Almost 20 years ago I wrote about and gave presentations on Feng Shui clutter called, "The Many Facets of Clutter" as part of a series of trainings for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). I had gathered information from many sources including members of NAPO and leading medical professionals in the field of hoarders and the chronically disorganized.
This was no easy feat. We didn't have the Internet back then. Also, we truly didn't realize how extensive and pervasive the problem of clutter had become.
I divided "The Facets of Clutter" into three main groups: Understanding It, Clearing It, and Managing It. In the meantime I've added a fourth: Affects of It. I thought I would share some of that information with you in a series of blogs, especially since we are approaching another Mercury Retrograde.
During Mercury Retrogrades we are influenced by certain energies making it an excellent time to reduce any clutter in our lives. I thought you might like to schedule time and develope a plan to take advantage of this energy to improve the Feng Shui chi in your life. You'll find it doubly beneficial during this upcoming phase since the energy of this year is also focused on reducing clutter.
First, in Understanding Clutter, let's look at some possible causes of it:
- A life crisis or event might occur - illness, death, divorce, moves, even the wonderful celebrations of births and marriages or a planned remodel - preventing you from having the time and/or energy to deal with the everyday organization of items.
- Denial on some level that clutter even exists. This could be either on a conscious or subconscious level, or possibly both.
- It could be an expression of anger at a person or situation - again consciously or subconsciously.
- A person could feel it isn't their responsibility to deal with it as it's not theirs, either partially or entirely. For instance, it could be something as simple as the throw-away newspapers being brought in, but not dealt with by putting them into the recycle bin. After all, "Person A" didn't subscribe to them and was nice enough to bring them in, but "Person B" resents having to unwrap them from the protective plastic cover before recycling. Both parties are contributing to the clutter and neither thinks it's their responsibility.
- A medical or mental illness could be the cause. Examples of this are ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), head traumas, birth defects, even genetic dispositions - all can be the cause. If a person is adopted, they might not know one or both of their parents were impulsive or have hoarder tendencies.
Other possible causes could be wrapped around self-esteem issues. Some of the studies on self-exteem as it is involved in clutter issues show:
- A person hasn't completed any projects recently, or possibly never.
- Most have not finish high school.
- They are told they are stupid.
- They don't fit into the "regular world" of the left-brained, organized person. They are right-brain creatives.
- When they are told to "try harder" it actually short circuits their brain and they get more confused.
In the end, this affects them personally, socially, emotionally and psychologically.
In later posts, I'll cover other aspects to help us understand the many facets of clutter including ADD Symptoms along with the feelings, observations and behaviors associated with Feng Shui clutter.