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How can I beat my addiction to clutter?

About half of all people admit to having problems with clutter. Clutter in your home or office is a symptom of disorder in your mind, in your way of thinking. Clutter and disorganization are an epidemic today.

The reason for the mess

It’s so weird, people are addicted to clutter, they seem to want to hold on to it no matter what. Old magazines, you never know when you might need the information, old furniture – a backup plan in case your life goes wrong, they’ll have some furniture to use. Broken items of all kinds, maybe they’ll fix it at some point. All of these things are an admission of failure now or in the future. You need to keep all this old junk in case you can’t at some point so you have something.

All of this is based on fear, fear that you are broke, alone and helpless. It’s hard to learn to feel safe, and clutter goes some way to providing that. The point is that more things cluttering our lives are always needed to help us feel safe.

The need to collect

Do you ever feel like you have enough or should you keep collecting things? New things can even be a mess. I have a friend who buys books addictively, they pile up in corners against the wall and on tables. They are in stacked boxes and he has bought several books more than once. There are biographies that he wants to read and many motivational and self-help books. Most don’t read them, but he adds to the collection, spending his money that would be better spent elsewhere.

Computers provide another opportunity to push things away

Buying books and gathering information gives you a sense of security. Even with the unpaid bills, he is still spending money on new books. Since computers, the clutter has shifted to include your hard drive. It saves everything, lots of videos, PDFs you’ll never read, and audio programs. They clog up your hard drive and now you’re always buying extra drives to put more stuff on. In spite of everything, he continues to pay for more online programs, although he has not gone through the ones he already has.

In the browser, it marks everything so it can find it again, and since there are so many bookmarks now, it can’t find anything. Same with email, you save everything, you subscribe to so many emails that you don’t find anything important coming through. Regular mail is the same, it accumulates, it is rarely read, important mail is lost, sometimes checks, sometimes bills that need to be paid. The electricity is off and you have to pay extra fees to turn it back on.

When we are insecure and don’t feel safe on the inside, we tend to accumulate things that help us feel safe on the outside. Information that will help us to be a great success that we will have time to achieve someday.

There is a wounded part of ourselves that takes comfort in clutter. It is an illusion of control over events, people, and outcomes. As long as we operate under the control of our wounded self, clutter will continue to accumulate, either physically or on our hard drives. To heal, we must do the work necessary to build a strong and loving adult self within ourselves.

The spiritual solution

That adult self is a fully centered human being who is connected to a spiritual side, wisdom, strength, and love. He will operate in your life based on truth and not the illusion of security provided by disorder. No matter how much clutter is around you, you will still feel insecure, but by becoming a loving adult connected to your spiritual source, you can develop a sense of inner security.

To heal your wounded self, start meditating daily, practice affirmations that give you strength. If you believe the Bible, you can find a number of good scriptures that will help you feel safe. For example, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” There is great power in the words “I shall not want.” It is the recognition that God is your source and that you do not need clutter to feel secure.

The answer to clutter is not only to clean up your outside world, but also to find the source of your insecurity that you are trying to compensate for and deal with that as well. Simply cleaning up the mess is only a temporary solution. If you don’t address the underlying fear, you’ll find the mess in no time.

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