“I matter and I am more than my clutter.”
As you look around your home, you see piles of things taking up space across the floor. Stacks of dated magazines and old mail scattered about. Clothes you haven’t worn in years spilling out of your closet and drawers. This is your home - a place you should feel proud of, yet when you look around, you’re not proud. You’re exhausted.
You think to yourself, “How did I let it go so far? I couldn’t help but keep it all.” Then the negative self-talk begins to snowball, and all of a sudden, you feel worse than you started.
You’re overwhelmed, frustrated, and just tired of being tired. Then again, what else is new?
You feel like you don’t deserve to get help or even live a better life.
I’ve witnessed these emotions time and time again with those who hoard and live in extreme clutter. But let me tell you something, you deserve a better life. You deserve to get all the help you want and need.
You deserve it because you matter.
Whether you hoard or experience chronic disorganization, it doesn’t have to define you. You are much more than that.
How You Feel Matters and Tells You a Lot About Yourself
There are days when you are ready to declutter and clear your home. You are motivated to get your life back. But then, there are days where you feel like there is no point in trying.
You find yourself struggling between the empowerment to declutter and the anxiety of actually decluttering. After all, the clutter you’ve surrounded yourself with for so long is like an old friend, and you don’t want to let that friend go.
You may feel embarrassed, defeated, or even lost.
You know it's not the healthiest of habits, but you cannot help it.
You also can’t fathom the possibility of parting with any of your things.
Don’t worry. These feelings are completely valid.
One of the best ways to understand yourself and your current situation is to simply ask questions.
How do I feel when I bring something new to the house?
How do I feel when I’m surrounded by my items?
How would I feel about tossing things out?
Why don’t I want to toss out these items?
Where are these feelings coming from?
By frequently asking questions like these, you bring awareness to the feelings or emotions you have hidden behind the items you own.
There is no right or wrong answer here. This exercise simply serves as a means of bringing such feelings to the forefront of your mind.
You Aren’t Your Things or Your Current Situation.
You may hoard. You may keep a lot of things. However, the number of magazines you have piled up, the books you have scattered, and the number of teacups you saved - those things don’t determine your value or worthiness of getting help.
The emotional attachment you may have to these items gives you a sense of security and happiness - even if just for a moment.
Perhaps you projected a part of yourself onto these items and cannot throw them away. When you do, it feels like you are throwing yourself away.
Here’s the thing.
You’re not throwing yourself away. You’re still here. You are present.
Memories reside within you, not in the items you keep.
You are many things, but you are not your things.
You've Always Been Worthy.
Whether you grew up with little or nothing at all.
Whether your parents were hoarders.
Whether you developed an attachment to things.
Your past does not dictate your worth.
Your current situation does not dictate your worth.
You are worthy of help.
You are worth the effort.
You have always been worthy of a better life. In fact, you deserve a better life.
It’s time for you to believe it.
How to Practice Feelings of Worthiness
If you ever wonder how you can help a hoarder, the answer is not tossing their things out the window - it’s compassion.
It’s easy to get into the mindset that you don’t deserve to be better because of your current situation.
The first step to improving and valuing yourself begins with compassion.
Think of how your best friend speaks to you. This is how you should speak to yourself.
If you are hard on yourself every day and tell yourself you don’t deserve good things, you will eventually believe that to be true.
The brain is incredibly powerful. By starting with positive thoughts, you can create positive habits that can help you change the way you value yourself.
Give yourself permission to be kind to yourself.
Self-compassion takes time and practice.
If you want to toss away one thing today, then toss it out and positively reinforce yourself.
Some examples include:
“I am proud of myself for ____ today.”
“Good job for _____. ”
“I did well today.”
If you couldn’t throw something away today, tell yourself it’s okay! Then try again tomorrow.
Some examples include:
“I am taking things one step at a time.”
“I will try again tomorrow.”
“It’s okay to take things slow.”
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Celebrate your all wins - big or small.
Compassion starts with you.
Now say it with me, “I matter. I matter and I am more than my clutter.”
When You Are Ready to Make a Change, You Will Have Help.
You are the main character of your life.
You have the power to decide when to change your life. Want to declutter your home? Want to live in a livable space? You can.
Getting through trauma or old feelings can be hard to do on your own. When it comes to your mental health, reach out to a therapist for help. They can guide you and help you out of your mental clutter.
For your physical clutter, work with a certified professional organizer, who is educated in working with people who are chronically disorganized.I have worked with dozens of people who experience chronic disorganization and hoarding and helped them clear their homes.
Sometimes it's hard to reach out to a friend or family member for help, but that’s why I am here.
I can’t promise that I can wave a wand and solve all your problems. But we will work together to help you on your journey to a clutter-free and organized home that you can truly feel proud of. Ready? Click here to get started.