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3 Forms of Emotional Clutter to Conquer

3 Forms of Emotional Clutter to Conquer

In an age of minimalism and mindfulness, many of us are presented with junk drawers and cluttered countertops filled with items that need to be sorted, donated, or disposed of. However, as complex human beings, we also have another home hurdle to conquer: emotional clutter.

If you find yourself unable to part with mementos from the past, ones that you rarely remember to look at but never seem to let go of, you might be experiencing emotional clutter. If you feel guilty re-gifting or donating the trinkets that have been given to you throughout the years and find them taking up more and more space in your life and home, you are likely experiencing the results of emotional clutter.

Today, we're discussing the three main types of emotional clutter and how to sort and conquer them.

#1 - Your Yester-Year Mementos

We all generally have 4 phases of life during which we tend to collect things: childhood and teen years, the college years, purchases for our first home, and purchases for married life. At that point, the cycle tends to begin again with childhood, but this time it is that of our own children and the many items we keep to remember those fast years.

If your hallmark trinkets, paper-clippings, and crayon drawings are sitting in a box or a drawer somewhere, are you really paying homage to them? Not really. Select a handful of items that mean the most to you and either use them or display them in your home. Sort, donate, and remove the remaining items. A sorted home is a sorted mind.

#2 - Gifts That You Keep Getting

Remember that one time you mentioned how much you like sarcastic t-shirts or clever quotes on coffee mugs? So do your friends and family. Unsurprisingly, every major holiday and birthday only increase your accidental collection of these items. While it can feel totally wrong to give away a gift, keeping those things under obligation isn't actually fair to yourself. Do you need 25 t-shirts or 57 coffee mugs? No one does. However, a few people could probably use and appreciate a few more.

Select your favorite gifts, just a handful, to keep and use. Donate the remaining items. You will not hurt your great aunt's feelings if you really don't want to keep the gift she gave you a decade ago. She likely doesn't even remember giving it to you.

#3 - Confusing Uncategorized Clutter

Junk drawers are modern-speak for "things-we-don't-know-how-to-categorize-but-are-afraid-to-throw-away." Don't be afraid. How many bottle openers can you use at once? Just one. You really don't need two, even if you have two guests who want to open their drinks simultaneously (you know your mind went there - haha!).

Install tiny hooks in your mudroom for all those spare keys. Use a clear, acrylic drawer organizer for drawers that tend to accumulate junk. Grab a pretty jar for spare change and display it on your desk. If you are able to see what you have, you'll be able to either use it or know that you need to dispose of it.