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5 Types of Clutter

Did you know there are different types of clutter?

The different types of clutter are determined by how you relate to different items in your home, and why that relationship is stopping you from getting rid of something that is cluttering your house.

Today we will talk about the 5 main types of clutter: Aspirational, Sentimental, Bargain, Stockpile, and Everyday clutter.

#1- Aspirational Clutter

“If only I could __, then this item would be perfect!”

Aspirational clutter is any item you're holding on to that you aspire to use in the future. Maybe it's a pile of craft supplies that you're saving for a new hobby, a book that you one day hope to read, or clothes you want to fit into when you get around to losing the weight.

While all well intended, the problem is that often what we intend to do, use, or wear may never actually happen. There's nothing wrong with aspirations, but, if you historically never get around to things, it's time to be honest with yourself and let them go. They'll likely be cluttering your home for the next few years if you don't!

#2- Sentimental Clutter

“I don’t know when I would ever use this, but __ gave it to me.”

Sentimental clutter are the items you have emotional attachments to or have assigned special meaning. Whether it's a gift from someone special, a treasured item you inherited from a past loved one, or something you acquired on your own, this can be the hardest type of clutter to eliminate.

Remember– letting go of an item does not mean you are letting go of the relationship or memory.

Choose to live in the present! It's not only the best option for your home, but for your mental well-being as well.

#3- Bargain Clutter

“Once I got home, I realized __ isn’t exactly my style, but I got it for such a good price!”

We all love a good deal! Store sales, thrifting, or free items can be hard to resist. But if you tend to fall prey to these appealing opportunities, you may end up getting more than you bargained for with a cluttered home.

When an item is free or discounted, it doesn’t automatically mean that it deserves to take up space in your home. A good rule of thumb: If you don’t like it enough to buy it at full price, then you don’t like it enough to buy it at all.

With that said, you don’t have to stop bargain hunting! Just be mindful of the consequences of doing it in excess and make smarter choices for the future of your home.

#4- Stockpile Clutter

“I went to the store only needing to buy 1 __, but they were selling them in bundles so I just went ahead and got 6!”

This falls right under bargain clutter as buying in bulk may often get you the best bang for your buck. Buying in bulk and stockpiling can be a great option for larger families, for making fewer shopping trips, or for emergencies. However, without the discipline and rationale behind it, you could end up wasting money and precious space in your home or storage with items you don't frequently use or may not use in the foreseeable future.

If you do buy bulk, focus on a few staples that you go through often. That way, you can be sure you’ll use your items in a timely manner and you are 100% certain that you will use them before they expire or get damaged.

Another tip for if you have a tendency to over-buy– give yourself a specific zone for excess and commit to yourself that your bulk purchases must be confined to that space (ex. One rack in the garage, one shelf in the pantry, one linen closet, etc.)

#5- Everyday Clutter

“When I came home from work I had to rush straight to a meeting, so I just dropped all of my __ right in the entryway.”

As the name indicates, these are the items that accumulate in your home on a day-to-day basis. The assortment of shoes at the front door, the stacks of mail on the kitchen table, or piles of laundry waiting to be washed or put away.

This type of clutter requires you to set daily or weekly routines to tackle ongoing maintenance. Dedicating a little bit of time each day to reset the common areas can prevent clutter from building up and becoming overwhelming.

INSIDER TIP: Your daily tidying routine doesn’t have to mean you put everything exactly back into it’s place each day…*gasp*! If you have a busy schedule, it is perfectly fine to have designated drop zones for things like mail or shoes. Keeping a basket or tray as a drop-zone throughout the week helps to keep surfaces and walkways clear with minimal effort. Then, whenever it fills up at the end of the week, you can dedicate 30 minutes or so to putting everything away properly. And the good news is everything is still easy to find in the meantime!

We all accumulate a little clutter from time to time, but when you start to have an emotional barrier against letting go of things you don’t use, then it can be helpful to self-reflect. Being able to identify what kind of clutter you tend to accumulate can help you better understand the root cause of the clutter and then address it head on.

Never forget– your home is meant to serve YOU! So don’t let clutter take control of your happy place!


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