Things make us happy. That’s why shopping is so popular.
Buying things, giving things and getting things is fun, exciting and fills us with good feelings.
So we do it a lot. We tell ourselves stories about why it’s a good thing to get this thing. Sometimes we even trick ourselves by saying it’ll make a good gift or we’ll fit it next summer or it might come in handy. We trick ourselves because buying that thing fills us with happy juice (also known as serotonin and dopamine.)
Sometimes these happy chemicals are in short supply. Your body make them when you eat things you like, hug someone you love, stroke a pet or win a game. You make them when you do something nice for someone or see things that you like or love.
One of the easiest ways to get the happy juice flowing through your veins is to buy more stuff. But it’s temporary.
Sometimes we have clutter simply because we have bought way more stuff than we need, just to get those good feelings.
You And Your Feelings.
Decluttering can make you feel bad. It can make you feel irritated, overwhelmed or guilty. So you just don’t do it. Much easier right?
Clutter can be a sign that you feel bad making your kids tidy up after themselves. Or that you feel responsible for doing everything for everyone and feel guilty when you can’t manage it all.
You might feel responsible for finding a way to use useful things, or feel angry that even recycling is bad for the environment. So you hold onto all those useful things, dreaming of their potential, but you have so many!
You might feel anxious if your cupboards aren’t packed full, or at the thought of letting something go, that you might need one day.
Your feelings can be the real reason behind the clutter. But the clutter is also making you feel bad.
Are You Unhappy?
Clutter can be an expression of unhappiness, anger, resentment or loneliness. Pick a bad feeling and it might be the cause of your clutter.
Sometimes we just don’t want to acknowledge our bad feelings. Especially if it’s about someone we love or have a close relationship with. Our subconscious mind’s job is to make sure we feel safe, emotionally.
It works with the stories we tell ourselves, our unconscious habits and behaviours and our temperaments to give us something that soothes us. This can look like hoarding, or constant re-organisation of collections or shopping a little too much.
Sometimes our unconscious mind finds a way to cry out for help.
When we don’t feel loved or supported in our home clutter can be an expression of distress. It can be an unconscious cry for help, or anger at a situation we feel we have no control over.
There’s often more to clutter than we think.