|Posted on August 8, 2010 at 7:32 PM|
I have had way too many clients tell me this exact same thing. Before reaching me at my company, they had contacted another “De-cluttering” company out there to get information. By the time they contact me, they are at their wit’s end.
When someone gets up the courage and strength to reach out for assistance in their crippling situation, they have already hit a “rock bottom” of sorts. Either they find that their relationships are in jeopardy, their health is failing, or other areas of their life have hit a wall.
The last thing one needs is to be literally told, “We completely understand. People who have clutter in their environments are sick. You have a disease that needs to be treated.”
This angers me to no end. Yes, there are a percentage of clinically depressed or chemically imbalanced people out there who also happen to collect stuff or have clutter in their environments.
But, the MAJORITY of my clients are very strong, healthy, successful people who are completely free of all medical conditions.
The MAJORITY of my clients are those people you spot in a grocery store, or on the street, that appear polished, confident, exuberant, strong, and free of all life-issues. You know exactly what type of people I am referring to. They are business owners, company management, CEOs, Lawyers, Dentists, Police Officers, and the list could go on forever. The key here is that my clients have all perfected their “outside world mask” that they dust off and put on every day when they venture out of their hell. After much practice and refining the act, they are able to pull of this facade in any situation.
For the most part, acquiring extensive amounts of “stuff” is purely a habit in life that we have formed in order to fulfill something deeper. ALL of my clients, by the time they reach out to me for my services, INTELLECTUALLY KNOW that the state of their environment is not right or healthy. By the time they contact me, they mostly also KNOW and can identify all of their AVOIDANCE behaviours that they have adopted along the way. But, because this has been life as they know it for quite some time, they are at a loss for where to start in eliminating the problem.
Does this last paragraph resonate with you at all? Sound familiar at all? I like to equate the habit of accumulating “stuff” to a habit of smoking cigarettes, over-eating, doing drugs, shoplifting, or drinking alcohol. The list goes on here as well. But, when a person finally comes to the realization that a particular habit has robbed them of TOO MANY valuable things in their lives, and threatens to rob them of more, this is the moment that they have hit their “rock-bottom”. This is the moment that they decide to reach out and admit they need help conquering their habit.
If at any time, you ask a cigarette smoker if they believe that continuing to smoke is good for them, they simply CANNOT and WILL NOT honestly answer, “Yes”. But, do we automatically tell all cigarette smokers that they have a chemical imbalance or a serious disease? Not at all. Why? Because this is ludicrous!
|Posted on August 8, 2010 at 7:27 PM|
There are a multitude of reasons that people collect things, hoard things, or live in environments filled with Clutter. Here is a list of just some of these reasons:
• Growing up in a cluttered home
• Growing up in a home where we had very little by way of possessions, and were always “wanting” what others had
• Filling a hole left by the loss of loved ones
• The past experience of losing one’s home and all of one’s belongings to a natural disaster (fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, etc)
• Loss of important relationships
• Frustration with amount of waste in the world and mass over-production
• The thrill, exhilaration, and adrenaline-rush felt when we shop for new things
• Growing up in a home where too much emphasis was placed on material wealth
• Not wanting to part with belongings acquired from passed loved ones for fear of disrespecting them
• Inheritance of entire households full of our loved ones’ belongings upon their passing
• Having a uniquely strong affinity for and appreciation of antiques or perceived collectibles
• Physical inability to have children, coupled with the intrinsic need to nurture another being in our lifetime – can turn into being a “nurturer of things”, as a way of placing that love and affection
• Lack of self-worth and taking care of others before oneself as a rule throughout life – I can’t throw this away because someone I know may need it at some point.
• Living in the past and the lack of ability or the desire to make room for the present and the future
• Fear of success or fear of putting oneself out there – lack of confidence and self-esteem
• Preference to fade into the background, hide in solitude
• Overwhelming desire to return to a happier time in one’s life, instead of shifting focus to what would make one happier today
• One living a career-life that puts one very much in the spotlight sometimes creates a need for seclusion in one’s personal home-life. Filling our home with clutter dictates that shame prevents the outside world coming into our safe-haven.
• Fear of losing important memories altogether if we don’t have the physical item present to remind us
• Fear of the future
• Fear of loss
• Repetitive painful loss in life makes it difficult for one to rely on or trust people, and they are left with the feeling that “stuff” is the only thing left that they can rely on to remain constant in their lives
• Memorializing painful events in life with collections of items that were actively used during that period – Instead of dealing with that pain or enduring that healing process, we can put those items aside, out of sight, and plan on dealing with it “later”
Again, this is really only the beginning of a list and cannot be considered an all-encompassing list of reasons for acquiring clutter in one’s environment. These lists are a helpful tool to assist in your road to getting to the “root of it all”.
Stay tuned for more helpful articles!