Who Needs It? Challenge #2: Get Real

As I mentioned in this post, the amazing SRB (who you should definitely be following if you aren’t yet) is hosting a challenge for bloggers to deal with and hopefully get rid of unnecessary clutter in their lives. She’s had an amazing response, showing just how prevalent this issue is.

Obviously, clutter is tied to emotions and psychology- just turn on any episode of Hoarders and it’s plain as day that the person’s problems really aren’t about the stuff. So for Challenge #2, SRB has posed some questions, asking us to GET REAL about the underlying EMOTIONS tied to all this STUFF. For tonight, I’m going to tackle just one.

  • What is your emotional experience regarding your clutter? (For example, guilt, anxiety, anger, ambivalence, apathy, etc)

Guilt- yep. Ugh, why did I buy this in the first place? I spent money, which we do not have a lot of, on this, and now I want to get rid of it? Why didn’t I eat this bag of spinach/leftover pasta/lunch meat before it spoiled? This was a gift- I CAN’T get rid of it, right? No, Grayson never played with this toy, and it’s still brand new, so it would be terrible if I didn’t give Charlotte a chance to play with it, right?

Anxiety- yep. I touched on this before. I am an anxious person by nature, and I’m also not naturally organized. I lose stuff ALL THE TIME which drives me insane. I especially have anxiety when my kitchen isn’t clean. I will clean my kitchen three times a day and run half loads of dishes so I don’t have dirty dishes sitting around. I’m still trying to figure out why this is- why do I avoid and let go other areas of my house but get so anal about my kitchen? Also, I get anxious about the future. Financially, things are really tight, and I hold on to items “just in case” we need them later. And then there’s the huge looming question: will we have a third child someday? Should I hold onto all this baby gear if/when that happens?

Embarrassment- I’m embarrassed I’m 34 years old and still haven’t figured out how to be organized. I’m ashamed I let papers pile up and random homeless items pile up in junk drawers or the garage. I will say, I am much less embarrassed to have people over now that we don’t have the dogs. That’s awful to say, because I loved the dogs so much and really miss them (miss them, but don’t miss them, ya know?) but it’s wonderful to not have my house smell like dog, have dog hair stuck to everything and worry about my dogs annoying my guests.

Anger- As I said above, I’m not neat or organized naturally, which I look at as a character flaw a lot of the time. And it makes me angry. SO MUCH of my life feels out of control and I feel like I should be able to control the state of my home and the things I allow to take up space in it. But sometimes I feel so inadequate, and it feels like the stuff, the mess, the clutter- is winning.

Ahhh, big sigh. It feels good to get all that out! Now, to actually channel all this EMOTION into actually paring the house down to things we need and really love. The challenge continues…


  1. J o s e y on February 1, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I routinely eat leftovers that I don't actually want to eat, simply b/c I can't stand wasting food & throwing anything out. People give us gifts that I don't want my kids to play with, but I have a hard time passing them on anyway. GAH. Why do we do this to ourselves? This will be such an interesting challenge.

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