Top 4 Reasons Why You Have So Much Clutter

Top 4 Reasons Why You Have So Much Clutter and how to fix that!

Many people think that the biggest problem we have to getting organized is SO MUCH STUFF in too small of a space.  Rationally you would think that the solution to reversing that situation would be to just stop buying stuff.  Sounds easy right?  Nope, not at all. This isn’t a blog post about buying less stuff although ideally that would certainly help and I do think that naturally happens when we live organized decluttered lives with a place to put everything we own. It’s a natural progression of sorts and so before we can concentrate on what’s coming in and being intentional about that, what we do need to focus on right now is all THE STUFF we currently own piling up here, there and everywhere.  So much stuff. Are you tired of constantly looking for something you need or worrying about tripping over a stack of books piled up on the floor? And let me assure you that I see the irony in what I just said because I have a stack of books sitting beside my nightstand right now waiting to go to a friend. It happens.

But here’s the thing.  Until we can learn to manage the clutter already in our homes, anything coming in just automatically becomes clutter as well because it has no where to go.

So why all the clutter?  Why are homes these days loaded with so much STUFF? .

How many of you just said because my house is just too small?  And while this may be true, this isn’t the main reason you have too much stuff.  Here are my top 4 reasons why I think all your clutter may be taking over your home.

You Make Too Many Excuses for Your Stuff

Oh my goodness the list of excuses is lengthy. Everything from it was a gift from my Grandma, to I might need it one day, to it was so expensive I couldn’t possibly part with it now, believe me I’ve heard them all!  However you simply CANNOT keep everything as much as you want to. Here’s how to combat all those clutter excuses so you can learn to evaluate each item and only keep the things that are of most significance.

How to Combat Clutter Excuses

Guilty clutter is such a big reason so many people hang on to stuff. The dreaded clutter that we hang on to because we feel guilty getting rid of it.  Whether it’s a present someone gave to you, memorabilia that family has passed down for you to hang onto or something you have spent a lot of money on, there it sits taking up valuable space in your home. I struggled with that too and here’s what I did about it.

Letting Go of Guilty Clutter

That leads me to my next point.

You Don’t Make Decisions About Your Stuff

I have always said that clutter is simply procrastinated decisions. It’s so hard to make decisions that you might regret later especially when it comes to stuff we can’t always get back. BUT if we never make a decision about the stuff in our homes, it will continue to pile up and pile up and pile up. Some, in an effort to avoid making these decisions all together, simply buy a bigger house or rent a storage unit to tuck it all away out of sight, out of mind, just in case they might need it one day.  Do you know how much this “just in case” mindset costs us? Yes, it can cost us our freedom, our health, our time, our money, our sanity!!! This is no joke people.  Please read my post on How to Make Decisions About Your Stuff When You Hate to Make Decisions for tips on how to move past your inability to make some of those tough clutter decisions so you can get on with living the life you were meant to live.

How to Make Decisions

Plus asking yourself some important declutter questions helps too.

So while it is tempting to just want to organize all the stuff we own rather than make decisions about parting with some of it, here are 6 reasons why it is absolutely essential to declutter before we organize.

6 Reasons You Need to Declutter

You Don’t Purge Your Stuff Regularly

Purging regularly is so important for avoiding overwhelm. I’ve talked about this so many times on the blog especially about setting up a donation station and purging stuff into it DAILY and then donating the contents WEEKLY.  Follow these steps for how to make weekly household purges happen.  Set a daily goal for the number of items to purge and get the whole family involved!!

purge pile 1

Two years ago my daughter shared an important lesson on the blog that she’d learned about how to part with her stuff, especially the things she is emotionally invested with. She figured out a simple daily technique for how to do it so it didn’t hurt so much. I’d like to think that I had something to do with that but I really didn’t.


You Don’t Purge Until it Fits

Here is what you need to know. No matter what size of home you live in right now, if you can’t manage the clutter in it now, a bigger home only means more clutter. Yep, it’s true.  You know the old saying, “the more money you make, the more you spend”? Well the same concept can be said about our homes as well, “the more space you have, the more you fill it”.  How do you know how much to part with? You purge until it fits!

No matter how much you love and use something, you can only keep what you have the room to store if you want to live a life without the burden of so much CLUTTER.

Once you go through the process of eliminating stuff from your home and start to enjoy the (many!) benefits of what that feels like, I don’t think you’ll be in any rush to go back to your old ways.  I promise you it is well worth it!

Happy decluttering!!


Filed under: Clutter Control, Organizing Basics, Purging


9 Responses to Top 4 Reasons Why You Have So Much Clutter

  1. 1
    Carol says

    Lovely post. I can’t say I’m good in this area, but one of the happiest “emotional” donations I made was when I donated my family heirloom china (which I would NEVER actually use!) to a new bride who had registered for china but hadn’t received it at her wedding. It is so nice to see a beloved item go to a “good home!”

    • 1.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh Carol, that’s wonderful. I’m so glad you shared this and glad you were able to find a home for your china.

  2. 2
    MelanieL says

    These are great tips! I’ve always been pretty good about purging regularly but now I’m more mindful of what I buy or bring into my home so it is even easier! My closet doesn’t know it yet…but it’s almost Spring and I’m coming for it soon!! Ha ha!

  3. 3
    A.M. says

    I find poor people who have a great need for the items in our house that we simply don’t need/use. (People who are underemployed get lots of our items that we donate. Single parents with kids who are going without… You feel like they NEED the stuff you’re not using….and you really DON’T need it… so getting rid of it…makes you feel good and happy after donating it!!!) It’s making a difference in our community. There but for the grace of God…. I have no problem whatsoever de-cluttering when I know it’s all going to people who are in great need and who are very, very appreciative of the help.

    • 3.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes there are so many people in need that could use help for sure.

  4. 4
    Heather Mills says

    This is so spot on for me! Thank you for sharing this!

    • 4.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Your welcome Heather, glad you liked it!

  5. 5
    Mary Johnson says

    Two top reasons we have clutter –

    1 – Husband will not let me get rid of anything. I have to sneak my stuff out to get rid of it, let alone get rid of his stuff. Latest is that I have been turning his worn shirt collars and cuffs so he can still wear the shirts.

    2 – We each have a professional business and jointly have a handcrafted business that we run from the house – none of which make money. The latter is especially a problem as we need to have inventory in the house plus equipment. Living room? No, weaving room with loom. Finished basement – well, technically yes – but mostly for storing fabric bolts, matboard, inventory, cutting table, leather equipment and hides, and shipping supplies. And so on.


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