What Are the Hidden Reasons for Clutter?

What Are the Hidden Reasons for Clutter?

For some people, a three-step plan for a decluttering system results in a neat and cozy home within a few months. For others, decluttering is an arduous journey. It’s not because of busyness or not having a system in place. Behind stacks of clutter, hidden spiritual and emotional issues lurk. If we’re honest, we admit that sometimes it’s just easier to keep those issues hidden in the piles of clutter.

Here are some hidden reasons for clutter:

  • Low self-worth
  • Pleasing other people
  • Clinging to the past/reliving our mistakes
  • Poverty mindset—fearing the lack
  • Depression/anxiety clutter cycle—If we’re constantly in the emotional part of our brain, we can’t use the logic part (where we make decisions).

Some of these reasons are chronic, while others are situational. In 2014, my eyes were opened to a long-time clutter problem in my own house.

A few months after my dad passed away, my siblings and I traveled from three different states to his house. It took us four days to clean it out, working from early morning until late evening, when we were too tired to move.

I lost track of how many giant, industrial garbage dumpsters we filled. Time and again, a driver would load it onto his truck, empty it at the dump, and bring it back again.

Anything you could think of, we threw away. (We gave a lot away too. A charity came and took what was useable to help needy families.) Stacks of old magazines, mattresses, bank papers from before I was born, and an entire drawer full of keys to who-knows-what. Sixty-seven years’ worth of stuff, and I don’t think Dad ever tossed anything besides old food.

For me, it was like looking into my future.

When I arrived home, I saw everything I had piled around my house. Even some stuff I didn’t want but kept anyway, for fear of offending the relative who gave it to me. If I didn’t do something now, I realized, my kids were going to be saddled with loads of useless stuff to deal with upon my death.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t ever learned a practical system for being clutter free. One of the books in my many stacks was Kathi’s The Get Yourself Organized Project. I’d read it and even written a review for a newspaper article.

So how did I get from cluttery mess to (mostly) decluttered and organized home business owner?

 

Here I share five crucial elements on my clutter-free journey.

 

1)      Awareness.

Here’s the main difference between then and now: Today I really can’t stand clutter and work the systems from Clutter Free daily to keep it out of my house. Before, I didn’t notice it or care that my house was cluttered. I lost time, money and sanity because of my clutter, but I tolerated it because it just seemed normal to me. I didn’t consider there might be a better way to live. This is the simplest—and also hardest—of the steps.

2)      A new safe space.

Since clutter is often accompanied by feelings of low self-worth, we must redefine what feels safe to us. It’s a big mind shift to feel worthy of the time it takes to improve our living spaces. Making change is hard; it’s easier to just stick with what we know. Gradually, I accepted that my new way of living was the actual safe space, and not the unhealthy condition of an overly cluttered house. Instead of making ourselves feel better by buying more things, we can enjoy the calm, peaceful feeling of an uncluttered home.

3)      Treat yourself like the treasure you are.

Once I became aware of my clutter problem, I worked to keep my thoughts about it positive. I changed “I’m such a slob!” to “I’m working through Kathi’s steps to get clutter free; I didn’t get here overnight, and I won’t be rid of it all overnight, either.” If we’re constantly berating ourselves, we’ll stay stuck in our low self-worth mindset. Kathi’s mantra of decluttering being a lifestyle and not a “one and done” became my mainstay. The more kind and gentle you can be with yourself, the more progress you’ll make.

4)      Deal with specific issues you’re hiding.

Among my stacks of books, I had one titled Not Marked that deals with childhood sexual abuse. I had purchased it with several other titles and dumped them into my other piles of books. At that point, I hadn’t told anyone I was suffering from PTSD flashbacks to childhood trauma. Not even my husband knew about the abuse or that I was trying to cope with overwhelming memories. Other places to hide our issues might be ridiculously messy pantries to hide eating too much junk food or crammed-full closets to hide a clothes shopping addiction. It starts with telling one friend you can trust (or a therapist) and getting to the source of whatever’s eating you.

5)      Celebrate your wins by enjoying that decluttered room again.

Once I got all the piles of books out of my living room, we bought some pretty pictures and couch pillows to make it cozy. Since it looks so nice, I’m really hesitant to leave anything that doesn’t belong out in the living room. One by one, as you conquer the specific areas of your home, decorate and personalize them so that they feel complete.

