Why We Clutter and What to Do About It

by Simplify

It’s time to examine why we have clutter and what to do about it. There are so many factors contributing to our clutter. It’s helpful to understand why we accumulate clutter to begin with in order to get to the root of the problem.

The number one reason for clutter is fear. Strange as this sounds, so many of our bad habits are rooted in fear. Mounds of clutter can become like a shell of protection offering false security.

One type of fear that contributes to clutter is fear of the future. We think, ‘better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.’ We end up over-preparing for the future like a squirrel gathering nuts for winter. The issue is, the result of this mentality is unopened products and clothes you never wear taking up valuable space in your home.

Another type of fear causing clutter is fear of the past. This is particularly hard for people who are overly sentimental. We feel like getting rid of our old stuff will cause us to lose parts of ourselves and our past. We’re afraid of forgetting the past. Remember, the past still exists with or without that belonging.

Why we clutter and what to do about it

Fear of judgment of what other people think is another thing that makes it hard to declutter. This fear usually applies to gifts and comes in the form of obligation or guilt. It’s tricky because it’s dressed up as something nice. It feels like the right thing to do to hold on to things not to hurt someone else.

Our fear and excuses position us to be a victim of our clutter. We must understand and confront our fears to make progress. Decluttering can be an emotional process, but the results are well worth the work.

Why we clutter and what to do about it

For more decluttering tips, discover these decluttering mistakes to avoid in 2023 or these 10 ways to streamline your home and get rid of clutter.

To see more videos, check out the Mia Danielle YouTube channel.

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2 of 14 comments
  • Nimfa Dg Nimfa Dg on May 09, 2023

    Yes, that makes me hold on to many gifts because of the givers and allows me to always think or remember them.

  • Debbie Debbie on Oct 29, 2023

    I have difficulty getting rid of items that were truly a sacrifice to buy during our financial lean times. My weight also fluctuates between three sizes depending on what medication I’m on and for how long.

    i see people who can freely toss items because they were “easy come, easy go” to them.

    i do donate regularly and during covid, had over $500 of new Gymboree clothes that my grandchildren never got to wear so i donated them along with several boxes of previously worn clothes to two single mom’s.

    I tend to hold onto things that I envision using in my life again, ie serving ware, decoration, etc.

    My back issues along with other health ones also are a contributing factor.