The 12 Reasons Why People Clutter

  1. Sentimentality- items that have great meaningfulness and value
  2. Identity- the belief that the item is part of "you", not just an independent object
  3. History of Trauma or Severe Loss- possessions fill a hole in the heart. Once we begin to see this correlation and work through the pain of the loss, we are better able to let go.
  4. Financial Insecurity- have experienced a time when there was very little and learning not to throw anything away. Recognizing that circumstances have changed and the mindset of "let’s keep it in case I need it" no longer serves us.
  5. Indecisiveness -having the "What Ifs" and ending up avoiding making decisions by keeping everything.
  6. Nonlinear Thinking- a difficulty in organizing objects in a logical left-brained fashion. Right-brain creative people see all "stuff" as an opportunity.
  7. Hyper-Responsibility and Caretaking- A tendency to feel overly-responsible for people.
  8. Perfectionism & Over-Control- when you throw something away you will never be able to have it again. Fear of losing things that had even a remotely sentimental value because there would be no turning back and no control.
  9. Fear of Forgetting- the inability to accept a lack of control, keeping items so they can be re-read at all times.
  10. Existential Insecurity- Failure to accept that things are ephemeral, keeping things to prevent them from ceasing to exist, that part of life may be forever forgotten.
  11. Learned Behavior- history in family of cluttering behavior
  12. Genetic Predisposition- recent brain research has indicated that there may be a ‘Clutter gene". Culled from the research of Dr. Duffy Spencer

Cynthia Braun is a certified professional organizer for Nassau County, New York