The reason you struggle with clutter in the first place

Sometimes we have to get real about the reasons we struggle with clutter.

It’s about objectively asking yourself why you have a cluttered home in the first place.

If you have 5 minutes to spare, you can watch this video for more details.

Watch the video now:



Clutter origins: why you struggle with clutter in the first place


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7 thoughts on “The reason you struggle with clutter in the first place”

  1. Books, I love books. Some are very old, eg. My grandmothers. I really want my kids to want them. I don’t think that’s going to happen…they’re at a different stage in their lives. Any ideas?

  2. I’m overwhelmed. I have stuff that I want to get rid of but can’t bring myself to do it. I could try selling some of the trinkets but it’s the effort for so little reward.
    I listened to the video ‘if letting go is a struggle’ – I’m not employed at the moment so I have the time but where to start? I have yet to listen to the 10 minute declutter.
    I am ashamed of my clutter but I think I would regret letting go of some of it – and I don’t know which things I would regret the most.
    Overthinking and regret.

    • Listen to the 10 min declutter video. Get encouraged, feel confident, get a doable technique. Enjoy the video. Listen to another one while you declutter the top inch of mail. Feel prepared because you bring in a trash can and a recycling can next to you. Set a 15 min timer. Stop, put what youve sorted away. Move the trash cans back. Repeat another day. Feel good about what you HAVE done. Good job.

  3. I am 79 years old and have lived in my upstairs apartment in my two family home since 2005. It was pretty organized when I moved up here and rented the downstairs. I guess I just kept bringing stuff in here and eventually there was no place to put everything away. All storage areas were already full: closets and cupboards, etc. Now I am disabled and walk with one (sometimes two) canes and carrying stuff is almost impossible. Getting stuff down stairs and out of the house is very difficult. I’m ready to get rid of things, but getting them gone is a big challenge. I could use some help but don’t know where to turn, especially for free help. I appreciate your advice for self compassion. I think I have that.

  4. Sometimes I can ditch the shame, sometimes not. I have an idea WHY I do it, but I need to reign it in and am lost on HOW.

    I have a very small living space (399sq ft). I’ve filled it with THINGS and clutter. Once upon a time I was getting better- decluttering, cleaning; but then physical and financial problems began to mount and the clutter and filth began anew. My pet developed ckd and the cleaning (and vet bills) from him being sick never ends.

    I’m a paper hoarder by nature, never know where to put things, and forget things when they’re put away! I recognize three of my biggest issues are fear of scarcity (I’ve had to move with little warning several times- new management, priced out, etc, costing me thousands and unable to replace things), lack of organizational skills, and lack of object permanence.

    The paper hoarding begins any time I get behind in bills (my email looks as bad as my home for many of the same reasons so paperless hasn’t worked either).

    I’m grateful you are here.

  5. Thank for “The reason you struggle with clutter in the first place”! I love the emphasis on having compassion for yourself. My clutter just overwhelms me and I know it began when my son died in 2014. I was heartbroken, depressed and had little energy for anything, certainly not for housekeeping. As I began to heal I realize my house was a disaster! Now my husband is very ill and most of my time is filled with working full time and caring for him. I don’t know where to begin. Thank for the insightful message.

  6. Hi Sarah,
    For me, there may be a couple of reasons I am struggling with my clutter. My husband passed away 7 years ago and I spiraled into a depression. He did everything, cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, car maintenance, and so on. I did the finances. I have a double whammy. Dealing with the grief and now all that he had done. With counseling, I’ve come a long way, but I can’t seem to find the drive to declutter and clean. Twice, a friend has helped me clean for company, but here I am again amid clutter to the point I can’t really even vacuum because of all the stuff on the floor. I feel there is “unfinished business” of some sort within myself that I need to deal with to be able to declutter and make it last. I’ll be discussing this in my next counseling session.


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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