Recognising Hurdles

In the last article and podcast, I mentioned the paralysing resistance that comes with the decision to declutter. It manifests in many ways, including distraction, resentment and dread. In addition to that, while many of us do have the desire to get things decluttered and organized in our homes, it is not always such an easy thing to accomplish.  And, of course, there is always that nagging little voice telling you that you just don’t have the time or energy to do it right now. Furthermore, decluttering can often be a very time consuming, overwhelming, and emotionally draining experience. With all these negative emotions in action to be overcome, we first need to understand why these feelings and thoughts dominate our decision, a wise decision which we know is the right decision. Yet, we are unable to do it!

I just moved home and this time the house has a garage, yet I notice that hardly anyone has the space to park their cars in the garage because almost everyone’s garage is filled with junk or homeless items. We are literally drowning in stuff, it’s affecting us in many ways, and yet unable to let go.

So, why is it so difficult to let go of clutter?

Read on or if you prefer, you can listen to the rest of this article while you do something else, by clicking here.

  1. Guilt

    Straight up, I will tell you that the main reason is GUILT! We feel guilty letting go of things for numerous reasons.
    • For me personally, the main reason I feel guilty is because I have spent good money on something. I bought it with money I could have or should have spent on something else and now I am doing away with it!
    • A gift from a loved one.

      How do you bring yourself to give away you got from your parents, sibling or even a dear friend? And this becomes so much harder if the person has passed on.
    • Free Gifts

      Then comes the free gift category of items. You might be feeling that if you throw out something you got for free, you might need to replace it with another item you might have to pay for.
  2. Adverse Practicality

    The “I might need it” thought process. Some of the examples of this would be
    • Old Electronics

      We all tend to hang on to our old laptops and mobile phones. The fear that we might need the data in there in the future.
    • Gadget

      We buy a gadget we read about or hear of. But after 3 months, it is still lying there untouched, unused.
    • Too many of One

      This usually happens when we love something and have the fear of not being able to get it again, so we tend to accumulate the item.
    • Things that Don’t Work

      How many of us have blamed ourselves for not knowing how to use an item correctly, instead of admitting that the item is spoilt? So we keep expecting the day or person to come along and teach us to use it correctly.
    • Wrong Purchases

      I am guilty of buying the wrong HDMI cable and then keeping it for future needs.
    • Manuals

      Holding on to manuals of electronics is another I might need it category that takes up a whole lot of space.
  3. Sentiments

    This section is very similar to the feeling of guilt except where it concerns money. We often find it difficult to let go of things given to us as gifts, gifts, return gifts or even free gifts. It also extends to other things as well.
    • Memories

      These include things from our childhood or our children’s childhood. Especially at a time when we become empty nesters, we hold on to their toys or clothes for closeness.
    • Items that Represent the Me I want to Be

      This might reflect on our past, our positive memories. We want to go back to our weight a few years ago and fit into the dress.

      It might also indicate who we picture ourselves to be and hope to achieve that in the future for example florists’ accessories for the you who wants to create beautiful florals to display around your house.
  4. Cognitive Barriers

    These barriers are the waves of resistance that we encounter when we want to get started. The distraction, resentment and dread usually stem from three main thought processes.
    • Fear

      We feel overwhelmed at the commencement stage because of the fear that we will lack the time or energy to carry out the process.
    • Waiting Until

      This is a reluctance to get started until a particular event or milestone is reached. This may instances like retirement to know what papers to retain or purchasing a home so you can do it once and for all.
    • All or nothing

      There is a crippling anxiety and distress that the final outcome may not be the perfect result you anticipated. You may be doubting your capability or how much you can spend on organisers to be able to get that Pinterest look you are craving for. So you therefore do not get started at all.

These are some of the main reasons that make decluttering difficult. Don’t agonise yourself, don’t fret as there are many ways that will help you overcome this. So think about this for now and in the next post, we will discuss the ways and the reasons to overcome these deterrents or hurdles.

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