Whether your hidden reasons for clutter are chronic or situational, there is hope. Establishing a system for decluttering and recognizing the hidden reasons behind the clutter is the first step. Remember, give yourself grace for whatever you’re struggling with; even if it takes longer than you hoped, you’ll get to the place where you can live peacefully in your space again.

Enter to win!

Want a chance to win a copy of Lyneta’s memoir, Curtain Call? Comment below and two random winners will be mailed a copy by March 13th. (Winners outside the U.S. will receive a digital copy.)

#345 When Emotional Clutter is Buried by Physical Clutter with Lyneta Smith

#345 When Emotional Clutter is Buried by Physical Clutter with Lyneta Smith

On today’s episode Kathi welcomes friend and author Lyneta Smith, to talk about her new book Curtain Call: A Memoir. Kathi chats with Lyneta about her journey of dealing with emotional clutter from a traumatic childhood and how physical clutter can often be used to hide our emotional wounds.

On today’s show you’ll learn:

  • Why physical clutter can often be a sign that all is not well
  • How clutter can serve as self-protection
  • Why de-cluttering can be the first step of healing

Enter to win! 

Win a copy of Curtain Call: A Memoir by sharing in the comments if you need this book or if this is a book you need to give to a friend.

*US residents only

Order the ebook by Wednesday, March 13th and pay only $2.99. (50% off the list price.)

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Meet Our Guest

Lyneta Smith

Lyneta Smith

Lyneta Smith is a writer and speaker whose life mission is to point people to the goodness of God. She is the author of Curtain Call, recipient of the 2017 Best Nonfiction Foundation Award. She and her husband live near Nashville, TN. Learn more

#344 Better Than Perfect – How to be Real with Each other and with God with Gretta Kennedy and Suzanne Gosselin

#344 Better Than Perfect – How to be Real with Each other and with God with Gretta Kennedy and Suzanne Gosselin

On today’s episode Kathi welcomes Gretta Kennedy and Suzanne Gosselin, authors of Grit and Grace: Devotions for Warrior Moms. Kathi, Gretta and Suzanne talk about what moms can do when we’re feeling overwhelmed with spiritual clutter during our quiet time with God.

On today’s show you’ll learn:

  • How to stay connected to God during the “while also” season of life
  • Why moms in this busy stage of life need a lifeline that is just a very short snippet of truth that they can digest very quickly
  • How you can encourage the overwhelmed mom in your life

 

Enter to Win!

Enter to win a copy of their book! Head over to yesterday’s blog post and enter to win by sharing in the comments if you need this book or if this is a book you need to give to a friend.

Five lucky winners will win a copy of Grit and Grace: Devotions for Warrior Moms and one winner get a copy of the book AND a $50 Starbucks card to take out all the mom warriors in her life!

*US residents only

Or buy the book here.

 

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

Leave a note in the comment section below.
Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:

Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now.

 

Special thanks to our sponsor Harvest House!

Meet Our Guest

Gretta Kennedy & Suzanne Hadley Gosselin

Gretta Kennedy is a speaker, mentor and writer with a degree in women’s ministry from Multnomah University and over 20 years of ministry experience. She is the co-author of the newly released devotional “Grit and Grace: Devotions For Warrior Moms”.

 


Suzanne Hadley Gosselin lives in California with her husband, Kevin, and four young children. Formerly an editor for Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines, she has written for Zondervan, David C. Cook, and Focus on the Family. Suzanne enjoys sharing a good cup of coffee and conversation with a friend, serving with her husband in family ministry, and escaping to the Pacific coast. Learn more

#342 Creating a Clutter-Free Community of Sharing: Living a Life of Generosity and Reciprocity

#342 Creating a Clutter-Free Community of Sharing: Living a Life of Generosity and Reciprocity

On today’s episode of the podcast, Kathi is joined by Tonya Kubo, the illustrious leader of the Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. Kathi and Tonya share about the value of creating a clutter-free community and how you can create a culture of generosity and reciprocity in your own community.

On today’s show you’ll learn:

  • How a “small give” can be a great way to start building a community of sharing
  • Why it is a false economy to hold on to stuff “until I have time to sell it”
  • The many benefits of a “semi-permanent” loan

You can find Kathi’s pizza fondue recipe here!

And the Tightwad Gazette Kathi referenced is available here

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

 

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. A speaker and writer, Tonya makes her home in the heart of California with her husband, Brian, their two spirited daughters and one very tolerant cat. Visit her at www.GreatMoms.org.

