Clutter Clearing Myth-Buster



It’s not surprising that people believe this myth when all the decluttering TV programmes and books show the ‘experts’ diving straight in, going through things ‘encouraging’ people to ‘get rid of’ as much as possible.

However, when you start trying to deal with your clutter by going through your physical clutter first, you are doomed to never become clutter free Forever.

Here are 8 reasons why it’s a myth that you should start by going through your physical clutter.

1. You Get Bored Easily and Give Up Quickly

Most clutterholics are what is known as ‘In-time’ people. That means we tend to get caught up in the moment, are impulsive, driven by how we feel, aren’t great at planning, prefer to ‘go with the flow’, forget things, avoid deadlines, and live in the here and now.

Although we’ve felt like going through our physical clutter in the here and now, and maybe even enjoyed getting lost in some of the memories that came back to us – even though we may not have decided to ‘get rid’ of much – tomorrow is another day with new possibilities and distractions, so we’ll decide what we want to do tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

2. Symptom versus Cause

When you start trying to deal with your clutter by going through your physical clutter first, you’re focusing on the SYMPTOM – not the CAUSE of your clutter.

  • The SYMPTOM is what you can SEE
  • The CAUSE is habits, routines, accumulation

Unless you fix the CAUSE first, you’ll always get the SYMPTOM, and your clutter will always grow back. I’m sure you already know that from your past attempts.

That’s why on the 7 Step Journey we start by learning about and understanding the CAUSE of our clutter first – in Step 1 – before we start dealing with the physical clutter – from Step 2 onwards.

When you are on the 7 Step Journey you deal with the cause AND the symptom which is why you will clear your clutter Forever and it will never grow back again.

3. Failing to Learn from the Past

Some people fail to declutter because they feel overwhelmed and give up. Some people fail because they only give themselves 2 choices about what to do with their physical clutter – keep or get rid of. Some people fail because of their impatience. Some people fail because they can’t stay motivated long enough to clear all their clutter. Some people fail because of all of the above.

Every reason for past failure has a unique, specific solution, yet if you don’t take the time to find out why you’ve failed in the past, you’ll keep making the same mistakes every time you try to declutter. Starting with the physical clutter hasn’t worked in the past. As Albert Einstein said: Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results.

4. Making Decisions

If you start by going through your physical clutter before you learn how to make decisions about the physical clutter, how can you expect to succeed when you have no more knowledge or skills compared to the last time you tried – and failed – to deal with your physical clutter? It’s the equivalent of trying to open a locked door. You can push it, pull it and it just won’t open. You can go away and come back again, hoping that by some miracle you can open it this time, even though nothing has changed. You push it again, you pull it again, and again it won’t open. Unless you understand that it doesn’t open because it’s locked and then learn how to unlock it, you will never be able to open that door.

5. Other People’s Expectations

When other people, especially those people you share your home with, see you starting on your physical clutter, they expect to see a difference FAST, then question why you haven’t cleared it. When you start by understanding your clutter first on the Journey, you don’t need to tell people what you’re doing, so you don’t have to deal with their unrealistic expectations.

6. Routine

Even when you understand why you have failed in the past and you’ve learnt how to make decisions, you will still fail when you start to go through your physical clutter if you don’t set aside a little time regularly to work on the physical clutter.

Your clutter did not appear in a day. It is not going to be cleared in a day. Most people who start by going through their physical clutter give up because they have not got the patience and persistence to get into a routine of doing a little and often.

7. Feelings, Memories and Emotions

If you start by going through your physical clutter, you will get distracted by the unexpected feelings, memories and emotions that get trigged by the things you discover in your clutter.

They may be positive or negative feelings, memories, and emotions. Whatever they are, they will send you off down memory lane, and you’ll get lost in the feelings, memories, and emotions. Before you know it, time has passed and you’re not feeling as motivated because of the feelings, memories, and emotions.

As a direct result of those feelings, memories and emotions you decide to go off and do something else that is much easier than going through your physical clutter, maybe switching to blitzing by deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. Maybe you decide to contact someone to share that memory, or search for some information or other items in your clutter related to that memory. Maybe you decide to look online to see how much money you could get for something if you decided to sell it. Maybe you give up.

8. Expectations

You expected to be able to get through your physical clutter quickly and easily. The reality is that you haven’t ‘got rid’ of much at all (see all previous points), so you give up before all the phsyical clutter is cleared.

You can clear your clutter fast, or you can clear your clutter forever, but you can’t clear your clutter forever, fast.

If you NEED to clear your clutter and you’re ready to accept that you can’t clear it forever FAST, click on this link and visit my Help Centre to find out how I can help you get started.

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