Have you ever considered the possibility that your clutter has nothing to do with the ‘stuff’ and everything to do with your mind? Could it be that, without consciously realizing it, you’ve built a wall around yourself with the clutter, to protect you?
“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.” – Andrew Murphy
I’ve worked with hundreds of people, both as a professional organizer and a life coach, who really want to get rid of clutter but ‘keep hitting a wall’. The metaphor is not lost on me.
When we start sorting through items together, fears float to the surface:
“What if I need it someday?” (Fear of scarcity?)
“I’ll keep it just in case” (Fear of uncertainty and doubt?)
“I can’t give that away, it was a gift” (Fear of rejection?)
“I can’t decide so I’ll just keep it” and “What if it’s worth something someday?” (Fear of making mistakes?)
I’ve heard these statements countless times and I can’t help but wonder about thoughts behind them. It’s not the clutter that’s the problem; it’s these fearful, paralyzing thoughts. They create resistance to letting things go.
Fear is not real, it just appears that way. And, as you may have noticed, the worst case scenario imaginings we have rarely come to pass.
Chances are these fears are causing chaos in other areas too – not just in the home. They may be creating a wall of protection, but sadly, that wall can keep all the really good stuff out, like joy, healthy relationships, peace, fulfillment, success and true abundance.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to relax and enjoy your home? To feel great about having friends over? To have more peaceful and harmonious relationships with your family members?
So if you’ve been trying to declutter and repeatedly come up against resistance, I invite you to try a different approach, one that involves a change of thought.
4 Steps to Eliminate Your Fears – And Conquering the Clutter
- As you sort through your items in an attempt to declutter, notice the thoughts that come up. If they’re based on fear, like the earlier examples, begin by acknowledging them. Say ‘okay, now you’ve got my attention’.
- Notice where you feel the fear in your body. Is your stomach or chest tight? Is your head pounding?
- Analyze the fear and try to understand where it’s coming from. Then thank it for sharing and move on.
- Replace fear with trust:
- Replace: “What if I need it someday?” with “All my needs are abundantly supplied”.
- Replace: “I’ll keep it just in case” with “I can replace it if I need it”.
- Replace: “I can’t give that away, it was a gift” with “My real friends will always love and support me”
- Replace: “I can’t decide so I’ll just keep it” with “I’ll make a decision and trust that everything will be okay”
- Replace: “What if it’s worth something someday?” with “It will never be more valuable than joy (or whatever you hope an organized home will provide).”
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield
Once you start trusting the universe, or God, or whatever higher power you believe in, you’ll immediately begin to feel lighter…in more ways than one.
Which statements have you used as excuses to keep clutter? Please share in the comment sections below.