#338 How to Stay Focused on What you Really Want: The Successful Woman Planner with Valorie Burton

#338 How to Stay Focused on What you Really Want: The Successful Woman Planner with Valorie Burton

On today’s episode, Kathi welcomes Valorie Burton to talk about her new book, the Successful Woman Planner. Kathi and Valorie talk about the planner and Valorie shares practical tips for clearing the emotional clutter so we can be successful in what God has called us to do and take action. 

On today’s show you’ll learn:

  • Why you have to let go of the things that don’t matter as much if you’re going to succeed in the things that really matter
  • How authenticity is a hallmark of resilience
  • Why we should not downsize our dreams.

 

Enter to win a copy of Valorie’s planner and a $50 gift card to Office Max!

Simply head over to yesterday’s blog post here to find out the one thing every successful women I’ve ever met does and to enter the giveaway!

 

 

 

 

Buy the book here

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:
• Leave a note in the comment section below.
• Share this show on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:
• Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
• Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now.

Meet Our Guest

Valorie Burton

Valorie Burton

Valorie Burton is a bestselling author and founder of the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute. She has a master’s degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in journalism from Florida A&M University and a BA from Florida State University. She has written twelve books. Learn More

The One Thing Every Successful Woman (I’ve Ever Met) Does

The One Thing Every Successful Woman (I’ve Ever Met) Does

I know that I’m one of the lucky ones. (And when I say lucky, I mean fortunate.)

I have a career I love, one with purpose and meaning and serves God in a way I was created for, people I love working with, and enough income to not stay up late at night worrying about how we are going to pay the bills (most nights, that is).

But let’s be clear… my life was not always this way.

I spent most of my twenties and thirties living paycheck to paycheck, in a job that had no potential, loving some of my coworkers but barely tolerating some of the people I worked with.

Some of that was just finding my place in the world – it’s what a lot of 20 and some 30-year-olds do. But part of it was not really believing I could be successful in what I wanted to do in my life. It was easier (and safer) to just do the day to day and survive instead of having a hope for a better, more successful future.

When did things finally begin to turn around for me? Was it a job promotion or a new opportunity?

No – it was a planner.

It was a simple, paper planner that, for the first time, I actually used to plan what I was going to accomplish instead of using it like a calendar.

I started to write down my dreams and started turning those into goals.

And this is what I’ve noticed with every successful woman I’ve ever worked with:

Most of them have great teams of people.

Most of them get up early to attack their day.

Most of them have supportive family and friends to encourage them.

But all of them take time away from their crazy, busy, jam-packed days to pull back and plan for what they want.

How to Pull Back and Plan

I call it Pull Back Planning because I have to be intentional about pulling back from my regular life and setting that time aside to plan for my day, my week, my month, my year, and yes, my whole life.

Each day, before I end work, I take a look at what is coming tomorrow to see what I need to plan for, pray for and do. I apply the same principle to my week, month and year.

I love what Dave Ramsey says about budgets: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” It’s the same with a planner – a planner will help you tell your time where it goes instead of wondering where it went.

Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says:

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

I love that verse. But we have to know what we are planning to do in order to pray about it and commit it to God.

I want to give my readers the opportunity to try this out.

My favorite planner this year is Valorie Burton’s The Successful Woman Planner. I love the motivating, clarifying quotes placed throughout the week-at-a-glance page layout, and that Valorie (one of the most successful women I know) has shared her wisdom throughout those pages. It is my go-to planner for 2019. 

In order to be entered to win a copy of Valorie’s planner and a $50 gift card to Office Max, simply comment below and tell us the next step to success you want to take.

Offer open to US residents only.

Deadline to enter: January 30, 2019.

A bestselling author and Certified Personal and Executive Coach who has served clients in over 40 states and eight countries, Valorie Burton has written nine books on personal development, including Successful Women Think Differently and Happy Women Live Better. She is the founder of The CaPP Institute, providing tools and training that build resilience, well-being, and productivity for life and work.

She has been a regular contributor on CNN, HLN, and the Today show, where she gives practical career and life advice. She has also been featured in and on The Dr. Oz Show, NPR, Oprah Radio, Ebony, Essence, “O” The Oprah Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and hundreds of others. Valorie’s corporate clientele includes multi-million dollar businesses such as Accenture, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Deloitte, General Mills, McDonalds Corp., and many more.

Join 25,000 subscribers to her weekly e-newsletter at www.valorieburton.com and visit her company site at www.cappinstitute.com.

www.valorieburton.com