Clutter is Definitely Not a ‘Normal’ Part of Living

So, I received this message via Pinterest recently…

WOW! Words almost fail me. ‘Denial, I don’t have a problem’….what condensation (sic). How much of a narcissist do you have to be to say that if you don’t live as I do you have a “problem”. Most people have clutter in their life….believe it or not it is a normal part of living. We try our best to keep it confined but life takes over and we live with it until we have time to come back to it. When Minimalism goes past a decorating style and makes it a preachy life style it is a mental health issue. – Marlene

WOW alright! My goodness! That someone can actually write this to another person amazes me. Part of me wanted to write back straight away and (condescendingly) tell her she needs to learn some manners but I resisted.

What was to be gained? Yes, I would have felt extreme satisfaction, but then I would have stooped to her level. She is not going to change her attitude, so responding would just open a dialogue with someone who is clearly not ready to change her thoughts on clutter. Her anger is actually concerning. It can’t be good to feel like that.

So, what was she writing in response to?

I had created a pin and posted it to Pinterest which said…

4 Stages of Decluttering

  1. Denial (I don’t have a problem)
  2. Resistance (It’s too hard)
  3. Exploration (I wonder what would happen if…)
  4. Commitment (I will work at this until I am finished)

Interestingly, her issue was with my use of the word denial. I can see how the use of that word might be confronting. Perhaps I could have chosen another word. Oblivious? Maybe. Unaware? Possibly.

In many aspects of my life I am oblivious about something until one day I’m not.

When I was a teenager I was into crafts and I made a polymer clay doll. I lovingly crafted its head, feet and hands, cooked it and was all ready to put the whole thing together. That was until a friend of mine pointed out that I had given it 6 fingers on each hand. I was flabbergasted. I had counted those blasted fingers so many times (or thought I had). I couldn’t see it until it was pointed out to me.

On another occasion, my daughter and I were charged with the task of making the banner for her synchronised skating competition. The theme was MAMMA MIA. We carefully glittered each letter, cut it out and attached it to the banner. Somehow in this process we lost an M. It did not matter how many times we had looked at it, we did just not see that the banner now said ‘MAMA MIA’. OMG! Of course, once it was pointed out, we could see it. Prior to that? No idea.

At other times, I’ve come out of a work meeting after which a number of people were horrified at the way one of the participants had spoken to another. Me? I hadn’t seen it at all. I had been focussed on my presentation and my awareness was elsewhere, so I missed it completely.

I am sure that you can give a number of examples from your own life where something similar has happened.

We do fail to see a problem until suddenly we don’t. That’s OK. Do you have clutter that you didn’t see until suddenly one day you did? I’d love you to share your story with me. Send me an email and tell me about it.

I’m not here to tell anyone they have too much stuff in their homes. That’s not for me to decide.

Everyone has their own acceptable level of stuff. Mine might be less than someone else’s and that’s completely OK.

I do however absolutely, categorically disagree with this lady’s assertion that clutter is a normal part of living. No, it isn’t.

Among other things, clutter causes stress and anxiety and whilst those are becoming a normal part of living in a modern world, I for one, would like to remove as much stress and anxiety from my life as I possibly can. I can begin to do that by having a home in which every room can be used, I can park the car in the garage and I can find something I need when I need it.

Stress and anxiety are only a couple of the many surprising ways clutter affects our lives. Check out this blog post here for some more interesting effects of clutter.

So, while I unfortunately will be unable to assist this poor angry lady in her decluttering journey, I hope that you are finding some benefit in the ideas I have to offer.

Clutter does not have to be a normal part of your life and I can show you how to make that happen.

If you are ready to jump right in and get your clutter sorted once and for all, click the image below and find out how to join my signature course Freedom from Clutter Forever: The Busy Woman’s Guide to a Whole House Transformation.