What is Fantasy Self Clutter & How Do You Get Rid Of It?

by Simplify

Do you know what “Fantasy Self” clutter is? Dawn from The Minimal Mom explains it all, shares examples from her life, and offers key questions to ask yourself to decide if your fantasy self is causing guilt, shame, and cluttering up your life.

What is the fantasy self?

Our fantasy self is who we wish we could or should be. These ideas and roles come from early programming from caregivers or peers that make us feel like we should appear more impressive or accomplished to others.

Dawn’s fantasy self examples

For example, Dawn’s mom encouraged her to play the French horn when she was a young girl. She purchased a French horn when she was older, never used it, and finally sold it.

As an adult, her peers encouraged to become a marathon runner, which she did for a time. She kept telling herself she “should get back into running,” until she realized she ran marathons out of peer pressure.

Is your fantasy self a runner?

On the other hand, she’s always nurtured her love of creative DIY projects and it’s part of who she is deep down.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What are your fantasy self roles and where did they originate from? Where did the influence come from and is it truly part of yourself? Realizing a fantasy self belongs to someone else makes it easier to let go of the role and stuff that goes along with it.
  2. Do you feel joyful doing the activity or do you feel shame and guilt when you see all the stuff that goes along with that activity?
  3. If you let go of your fantasy self, would it leave more time and finances to focus on one hobby that fits who you really want to be now?

Fantasy self clutter

Dawn recommends decluttering your fantasy self in layers. You shouldn’t dive into decluttering everything at once. Let us know in the comments if you’ve identified your fantasy self and if you are ready to simplify your life!

For more decluttering tips, discover this guide to temptation bundling or why we clutter and what to do about it.

To see more videos, check out The Minimal Mom YouTube channel.

Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • P P on Apr 01, 2023

    Realized just a couple of years ago, now that I am pushing 70, that I had been preparing to be Martha Stewart - decorating for each season - including June, national dairy month with cows, since there wasn't an obvious holiday in June! And, ready to entertain hordes! china sets- 3 sets of 12, plus the Christmas plates - and silverware, and, and, - then suddenly, I realized my husband & I are disabled, elderly, & we don't entertain, we have few friends left living, few family members in town, fewer willing/able to travel, and our only kid doesn't want kids & lives out of town. I was delusional in my fantasy vision of ME! Thanks for reinforcing my suspicion with this article!

  • Diana Diana on Jun 04, 2024

    I need to declutter myself so I can declutter my home. Thanks for the insight.