The Emotional Toll of Clutter

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What is your space saying about you — and what is it doing to your energy, mood and outlook on life?

What Is Your Stuff Saying to You?
Different kinds of clutter signify different emotional messages. Here are a few of the most common.

Piles of Other People’s Stuff
You may have trouble setting boundaries, saying no and protecting your own energy reserves. Set time limits for storing other people’s belongings, if you’re going to store them at all, and be firm.

Excessive Reminders of the Past
You might have a tendency to blame the past for your current situation, or to think your best days are behind you. Try letting go of any object — however lovely or sentimental — if looking at it disturbs you or brings you down.

Rarely Used or Never-Been-Used Items
Stacks of unopened or unused items can signal “just in case” thinking, and a lack of trust in the future. They can also signal an aspiration to do or be something you’re not. Make a realistic assessment, then either use or dispense with whatever your “wish self” is hanging on to.

Unfinished Projects
Half-completed paintings and half-finished remodels can suggest an unsustainable perfectionism, and may provoke a sense of failure. Take stock of all the projects you currently have “in process.” Then be willing to let go, clean up and move on.

 

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