Did you know that clutter can be a powerful force in our lives, and often serves as a means to fulfil our emotional needs?
On the Self-Care Goddess Podcast episode #94, Star Hansen who is a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO) and Clutter Whisperer shares with us the various ways that clutter influences us and how understanding these patterns can lead to a more organized and fulfilling life. Personally, as someone who’s grappled with hoarding tendencies, I’ve come to appreciate the hidden meanings behind our clutter and this podcast / blog will guide you through the journey of self-discovery and organization by embracing the power of clutter to unlock your greatest potential.
The following information are just a few of the golden nuggets from my insightful conversation. Listen to the entire episode here.
The Role of Clutter
Clutter is always doing something for us and recurring clutter patterns usually stem from unmet needs. Understanding why we struggle with organization is the first step towards transformation. It is a common belief that clutter is bad. Most people believe clutter spikes cortisol, is stress inducing and something we should be ashamed of. Star Hansen has a totally opposing belief. In her philosophy clutter is a demonstration of brilliance and a sign of expansion and growth. Star’s mission is to help people to get curious about their clutter. Clutter can serve us in multiple ways, meeting our needs for security, boundaries, connection, creativity, and communication.
- Protecting Ourselves: Clutter helps us set boundaries and shield certain aspects of our lives from prying eyes. It’s a way of guarding our personal space and privacy.
- Connecting to Our Ideal Selves: The presence of certain items, like fitness gear, acts as a reminder of the versions of ourselves we aspire to be. Clutter can be a tangible motivator for positive change.
- Fostering Creativity: Surprisingly, clutter can be a breeding ground for creativity, offering a space for ideas to gestate and insights to flourish.
- Providing Security: For those who grew up with scarcity, having an abundance of possessions can be a source of stability and comfort.
- Facilitating Communication: Clutter can serve as a non-verbal means of conveying emotions or unspoken messages to ourselves and others.
Listen to episode #62 “Embody Your Full Potential: Break Free From Fears & False Perceptions”, on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Unveiling the Hidden Meanings of Clutter
How do we find the hidden meaning behind our clutter? Discovering the underlying reasons behind clutter requires a two-fold approach:
- Learn to Organize: We often struggle with clutter because we were never taught the fundamentals of organizing. Understanding the basic steps of organizing can be a game-changer to avoid the excuse “I don’t know how to organize”. Star Hansen shares an amazing resource to download the clutter clearing guide: https://starhansen.lpages.co/10stepschecklist/
- Identify Emotional Blocks: “What is stopping you from getting organized?” Acknowledging the emotional barriers that hinder organization is crucial. Overcoming self-criticism (90% of people view their clutter as bad and an illustration of Self-Defect) and recognizing the unique value of your clutter paves the way for transformation.
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The Art of Organizing: Essential Steps
Organizing isn’t just about tidying up; it’s a transformative journey that involves intention, categorization and it is a gradual progress. To make a positive impact, don’t start by organizing, start by setting an intention. Most people want to organize the whole house at once but that is too broad and will lead to feelings of overwhelm and stress. Here are a few steps to get started:
- Set Clear Intentions: Begin by selecting one room and defining your mission for that space. Answer these three questions:
What do I want to do in this room?
How do I want this room to feel?
How do I want it to look?
These answers guide your decisions and anything that you keep, or get rid of in that room needs to align with that mission / intention statement.
2. Embrace the Process: Start small. Empty a drawer or shelf, categorize its contents, and proceed at a pace that feels comfortable. Allow the process to be healing, not rushed.
3. Embrace Chaos: Recognize that some level of chaos is natural and acceptable. Trust yourselves and listen to your intuition.
4. Radical Acceptance: Radical acceptance is a powerful tool, especially when dealing with items tied to painful memories. Allow yourself to embrace painful clutter by boxing it up and setting it aside until you’re ready to confront it. This act of radical acceptance can be incredibly liberating.
5. Avoid Perfectionism: Sometimes overwhelm stems from perfectionism. If we know that we can’t do it perfectly; for e.g. “I need to organize this bedroom but I have two hours and I can’t do it in two hours or I don’t have the budget to buy what I want so it is not worth doing”. Avoid this rationale, if it’s not perfect, I’m not interested, because every small step can make a difference over time.
Want to learn “How to Master Your Mindset & Create Your Dream Life Today?” Listen to episode #5, on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Your Home as a Reflection of Self
Our homes are extensions of ourselves, representing different aspects of our lives. Taking ownership of our space and creating sanctuaries that reflect our true selves can be a powerful act of self-love.
- Setting Boundaries: Choose who you allow into your personal space based on how comfortable and safe you feel with them. Your home should be a haven that nurtures your well-being, comfort and convenience and not demonstrative of the perception of others.
- Navigating Key Clutter Categories:
- Papers: Recognize that the significance of paper clutter often goes beyond the surface, often reflecting past traumas or fears.
- Memorabilia: Understand the emotional weight attached to items and honour their meaning, even if it means setting them aside for a later date.
- Clothing: Embrace your body’s evolution and value your present self by curating a wardrobe that celebrates who you are today.
Starting Your Decluttering Journey
To kickstart your decluttering journey, consider these three simple steps:
- The Song Game: Use your favourite music to make decluttering joyful. Spend one song on collecting trash from around your house, play the next song and start finding donations to immediately put in your car and spend one song relocating items.
- Create a Sanctuary: Instead of focusing solely on decluttering, invest time in building a space that brings you peace and comfort. This can be a small corner that serves as your personal sanctuary because if the whole house feels cluttered you don’t need you to wait until the whole house is organized before you can feel a sense of peace in your home.
- Choose Curiosity Over Judgment: Approach your clutter with a sense of wonder and curiosity. Ask yourself what each item means to you and how it contributes to your life. Avoid the inner critic who immediately judges your clutter as bad, instead embrace Self-Love and acceptance because you are worthy of unconditional love & joy.
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Take Home Message
Embracing clutter is not a sign of chaos, but an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. By recognizing the hidden meanings behind our possessions, we unlock the potential for transformation and organization. Remember, your home is a canvas for your unique expression, and every step you take toward embracing clutter is a step toward embracing yourself. Trust your journey, and let your space be a reflection of your ever-evolving, brilliant self.
Listen to the full podcast episode #94 on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
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I look forward to connecting with you and learning more about your story and your health and wellness goals. Schedule a FREE introduction call here.