Monday, October 24, 2011

What is your clutter personality?

I hate clutter. It takes up needed space. It makes small projects become large projects. It is hard to clean properly with clutter in the way. It makes a space seem smaller. 

If you want a happy and organized home, take a good look at yourself. You may be what is standing in the way of your own goals. Find out your clutter personality, and see if change can begin with you. 

The Hoarder: "This might come in hand someday!"

Hoarding is rooted in insecurity, financial or otherwise. Deep down, Hoarders fear that they'll never have the resources they need if they let go of any possession, no matter how worn, useless or superfluous. This is a common behavior for folks that have gone extremely hard financial times or came from large families where everything belonged to everyone in the family. They never had their very own security blanket when they were young.
If cabinets and closets are crammed with egg cartons, cracked margarine containers, and old magazines, there's likely Hoarding behavior underlying the clutter.
Hoarders need to be remind themselves that resources will always be available. Where can a Hoarder look outside the home for a substitute Hoard?
Reassure yourself! Stuff will be with us always. Find magazines indexed at the library, kitchenware marked down at yard sales, and every small appliance known to man can be found (cheap!)at the thrift store. Think of these off-site treasure troves as attenuated household storage areas. Dare to dump it!

The Procrastinator: "I'll think about that tomorrow!"

Those of the deferral mindset are guilty of the great set-aside. Bills, notices, old newspapers, items that need cleaning or repair, and household projects are all set aside to be dealt with another day. The Procrastinator will leave dinner dishes in the sink, wet laundry in the washer, and a gazillion things that need to be put away, laying out.
Procrastinators need to be reminded that tomorrow has no more time or energy than today--and that deferring decisions drags down each new day with yesterday's unfinished business.
Since this behavior is grounded in procrastination, apply the best remedy: action. For Procrastinators, simply making a start creates the momentum needed to finish the job. Remember, it's easier to keep a rolling stone in motion, than it is to pick it up and start it rolling the first time!

The Rebel: "I don't wanna and you can't make me!"

Somehow, it's all Mom's fault. Rebels were forced to pick up after themselves as children; as adults, they're still expressing the mute and stubborn determination of a four-year-old who refuses to pick up his toys.
Rebel clutter can be anything, but often centers on household activities. No, the Rebel won't put his or her clothes in the hamper, cereal bowl in the dishwasher, or car in the garage--even when the clothing gets wrinkled, the cereal bowl hardens into yellow goop, and the car gets damaged by weather and roadside traffic.
Rebels need to remind themselves that the war is over. They don't live with Mom anymore--and their own family deserves an adult on the job, not a sulky, whiney child.
Tell that inner Rebel, "It's okay--I'm the parent now, and I want a house that's nice to live in. By switching places with the old authority figure, the Rebel can find a way out of "I don't wanna! And, you can't make me. Na, na, na."

The Perfectionist: "Next week, I'll organize everything--perfectly!"

Perfectionists are wonderful people, but they live in an all-or-nothing world. They do wonderful things--when they do them!
Perfectionism forms an inner barrier to cutting clutter because the Perfectionist can't abide doing a less-than-perfect job. Without the time to give 110% to the project, the Perfectionist Clutterer prefers to let matters--and the piles of stuff--slide.
For example, plastic food containers may be overflowing their cabinet, but the Perfectionist Clutterer won't organize them until he or she can purchase the perfect shelf paper, lid holder organizer, and color-coded labels. As a result, the amassed and crowded containers stay put, falling down onto the feet of anyone hapless enough to open the cupboard door.
Perfectionist Clutterers need to remind themselves of the 80-20 rule: 20% of every job takes care of 80% of the problem, while fixing the remaining 20% will gobble 80% of the job. By giving themselves permission to do only 20%, Perfectionist Clutterers get off the dime and get going.
It is perfectly fine to tell the inner Perfectionist, "Today, I'll do the important 20% of that job: sorting, stacking and organizing those food containers. Later, I'll do the other 80%, buying organizers and putting down shelf paper. If later never comes? Well, you've outwitted your inner Perfectionist Clutterer. Congratulations!

The Sentimentalist: "Oh, the little darling!"

Sentimentalists never met a memento they didn't like--or keep. Children's clothing and school papers, faded greeting cards, souvenirs from long-ago trips and jumbled keepsakes crowd the environment of the Sentimental Clutterer.
Problem is, there's so much to remember that the truly endearing items get lost in a flood. Who can find the first grade report card in an attic full of boxes of paper?
The Sentimental Clutterer needs to reduce the mass of mementos to a more portable state, changing mindset from an indiscriminate "Awwww!" to a more selective stance.
For example, a Sentimental Clutterer can corral each child's school papers into a single box by selecting one best drawing, theme or project each month.
Other ideas for reining in rampant Sentimental Clutter include scrapbooking the very best photos and papers, or photographing surplus sentimental clutter before letting it go. Sort it out, choose the best, keep the memories and dump the rest!
And, my favorite way to satisfy the "Awwww" factor is to take a digital photo of the items and make them into a screensaver on my computer.

Sorry that I have no blog or website to link to for this information. There seemed to be no original author, and many individuals use these exact types (some have more). It is hard to show proper blog etiquette when this happens, so I apologize...I will always try to show and link where I get my information from.

No comments:

Post a Comment