Clutter Clearing Myth-Buster


Lots of people believe this myth, not just because the TV programmes make us believe it, but also because people somehow think that it’s going to magically be easier to clear their clutter and make decisions if someone’s in their home, standing next to them.

Here are 5 reasons why this myth is a myth.

1. Fear, Stress and Anxiety

Most of us who have a clutter challenge haven’t had many – if any – visitors to our home for weeks, months, years or even decades because just thinking about it makes us feel stressed and anxious. We’re embarrassed, have a fear of being judged, of feeling pressurised to ‘get rid’ of things FAST.

So why do you want a complete stranger, however much of a ‘expert’ they claim to be, standing in your cluttered home, ‘helping’ you have what is basically an expensive blitz which you already know doesn’t work? 

Not only is that likely to trigger the same feelings you have when you try to have a blitz on your own, it’s also likely to trigger more stress and anxiety because now you’re doing it with a stranger in your home. You feel under even more pressure to be ruthless because of time limit and the money you’ve spent on this ‘expert’

2. The Time

As much as we want to clear our clutter as fast as possible, the truth is the concept of most home visits by ‘experts’ are fundamentally flawed because they don’t take into account how your human brain works.

Your brain gets overwhelmed when it tries to make decisions for more than 30 minutes at a time without a break, and for more than 2 hours a day. FACT. After 2 hours, your brain switches off like a toddler having a tantrum and refuses to make any more decisions.

Someone coming to your home even for 4 hours or half a day doesn’t magically make your brain work differently – far from it. The added stress and anxiety of the stranger in your home just means your brain is even less likely to be able to focus on making decisions for those 30 minutes / 2 hours.

So  realistically, if an ‘expert’ understood this basic psychological principle, a home visit would only ever be for a maximum of 2 hours a day. That’s why the Clutter Clearing Journey is something you do online at your own pace. Never more than 2 hours a day.

You’re also going to get even more stressed and anxious that you don’t see or feel ‘enough’ of a difference in those 2 hours, so you’re left wondering what you’re getting for what your money.

Bearing in mind that to blitz each room / area using skips/dumpsters, like they do on the TV, it’s going to take a minimum of 2-5 eight hour days per room / area, and as you know from your own experiences of blitzing, it’s just going to grow back again later.

3. The Method

If you’ve had or looked into having someone come to your home to ‘help’ you declutter, what method did they use? Was it the normal ‘keep’, ‘chuck’, ‘charity’ like you see on the TV programmes? Were they essentially helping you have a blitz, reorganising the clutter, helping you store it more efficiently?

I suspect they weren’t helping you take the time to really understand WHY you have your clutter challenge, what habits you have that caused your clutter in the first place, help you break those habits or teach you how to make SAFE decisions.

Again, if the ‘expert’ knows some basic psychological principles, they’ll know that your brain needs 7 action focused choices to make a safe decision, and that the ‘keep’, ‘chuck’ and ‘charity’ method sends your brain into the panic zone which makes it more likely you’ll choose ‘keep’ because that’s the safe option.

If you’ve had someone come to your home to ‘help’:

  • Did they teach you that you brain can’t make decisions for more than 30 minutes at a time? 
  • Did they teach you HOW to make decisions and give you practical decision making tools? 
  • How long was it before the clutter grew back? 

Did you have to pay for them to come back again to help when the clutter grew back?

4. Habits

Clearing your Clutter Forever involves breaking and creating new habits which takes time. You have to consciously repeat doing something between 66 and 254 times to break or make a habit, and when you get past the age of 55, you’re realistically looking at the 254 end of that scale. So realistically it’s going to take you at least a year of consciously doing something a minimum of every other day, to break or make a habit.

Unless you learn WHY you have your clutter challenge and what habits you have that cause it, you won’t be able to break those habits or create new habits to prevent the clutter growing back again.

To successfully clear your clutter forever with a home visit, you need to find someone who understands the basic psychology of why the ‘keep’, ‘chuck’, ‘charity’ method doesn’t work, that your brain can only make decisions (once it’s learnt how to) for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time for a maximum of 2 hours a day, and that it’s going to take at least a year to break the bad clutter habits you don’t even know you have (yet).

5. The Cost

Having an ‘expert’ come to your home to help you clear your clutter is a luxury few can afford. 

You must pay for the ‘experts’ time – usually a minimum of half a day – plus travel time, maybe subsistence if they’re travelling a distance. Most people will choose an ‘expert’ based on who’s the cheapest and nearest. They rarely choose based on who they feel has the greatest skills and experience to teach them all they need to know to clear it forever.

There’s are many reasons I don’t do home visits like I did for the first 10 years of Clutter Clearing, but if I did, I would now be charging a minimum of £550 a day plus £1 a mile from my home. If you still believe you’ll only successfully clear your clutter if someone comes to your home to help you, it’s probably time to buy a lottery ticket. If you’re not quite sure, come and join the next term of Social Gatherings and meet some people who are doing just that:

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