Is Clutter Holding you Back?


Getting organized has become a hot topic again now that Marie Kondo’s series is being promoted on Netflix and on billboards. She is not the first leader in the world of professional organizing. Oprah often hosted shows focusing on the topic of personal organizing with leaders like Julie Morgenstern and Peter Walsh. The world of personal organizing is coming of age.

So what’s the big deal about getting organized? Maybe you think the only people who need a hand are certified hoarders. What’s the big deal of having a little clutter here and there? Clothes here and there, some piles in different rooms, and who knows where did you leave your wallet and keys! If you are thinking “My mess isn’t hurting anybody!”, you’re not thinking of how it impacts you!

Is it possible that your home’s lack of order is more than just a little unsightly? Does being disorganized have consequences you have never thought of? Could clutter be part of what is getting in your way? What is meant when people say “a home is a reflection of its inhabitants”?

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Shambhala teacher, observes that how you care for your space - whether you care for it tenderly, or allow clutter to accumulate - is indicative of how you care for yourself. How you do anything is how you do everything.

Consider this perspective. Have you ever wondered how much time you spend hunting down your house keys or wallet? Do you ever go to work or to a client appointment having forgotten important files? Frustration might be emotionally costly, but let’s face it - time is money!

Physical clutter is tangible. You can see it. It can affect your desire to have people in your home. (CHAOS stands for “can’t have anyone over situation”.) It is a distraction that, like it or not, acts like a notification signal on your phone reminding you that there is unfinished business. If you live with others, it can affect your relationship. Perhaps you live with someone who allows their belongings to accumulate in every nook and cranny and it drives you bananas.

Taking care of physical clutter is a surprisingly effective place to start when you are feeling stuck in life. According to Psychology Today, a key factor to being a happier person is removing clutter from your home. It has helped me and many of my clients. For example, I have always maintained a very tidy home, but as life would have it, I accumulated many things over time. I have moved a few times as an adult, and each time I had to face the orderly stacks of possessions I had collected.  I have noticed the feeling of lightening up after making the decision to donate and discard excess (perfectly good) things from my home. Things that didn’t get used. Things that used to get used but got upgraded before I wore them out. Things that still possessed basic value - just not to me - like ill-fitting clothes or an egg-slicer.

I don’t believe that you need to be a minimalist, or have to remove even 10% of your belongings to start to feel the impact. Getting rid of a little clutter can a long way.

My clients have all agreed that this feeling of purging - one stage of getting organized - delivers a feeling of being lighter. Possessions carry real weight - and weight holds you down and it prevents you from moving forward. It’s believable if it’s a backpack when you’re running. But it also works mentally and emotionally. Clutter can slow you down in ways that may surprise you.

I believe the process of organizing your home is like that of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. It goes into its cocoon, and there it undergoes a beautiful transformation, coming out as a freer and lighter creature. Getting organized is a transformative process, and it can take time. Time that is well spent thanks to the peace of mind and sense of comfort you regain from your home.

I love talking about organizing. Contact me to talk about creating an action plan that will help you get your home, or part of your home, office, or life in order. Let’s have a chat. Consultation is free and easy. ~ Laura