Clutter Blindness

“Look at old problems in a new light.”  –unknown

Do you suffer from “clutter blindness”? When you put something down to remind you to do something, do you eventually start to walk past it and not notice it anymore? Do you have piles of magazines in your office that are reminding you that you have reading to do but you no longer see them, they’ve in fact become a part of the furniture?  Do you have a pile of toys on the floor at home that you blindly step over every day without noticing?

What is clutter?  According to the dictionary it is, “A crowded or disordered collection of things”.  If you have a room or area that is cluttered you may have turned a blind eye.  Likely you are avoiding dealing with the clutter because it’s just too overwhelming. Or maybe you have tried and tried and you have “cried uncle” as one of my clients said in an email to me a few weeks ago.  You have just given up and decided it’s much easier to deny the existence of the clutter than it is to try to figure out how to deal with it.

If you grew up in cluttered surroundings you may have become accustomed to that type of environment and you don’t see the clutter any longer.  One thing you might want to try is to go away for at least a week and when you come back home, walk into your space with a fresh set of eyes so that you can “see” the situation clearly and perhaps figure out what needs to be done.  You almost have to re-train yourself to become more sensitive to your surroundings. 

Visualize what your space will look like when the clutter is removed and hold that vision in your mind as you create a plan for tackling the space. Imagine how you will feel in your organized space and hold onto that feeling throughout the process.  Ask yourself how you are using the space now and imagine how you could use the space once it is decluttered.  Take a picture of your space and describe what you see.

One of the biggest challenges when dealing with clutter is to find solutions for dealing with all of that “stuff”.  If you become overwhelmed you may take what could be a simple one-step solution and turn it into ten steps that are more complicated.  Try to eliminate multiple steps and take the clutter from where it is to its final destination without creating steps in between.  And set up a system to keep your stuff from becoming clutter.

If you get to the stage of really wanting to tackle your clutter and just can’t face it alone, get some help.  Be sure that if you ask a friend or family member, they agree not to judge you in any way. It is difficult to ask for help and to allow someone into your space when you feel like you “should” be able to do it yourself. And remember, there are professionals out there to help you and work collaboratively with you to find a solution.

Have you faced a difficult clutter situation? Were you able to tackle it? If so, how did you go about it?

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