Everyone has their triggers and I have a few, but one trigger I absolutely cannot control is my response to clutter. It makes me want to lose my mind. Especially clutter on the kitchen counters. Oh my gosh, my right eye is twitching just thinking about such things!
As a person who suffers from an anxiety disorder, it’s not an uncommon response. It makes you feel distressed, overwhelmed and like there is a mountain of uncompleted tasks waiting for you which escalates your anxiety.
My whole family is aware of my affliction with clutter. In fact, my daughters know better than anyone if you leave something unattended on the counter for too long (often just a couple of hours), it will most likely end up in the trash. The girls have lost many art projects to a clutter catastrophizing feeling. Don’t misunderstand! I keep LOTS of their work I have some of it framed and some stored, but I can’t keep it all.
How I Manage Clutter In My Life
- Designated Areas. I have designated areas, largely out of my view, where we can store things. It’s actually part of the reason I would never ever be able to have clear glass/see-through kitchen cabinets. I use them to hide a myriad of items I need regular access to but cannot stand to have sitting out.
- Use It or Lose It. If it’s not something I plan to use regularly or know I will not to reference later that can’t be found online, it’s gone. My mom often scolds me for not saving EOBs to reference for insurance and I’m like, “Sorry, I looked it and then tossed it!”
- Make It Pretty. If it is something I know I need and I’m running out of places to hide things (a.k.a. my growing leather earring collection from Nickel and Suede. I have an armoire, but these earrings are larger and don’t fit well inside it because it’s not terribly large) I make it pretty! I got an inexpensive metal wall organizer from Target and display my earrings! It’s so pretty and makes me happy!
Mind clutter is also a real thing. This blog post only speaks about physical, but it’s important to clear your mind so you can focus on what’s important. I’ve also begun deleting all messages out of my inbox (which is a HUGE step for me!) and deleting unnecessary texts. Exercise, reading, massages and dance parties all help me cope with mental clutter as well. 🙂