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Why Getting Rid of Clutter is so Hard

Last updated by on January 10, 2016

Clutter elimination has become somewhat of an ongoing battle for me. One one hand, being able to eliminate things from your life frees up your conscience from feeling indebted to them. The less ‘stuff’ you have in your life to worry about, the less indebted you are to external objects. If only it were that easy. Getting rid of clutter is tough.

Why it is so Hard to Eliminate Clutter

But, honestly, it’s damn hard to let go of things. The reason you have ‘things’ that you no longer use is that they – at some point in your life – were important to you. Since these things were important to you at one point, there’s that side of your conscientiousness that whispers to you ‘it may be important to you once again’ or ‘this object is a little piece of you. Get rid of it, and you’re getting rid of a piece of yourself’.

get rid of clutterBut ask yourself this question: “would my life be any different tomorrow without this object?”. If the answer is no, and the object offers to clear circumstance where it may come in handy in the foreseeable future, then why hold on to it? In fact, wouldn’t getting rid of that ‘thing’ take a little bit of weight off your shoulders? Even if the answer is clearly ‘yes’, it’s still not easy.

Common Clutter that I struggle with:

I’m sure I’m not the only person to struggle in eliminating these types of items – but these are my clutter Achilles’ heals:

  • CD’s
  • VHS and DVD’s
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Clothes
  • Paper documents
  • Pictures

A New Kind of Clutter – Electronic Clutter

As if getting rid of physical objects in your life wasn’t tough enough, a new kind of clutter has krept into our lives in the last decade. This clutter is just as, if not more, disruptive in one’s life than the physical kind. Let’s call it ‘E-Clutter’ or ‘Electronic Clutter’. Examples of E-clutter include:

  • Docs
  • MP3’s
  • Email
  • Jpg’s
  • Tweets
  • Facebook comments
  • RSS feeds
  • Text messages

Just when I thought I was getting the physical clutter under control, E-clutter has really impacted me in ways that steal my focus and my free time.

How to Eliminate Physical and Electronic Clutter

The topic of clutter elimination is one that I take pretty seriously as I find ways to try to simplify my life. Because it’s a topic that many of us struggle with, I want to cover it in a series of posts that will hopefully lead to some good discussions. Before we get into the specifics of clutter elimination, please share your thoughts on how clutter has impacted you.

Eliminating Clutter Discussion:

  • Is clutter something that you struggle with?
  • What kind of impact does clutter have on your emotional/mental well being?
  • What types of clutter do you struggle with the most?

Related Posts:

About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 10,000+ others by getting FREE email updates. You can also explore every post I have written, in order.

  • Lela says:

    CLUTTER!!!! I hate it. I want to get to the point where I can put everything I need in one big suitcase so I can pick up and go wherever I want, when I want to. I know it may sound extreme, but humans weren’t meant to be dependent on so much crap!

  • Jack says:

    The problem with E-Clutter is that you can have 2, 3, or 7 of the same file in different folders. An intelligent mass de-duplicator would be incredible.

  • Craig says:

    If reminds us of the past and good times. I have trouble getting rid of simple things like shirts, cd’s books, etc. Makes it tough to move on in life and take that next step.

  • Olga says:

    I am probably one of the weirdo people who has no problem of getting rid of stuff. Other then books (few chosen ones) I can throw away absolutely everything without any problem at all. This goes for e-clutter as well. I do keep a bunch of emails and usually dont delete FB comments but thats because I am lazy and not because I am attached. I trained myself since long ago to get attached to people not stuff.

  • Shawn says:

    Great thoughts. It is funny how our physical world was getting cluttered, so we came up with the electronic world. Now our electronic world is getting cluttered…

  • Dan says:

    I just found this article. I’m older than you guys but definitely this stuff is relevant still. I am about to take the leap and get rid of a ton of CDs.


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