4 Types of Clutter and the Non-Obvious Places it Loves to Lurk
(Photo Credit – Studio Choo Florists)
An overflowing junk drawer. Stacks of papers and piles of clothes. That closet that obviously took a tornado ride with Dorothy.
Some types of clutter are blatantly obvious. But like everything in your space, clutter isn’t merely physical.
Your home is the physical expression + reflection of your inner world: your emotions, the personal meanings you attach to things, and all the routines that make up your life.
A cluttered home indicates + perpetuates a cluttered life.
And if your home is a metaphor for your life, then clutter speaks volumes about what’s going on inside of you. We’ll get to the causes and sources of clutter in a moment. But first: why should you care? Well, it turns out: clutter isn’t just an eyesore. It can have some pretty serious consequences. Clutter:
- Drains your energy (sometimes when you don’t even know it)
- Holds you in a state of distraction, overwhelm, irritation, or stress
- Contributes to burnout, stagnant creativity, or writer’s block
- Keeps you stuck in the fear of what might happen if you let go (of stuff or habits or even people)
- Represents underlying emotional issues you may be avoiding
- Keeps you from noticing or dealing with big, scary, important issues
- Blocks you from living your biggest, brightest, most beautiful life.
You deserve so much more than this, my friend! But before we start throwing things out, willy nilly, let’s get to know this clutter beastie a little better. Here’s how I define it:
Clutter is anything blocking us from flow, spaciousness, and having room to play and grow. – Click to Tweet
That’s right – anything blocking us. Not just that tupperware drawer you can’t stand or those boxes of old tax files you’ve been meaning to go through for years. Clutter can be far less obvious …
Is your crazy-busy-hectic job covering up a lifelong dream? Is some unresolved grief drowning an artistic passion? Is stress overpowering a deep need for rest and relaxation? We can view all of this through the lens of clutter.
Clutter can exist on many different levels:
Physical clutter is what most of us associate with this term — and it’s the most obvious. It includes all the “stuff” in your space, and all the extra weight you’re carrying around (in your purse or your belly). It’s also your time: those obligatory events you “should” show up to. It’s piles of projects that you need to physically do, but don’t enliven you or light you up.
This is the realm of feelings and relationships. Are you weighed down by unresolved grief, trauma, or shame? Distracted by loose ends of a tattered relationship? Spending time with people who no longer support you or doing activities you no longer enjoy? You might find physical representations of these in your home: those ice skates you never use anymore because you tore your ACL, or mementos that trigger painful memories.
This is the realm of thoughts, information, and beliefs. Mind clutter is an overflowing inbox, an explosion of papers, calendars, and whiteboards. It feels like stimulation overload, anxiety, indecision and/or a “gluttony” for information. When our information is literally scattered throughout our spaces, we can feel “scatterbrained,” and creative focus becomes a struggle.
This level is quite different from the rest, in my experience. I don’t think of “spiritual clutter,” per se. Rather, I’ve noticed that the spiritual level suffers when we have clutter in our lives.
Each one of us brings a personal understanding and experience to the word, “spirit.” For myself, I define spirit as being fully, lovingly present in my life. It’s remaining connected to my divine essence, my sense of purpose, and the things that truly matter to me.
I’ve learned from my own experience and through guiding clients that when we have any kind of clutter (body, emotions, or mind), it becomes incredibly difficult to connect with ourselves on a spiritual level. We just can’t stay clear, grounded, and fully present when there’s constantly something distracting, draining, or pushing us off-kilter.
You simply can’t be fully present + loving when there’s
too much “stuff” in the way.
So now I am turning it over to you….
In the comments below, I’d love to hear: What type of non-obvious clutter do you struggle most with? Did you identify a new kind of clutter that surprised you?
Ready for more?
The next post in the Make Room to Bloom Series is right HERE.
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