Clutter is a “First World” problem

Helping people get organized and decluttered at home, as someone said to me recently, is a “first-world” problem.HouseClutter

It’s true. Much of the so called “third world,” representing 80% of the world’s population, couldn’t even imagine having a cluttered home, let alone pay  to have it organized and cleared of unwanted items.

I work with all kinds of people. People who live in large homes and small apartments. People who are moving in and moving out.  People who are downsizing and people who are “resizing” or remodeling. The one thing each of these people have common is their desire to simplify their lives. Not one of them says, “I want more!” It’s just that having less is not as easy as they think.  It requires time, and often physical as well as mental endurance to decide what is truly essential.

I am rarely surprised by what I find when I first meet with a client. What surprises me is how much people believe what they own is “essential.”  I have always held that clearing our physical space helps us to discover what’s truly meaningful to us and opens up the space in our minds to discover who we really are. In thinking about simplifying your life, I invite you to ponder these questions that speak to why getting organized is never about our stuff and really is more about ourselves.

  1. How do you decide what’s essential?
  2. Do you believe what you own defines who you are, at least to the world?
  3. How do you find value in your life other than through the things you own?
  4. Are you willing to let go of what’s usable when you have no use for it?
  5. How will you overcome your reluctance to purge what no longer serves you?
  6. Do you assign meaning to objects that remind you of people, places or other experiences just to hold onto those experiences and if so, what would it take to let them go?
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