Living With Clutter

Some say an environment of clutter is the perfect atmosphere to get things done and make things happen. The need for papers and other materials all over the place seems to create a comfort zone that also presents the opportunity for accomplishment. Clutter, or quiet confusion, is what they prefer to have as their typical surroundings.

For most, the evidence of clutter in one form is likely a representation of clutter in some of the more important areas in life. Mental clutter hides fear that you rather not face. Physical clutter hides responsibilities that need to be taken care of. For me, when I feel as though I don’t have control over a particular area in my life as much as I’d like too, I am quicker to leave papers lying around the house, more likely to leave piles of clothes left unfolded longer than necessary, and will sometimes find myself ignoring other things that need to be done. For me, physical clutter around the house is a sure sign that I am not pleased with a more important issue in my life that may be presenting a struggle for me.

However, when I force myself to handle the physical clutter around me, take the time to get things in order as I normally would, I feel the door to clarity begin to open a little more; clarity on how to handle the more serious matters I may not have complete control over. When my house is clean, I am more willing to think more positive thoughts. I am more hopeful. I can breathe. My will to take a look at the struggles I might endure begins to take over. I begin to make the effort to really take a look at the changes I need to make. Tidying up not only strengthens the patience I need, it also strengthens my ability to endure.

The truth about clutter is that such an environment allows you to find satisfaction in only doing the very least that needs to be done, enough to get by. Clutter covers up the things you don’t want to see, the important matters that need your attention the most. It gives you the excuse to put off that which needs your attention because you become so preoccupied with the physical clutter that stares at you everyday. When you allow the physical clutter to exist so long, you may even become completely oblivious to any form of clutter in your life and resort to finding comfort in denial.

Cleaning up your life in general requires going through the clutter; the physical and the mental. Anything and anybody that blocks clarity and the opportunity to stay on top of responsibilities should be dealt with sooner than later. When you finally do decide to fiddle through your clutter, the pain you experience while cleaning will not be found in the actual act of cleaning. It will instead be found in the realization that you would’ve avoided many of the setbacks that now exist due to your fear of not facing that clutter. Finally getting around to cleaning your space will always show you things were not as bad as the piled up clutter made them out to be. But as long as you choose not to face the fear and anxiety lying underneath, the piles will continue to grow.

If for no other reason, clean up so that you have no excuse for not seeing what’s really taking place in your life. Whether your clutter involves papers and bills lying around, too many people in your ear, or an overload of ideas on your mind, clean up to find clarity. Keeping a clean house or environment is directly related to having the ability to avoid mental clutter and living a life with clarity. One is always a reflection of the other. If you really want to know how much mental clutter you are living with, look around and take note of the people and things in your physical environment. The two have a connection that is stronger than any other.

Tawana R. Powell

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