If you find yourself drowning in stuff and unable to see your carpet through all of your possessions, then you are most likely a clutterer of sorts. However, you don’t have to be endlessly tripping over things piled around your house to be deemed a clutterer. In fact, some hoarders stash everything away out of sight, appearing ‘clutter-free’ until you open any of their cupboards or drawers.
So, why exactly are we such clutterers? According to figures from 2013, Americans spent $24 billion to keep large amounts of their stuff at self-storage facilities. Clearly, many of us hold on to more than we need.
According to a noted hoarding expert, “our relationship with stuff can be put on a spectrum.” Sitting at one end of the spectrum is the sentimental clutterer, who can’t bear to throw anything away because everything holds some sort of sentimental value. From baby photos to concert tickets, their personal space is often drowning in memorabilia. For these clutterers, it’s important to remember that memories live on in the mind and not in material objects.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are what we shall call the spontaneous, throw-it-all-away-and-regret-it clutterers. Every now and again these clutterers experience phases of really wanting to simplify their lives, which results in spontaneous purges and often post-impulsivity regret. The trick for people who occasionally can’t handle everything they own and decide to soar to the extreme of throwing it all away is to clear their clutter on a weekly basis.
If you’ve ever wondered where you might fall on the spectrum, take our flow chart quiz below to find out.
1 Bryan, M. (2015). What kind of clutterer are you? oprah.com
Associated Press. (2014). Top tips to joyfully declutter your home, from Marie Kondo. theguardian.com
Betts, H. (2016). Can this woman transform your life by teaching you to tidy? dailymail.co.uk
Kondo, M. (2016). Spark joy. tidyingup.com
Lam, B. (2015). The economics of tidying up. theatlantic.com
Larkin, E. (2014). The 6 most common types of clutter. personalorganizing.about.com
Mills, A. (2016). What kind of clutter lover are you? thehandmadehome.net
Swain, S. (2016). Marie Kondo‘s Japanese tidying and folding method offered by Australian pro-tidier. dailytelegraph.com.au
Wiseman, E. (2015). Decluttering: a load of junk? theguardian.com
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