Why your clutter is different to mine

The ‘Clutter Series’, Part 1 – What is clutter?


The ‘Clutter Series’ discusses important aspects of the clutter in our homes and minds, including the close relationship between clutter and our general wellbeing.

Click here to read a summary of the main insights of this series.

What is clutter? – Why is your clutter different to mine?

The definition of ‘clutter’ can be tricky.

I struggled for some time to truly understand and to explain the meaning of ‘clutter’ to my clients.

As I wanted to help them make confident decisions about the clutter in their homes, I needed a definition of ‘clutter’ that was comprehensive and broadly applicable but also clear and simple.  

Studying numerous organising and decluttering books and the approaches of several renowned experts in this area helped me to have closer look at ‘clutter’ from different angles. 

Discussing the issue with other professional organisers and with my clients brought interesting insights but not the one and only explanation of clutter that everyone could agree on.

It seems that we all have our own ideas about the meaning of clutter!

And that’s exactly, I now believe, the answer to the clutter question:

There is no one final definition because we all define clutter in a very personal and unique way.

Clutter is in the eye of the beholder.

If you decide that something you have in your home/life is clutter, it’s clutter. If you decide something isn’t clutter, it’s no clutter. No matter what someone else thinks.

Our personal situation and our individual values, beliefs and perceptions determine what clutter is – it can mean something different for each of us.

Clutter can be anything that we keep in our life although it doesn’t serve us.

Clutter is not restricted to physical stuff. 

Any area of our life can get cluttered.

Clutter can show up as

    • Stuff in our home that we don’t need, use, love.
    • Thoughts in our mind that don’t serve us.
    • Feelings in our heart that disturb our wellbeing.
    • Actions in our daily life that draw us away from where we want to go.
    • Results in our life that keep us stuck.

The most damaging category of clutter is the clutter in our mind.

This type of clutter – all the self-limiting thoughts and unsupportive beliefs – is so powerful because the mind-clutter causes all the other types of clutter in our life

The ‘Mind-Decluttering Series’ is all about how we can get the mind-clutter sorted out.

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