Leo recently wrote a post titled: “Clutter Is Procrastination.” Here is an excerpt:
When our houses or offices get piled with clutter, much of the reason is procrastination.
We all procrastinate – let’s just get that out in the open. There’s not a one of us who doesn’t, to some degree.
But while our tasks and projects can pile up, giving us some anxiety, the clutter is a visual sign of that procrastination, and carries with it just as much anxiety.
Leo’s solution is to deal with it right now. Instead of piling, or setting it down, deal with it RIGHT NOW.
Learn more: 4 Tips For Green Decluttering
I agree with the approach, most of the time procrastination does get in the way of minimalism and organization. I say that as someone who is staring at a basket of laundry that has been waiting to be put away for 2 days.
In my work as a professional organizer I have seen many clients procrastinate, or defer making a decision about a particular object, pile, or even an entire room once.
The problem is not solely procrastination, though. It’s the emotional attachment to the object that gets in the way. For instance, you could look at your wedding band, a childhood toy, or even a favorite book, and something happens inside you. You may have a feeling that is wonderful, or one that the particular object brings out that includes anger, sadness, pain, etc.
Learn more: 5 a Day Clutter Away Challenge
There are 2 ways this can manifest into clutter:
- avoiding dealing with the object(s) to avoidance of the emotions they feel
- the inability to separate the emotion from the object
In my experience, the second one is the most common cause of clutter.
I have had clients refuse to let go of things that were taking up space, time, and money because the mental association was so good. I have also had clients who could not face the feelings they associated with objects, so the objects stay there, the emotions never get released.
Learn more: Clear The Clutter From Your Closet
In my work, I act as 25% therapist, 25% heavy lifting, and 50% guide. Holding your hand, sometimes literally, as we go through each and every thing you own.
It is an extraordinarily difficult process for some people that is not born out of procrastination, but born out of fear. Fear of what was, fear of loss, fear of what lies ahead. If you get rid of all your layers, you are left exposed, and you have no excuses anymore. You are bare, without attachment, without clutter, and the focus becomes you. For most people it is the fear of seeing and being who they really are.
Now, I’m off to face my own issues, and put the laundry away.