Clutter Clearing Myth-Buster



Hands up who loves a good storage solution?

They’re almost hypnotic aren’t they? They look so lovely and organised, they make you feel lovely and organised, and we believe they’re going to solve our clutter challenge for us.

Hands up who’s got storage solutions in their clutter that have gone un-used? I had hundreds. In fact, my clutter grew and grew because I would decide that instead of putting in the time, energy and effort required to get uncomfortable, find out WHY I had my clutter challenge and HOW to make decisions so I could clear it, I would go out shopping instead to look for the perfect storage solution that would solve all my problems in on fell swoop.

So guess what? I bought more storage solutions, and my clutter grew. Shopping is soooo much more fun than getting uncomfortable in the learning and change zone. However, for all the ‘storage junkies’ out there, here are 5 reasons why you don’t ‘just’ need more storage.

1. It doesn’t give you more space

The adverts make you believe that buying storage solutions will magically give you more space in your home. It does not. There is no storage solution that magically has more space on the inside than it has on the outside. Storage enables you to store what you have. Sometimes storing things more efficiently will create a small amount of extra space e.g. a pile of clothes that have been ironed and folded neatly will take up less space than a crumpled pile of clothes in a laundry basket, but the extra space gained by organising it better is minimal.

Besides, when you buy storage solutions you are accumulating more ‘things’ into your home and onto your Clutter Conveyor Belt. Unless you use those storage solutions immediately (and let us be honest, most of us can’t use them immediately because of the clutter), they’re simply going to be added to your clutter and cause unnecessary accumulation. An important first step on your Clutter Clearing Journey is accepting you have a limited amount of space in your home, and you cannot create more.

2. It doesn’t teach you how to let go SAFELY

Successful Clutter Clearing is about learning to make realistic decisions about what you actually need and will use in the present or near future, and how to let go of the things you don’t need SAFELY. Storage solutions make you believe you can keep everything if you just store and organise it more efficiently. Storage enables you to simply hide your clutter, and we all know the saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ which can cause us to accumulate more than we need and can cause us to feel anxious.

When you learn to let go safely you learn that not only can it help you create more space and clear your clutter by letting go, it can actually benefit others who have a greater need than you do in the present. When we let go of things that are of no use to others, it can also benefit the environment.

Many of us grew up with the ‘waste not, want not’ and ‘make do and mend’ mentalities because our parents and grandparents DID keep everything because everything COULD come in useful in an age of scarcity. In the modern world where we can replace things quickly and easily if we NEED to, learning to let go safely is an essential skill if we want to become clutter free Forever.

3. It encourages you to keep everything you have in your clutter

If you have an empty space, your brain is wired to see that as scarcity and seek to figure out what it can put in that space to fill it. So when you have more storage, you’re not thinking about whether you NEED something, you’re focused on what you can put in the storage solution. If something we already have doesn’t fit in the storage solution, we will then seek out a storage solution that the things will fit in. It’s not needs led decision making about our clutter.

4. It’s not based on how much storage you NEED

When we clear our clutter the Clutter Clearing way, we make decisions based on need – including our storage. Until we’ve cleared our backlog clutter in our home and made needs led decisions about what can come OFF our Clutter Conveyor Belt, we won’t know exactly how much we need to store, what we need to store and what storage we already have that may be suitable. That’s why getting organised is the sixth step on the Journey, because by that point we will have clear rooms and areas that we can start organising and storing things in based on need.

Your home is LIVING space,

not STORAGE space.

Francine Jay

5. The Wrong Order

Until you’ve made decisions about the things that are already on the organisation area of your conveyor belt and let go of them at the Clutter Clearing end of your conveyor belt, you won’t know what things you have left on your conveyor belt that need storing.

People often tell me at the start of Step 2 of their Journey they’re going to buy a filing cabinet in preparation for their paperwork Clutter Clearing Sessions, thinking that they’re going to need it to store their paperwork clutter. I always tell them not to, because firstly they rarely have the space in their home for that filing cabinet, and secondly because Clutter Clearing isn’t about storing or organising what you have. It’s about learning to let go of things you don’t need and won’t use. Those who ignore my advice always – ALWAYS – end up returning that filing cabinet once they’ve completed Step 2 of their Journey and discover they’re able to safely let go of much more paperwork clutter than they anticipated. 

You will notice that all these 5 reasons link to the issue of NEED, not want, which necessarily involves making decisions and letting go before we start to think about storage. Sadly, as we all know but may not want to admit, storage isn’t the magic wand that’s going to solve your clutter challenge for you, regardless of how pretty it might look or how it might make you feel organised.

If you’re ready to accept that clearing your clutter is NOT just about getting storage, then find out how Clare can help you get started here now:

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