter allows you to begin to deal with your problems and move forward. You have to release the past to create a better tomorrow.
Having Clutter Can Affect Your Body Weight
A curious fact I have noticed over the years is that people who have lots of clutter in their homes are often overweight. I believe this is because both body fat and clutter are forms of self-protection. By building layers of fat or clutter around yourself, you hope to cushion yourself against the shocks of life, and particularly against emotions you have difficulty handling. It gives you the illusion of being able to control things and prevent them from affecting you too deeply. But this is an illusion.
Having Clutter Can Confuse You
When you live surrounded by clutter, it is impossible to have clarity about what you are doing in your life. When you clear it, you get fewer colds, you can think more clearly, and life decisions become easier. Being clear of clutter is one of the greatest aids I know to discovering and manifesting the life you want.
Having Clutter Can Affect the Way People Treat You
People treat you the way you treat yourself. So if you value yourself and look after yourself, people will treat you well. If you allow the junk to mount up around you, you may attract people who mistreat you in some way because subconsciously you will feel that it is what you deserve.
Having Clutter Can Make You Feel Ashamed
Perhaps you have reached the stage where your home is so cluttered and such a mess that you are ashamed to invite people over and positively panic if anyone turns up unannounced. You can live in lonely isolation with your junk, but wouldn’t you prefer to have a good clear-out, repair your self-esteem, and regenerate your social life with confidence?
What do you think? Does clutter affect you in any of these ways or is Kingston overstating her case?