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Why do we get attached to clutter?

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  • Why do we get attached to clutter?

    I have a reasonably well organised office and home, but there are certain untidy corners that I kinda feel must be left that way. It might be because:

    I don’t want to feel my whole life is defined, streamlined, organised ... and sterilised of serendipitous possibility,


    That those pockets of clutter illustrate a little bit of my own history – they are the detritus alongside the path by which I got to where I am today – (In other words, a record of part of my life)


    I don’t want to look on my thoroughly organised life and say: “is that all there is?”


    They are a reassurance that there is still hope that there will be other strings to my life – a half completed course that I still might finish, dusty old “Teach Yourself Italian” tapes, a few pencil sketches and the pencils that drew them.



    Any other pet theories out there?


  • #2
    For me, it's just the "yuck" factor of cleaning it up.


    • #3

      The best definition I've seen is "clutter=postponed decisions". A lot of resistance to making a decision, which is trapping a lot of energy. When I see my home office turning into a hurricane site, I know I've been too busy or distracted to make decisions and have been putting things off (usually because of time/low energy constraints).

      Only thing to do (for me) is to set aside an hour and attack the mess from left to right . I don't bother sorting through to triage decisions, just do a clockwise or counter-clockwise sweep and stop when the timer dings. Usually, I get on a roll and finish cleaning up. If I don't, at least I've got a clean place to put more stuff.


      • #4
        Because clutter allows you to not realize how much there is to do. Like those people who start GTD and freak out because they suddenly realize how much is on their plate (as if GTD had put it there).


        • #5
          Its just attachment, its not right or wrong or bad its just how it is.

          The "clutter" you can see around you has a solid form and you can see it, touch it, feel it.

          If you really want something to 'blow your mind' start thinking about all those things you are attached to that you cant see and you'll really get clear on what attachement is about !!

          Here are some 'ticklers' to get you started.
          first loves and past partners
          petty jealousies
          your opinions

          But like most things you have a choice,you can remain attached or you can let it go. If letting it go means throwing it out in the case of clutter or getting over it in the case of an intangible thats what you need to decide

          If you're scrolling down waiting for some sage like advice as to how to decide, declutter and let go......... sorry I struggle with it like everyone else.


          • #6
            To Guest (above)

            That was a wonderful post. Thank you. I knew this had broader implications than just untidiness. I suppose when I cling to stuff (physical and mental) I feel that these things are part of my concept of who I am. But of course, they actually aren’t part of me.

            “Letting go” is a nice way putting it. Maybe I could even say it is making a choice: ease back gently from some things, and make some new fresh choices about the things that mean something to me and which I would like to have as part of my mental landscape in the future.

            If certain objects bring a particular mental comfort or reassurance, (but still manage to irritate another part of our heads with their shabbiness or untidiness), maybe there is a better more elegant way of obtaining the same comfort from new thinking patterns or activities. The key thing is to firstly find out precisely what these things mean to us.

            I came across a book on Amazon some time ago which apparently gives great insights into the psychology of clutter and attachment – can’t remember the name ‘though.

            (Sudden thought: if certain small things have special memories, perhaps a more positive approach would be to create a small shelf to hold them – well presented items should not block energy in the way that clutter does.)