Could Clutter Be Costing You This Too?

calm change clutter getting started organized personal freedom Feb 04, 2024

As you glance around your home or office, take a moment to truly absorb the narratives embedded within your surroundings. What tales could your current environment tell about your life?

Are there special projects underway, upcoming events, or prevalent themes like family, sports, travel, or perhaps even chaotic piles? Is there an overarching theme of tranquility or disorder in the space? Can the state of your surroundings show the presence of something weighing on your mind – a major project or a series of incomplete projects?

I’m currently in my “second home” in Monteverde, Costa Rica to escape the cold weather. As I was having coffee with a dear friend, she shared how much she was struggling with the chaos and clutter of too many things going on in her house at the same time, and struggling to find the focus and clarity she needs for her work.

While many might envision me leisurely sipping fruity drinks on the beach, the reality is quite different. It’s just another day for me here in the mountains where I’m on calls with coaching clients, working on creating my upcoming blue zones themed workshops (details coming soon), and finalizing details before I welcome retreat guests in February.

The one thing I’ve never worked on here, though, is in-person organizing. That changed when my friend shared her struggle with chaos and clutter in her home – just like that, my first organizing project in Costa Rica came to be!

In all of my years organizing, I’ve witnessed some universal challenges. As I dug into my friend’s project, it reminded me that no matter who I’m working with, what’s going on in the space, or where I’m organizing, the same challenges to getting and staying organized tend to show up.

Here are three common hurdles that often impede the journey to organization.

Overwhelm from Multitasking/Multiple Interests

In our fast-paced world, juggling multiple responsibilities seems to be a given. The same can be said for the items we accumulate in our homes. The constant influx of belongings from various aspects of our lives – work, family, hobbies – can leave us feeling overwhelmed. It becomes challenging to focus on one task, let alone maintain a sense of order. A cluttered environment often mirrors the mental chaos, making it harder to find peace, clarity and focus.

Sentimental Attachments & Emotional Ties

Letting go of items that hold sentimental value – a souvenir from a memorable trip, a child’s masterpiece drawings, a memento from a special event – can be an emotional struggle. The guilt surrounding discarding a gift can be overwhelming, creating a sense of obligation to keep items, even if they no longer serve a purpose. Navigating the fine line between preserving what truly matters and decluttering can be an emotional process.

Lack of Time & Prioritization

In the hustle and bustle of the modern world, time is our most precious resource and it’s often in short supply. Balancing the demands of work, family, and personal commitments can make it difficult to carve out time for self-care, let alone decluttering and creating systems to stay organized. As a result, piles accumulate and chaos begins. The struggle to find a balance between daily responsibilities and maintaining an organized living space is certainly a challenge that transcends geographical boundaries.

Reclaiming control requires a conscious effort to prioritize, recognizing that an organized living space is not a luxury but a vital component of holistic well-being. It's about carving out moments for ourselves amidst the chaos, establishing a sanctuary that nurtures both our physical surroundings and our mental peace.

Unfortunately, when we don’t stay on top of decluttering and putting things away, and don’t carve out time to catch up once in a while, we can suffer consequences like…

Blocked Goals & Dreams

The accumulation of clutter becomes more than a physical annoyance. It can act as an insurmountable barrier to our aspirations – our most important goals and dreams. The inability to calm the chaos obstructs progress on essential goals, leaving dreams unrealized. When surrounded by disorder, the clarity needed for pursuing and achieving our goals becomes obscured, impeding personal and professional growth. Not to mention blocking overall fulfillment and joy, in general.

Too Embarrassed to Invite People In

A disorganized living space doesn't just affect our internal well-being; it also influences our interactions with others. Despite harboring a deep longing for connection and envisioning hosting joyful gatherings with friends and family, many individuals hesitate to extend invitations due to embarrassment about their home's condition. This reluctance can lead to feelings of isolation, placing strains on relationships and impeding the essential social connections crucial for overall well-being. The prevalence of this struggle is evident in the numerous clients I've encountered grappling with these challenges.

Prevents Us From Living Fully

When we spend so much time tending to too much stuff – whether it’s cleaning the stuff, moving the stuff around to make space, hiding stuff from company, looking for misplaced stuff  – this robs us from living life fully. Just think about how much time all of this takes! This is time that could (and I’d argue should) be doing things you love to do. More time for pursuing passions, goals and dreams, connecting with others, and having grand adventures. The more we grapple with the physical chaos, the more life's vibrant experiences slip through our fingers.

These consequences underscore the profound impact that disorganization can have on our personal fulfillment and interconnectedness. Of course, with awareness and effort, you can change course. A deliberate shift towards reclaiming control and restoring order in your living spaces can set in motion a ripple of positive changes.

Reflecting on my own experiences, I can see that the chaos within my home tends to mirror an internal struggle when I’m in the middle of a big project or have a few too many things going on. 

Two plausible scenarios come to mind during those times – one involving self-sabotage by creating barriers to manifesting goals, and the other is unconsciously mirroring the internal chaos. With many of my clients, it’s often a lack of knowledge on how to get organized, and understanding what organization systems will work for them.

Understanding the source of chaos, internal or external, is crucial. Recognizing patterns, whether self-sabotage or a reflection of internal chaos or something else, can empower you to confront and resolve these challenges promptly. (And, of course, having the right systems in place.)

How many times might you have had these same experiences, but never went back to put everything back together? Is it possible that you could have been sabotaging yourself with the chaos and clutter in your physical space? Can you recognize your patterns? Can you see your internal state of mind being reflected in your physical space?

What You Can Do Today

I invite you to grab a copy of my 25 Ways to Declutter in Less Than 10 Minutes list right here. This is a great way to start to declutter and bring more calm into your home one bite size step at a time.

And, if you’re looking for even more, you’re welcome to schedule a Discovery Call with me right here and we can work together to figure out the best path forward for you to get organized.

Get curious and have fun with this! And, hey, there’s enough chaos in the outer world. Wouldn’t it be amazing if your home could be calm and peaceful?

Enjoy the journey!

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.