Life & Lifestyle

What is Our Relationship to Clutter?

We all have a relationship with clutter. How we manage that relationship determines the clutter outcome.
Did you know the average three-bedroom household has more than 35,000 things in it? Yep, consumerism is America’s favorite indoor sport!
How is clutter, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues related to people’s organization skills?
The Mayo Clinic defines depression as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.” When we are overwhelmed with “stuff,” our minds and bodies react emotionally and physically.

So, what are Some Causes of Clutter?

  • Lack of space
  • Lack of time to organize
  • Lack of money
  • Not knowing where to put things
  • Fear of not finding an object when we put it away
  • Procrastination

What are some Effects of Clutter?

  • Depression
  • Feeling overwhelmed and/or overburdened
  • Loss of time, money, space, and/or energy
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Relationship tension
  • Stress

Is multi-tasking productive? NO! Research has shown that concentrated focus is absent when we multi-task; therefore, we spend extra time repeating tasks, which only adds to our work.

We have so many things to do, see, and learn, it’s no wonder our lives have grown more challenged, chaotic, and cluttered!

For us to become motivated to deal with the clutter in our lives, start by identifying the following:

  • Does the item function efficiently?
  • Does the item provide purpose?
  • Does the item provide passion?
  • By keeping this item, does it interfere with my safety and health?
  • By keeping this item, does it interfere with my family/social relationships?

Once you have identified your “Motivators,” you can begin the next steps in your Organizing journey.

Create a Realistic “Attitude 2 Action” Plan, for example:

  • Set a goal — take one bag to your garbage can, daily; or, plan a weekly trip to donate your items
  • Motivation — less depression with less garbage in home
  • Time Frame — 8:30 AM, Monday through Friday, take the trash out
  • Achievement — daily habit = no garbage in your home

Congratulations! You are on your way to creating a realistic daily organization plan!

Happy organizing,



Tammy O’Neil

Tammy O’Neil is an Associate Certified ADHD Coach, Certified Parent Trainer, Certified Student Success Coach and a Professional Organizer that specializes in ADHD, chronic disorganization, and hoarding. O'Neil fosters a cooperative coaching partnership with her clients and collaborates with them to reach their goals. If you want more information about how to get and stay organized, contact her for a FREE 20-minute phone consult at 304.834.5678 or or Tune in to "LIVE with the Organizer Coach," virtual presentation every second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 6:30–7 pm. Visit for more information.

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