Why Getting Rid of Clutter is so Hard

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:


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  2. Jack
  3. Craig
  4. Olga
  5. Shawn
  6. Dan

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