I watched Brené Brown: Listening to Shame video recently. It is one of my favorite TED Talks. Brené talks about shame and how we are saying to ourselves, "We Are NEVER Good Enough or Who Do We Think We Are". Isn't that a great way of looking at the underlining statements we say to ourselves that are from shame? And, these statements are just a few of the powerful statements in this video.
As a Professional Organizer(P.O.) for 20 years, I have met these similar comments when I tell a person what I do for a living. They feel that a P.O. will judge them for how they have lived their lives. And, if they accept help, it means they can't do it all (shame), which then means they are stupid or unintelligent (shame) because they can't do it all. Then, I go on and say, using my motherly voice, "My mission is to help others through inspiring them to organize and make their lives easier to manage without judgement." This usually helps them put their shame aside and be more open and allow me to see how they are living. This is a big step for them, so I take it very seriously. I especially do not want my clients to feel at all pressured or criticized for their situations.
When I meet with them for the Solutions Consultation, the first statement that comes out of their mouth when we enter the room that bothers them the most is "I am so ashamed or embarrassed of this ...." Interesting right? Shame you have about the clutter weighs on you more than the clutter itself. Shame plays a huge role in clutter.
I am here to tell you that the way you feel (the shame) about your clutter, messy home, or disorganized space, is affecting you more than the clutter itself. Remember that stuff is stuff. They are things that aren't always needed. You may need them now but not a year or five years from now. The stuff is the means to an end. You need them for a purpose whether it be to remind you of a happy memory or doing a particular task just to name a few. If you keep this in mind when you look at your stuff and your clutter, it will make getting rid of things easier.
Here are some tips to help you combat shame about your cluttered home:
- Recognize that you are embarrassed by your clutter. Tell yourself that clutter is just indecision and start by making decisions on every item you have.
- Admit to yourself that you need help. It is OK to ask. Forget the internal monologue that says you have to do it all yourself or you are not strong.
- Remember a strong person is the one who can ask for help.
- Remember there are many ways to do tasks and organize spaces. So, inform yourself that it is OK to change processes and rearrange spaces to make it work more efficiently.
- Remember clutter does not have to be permanent. If it bothers you, get rid of it.
Above all else, when you look at clutter, there is no need to judge yourself. The items are not judging you, so stop judging yourself. Let's continue the conversation, what do you say to yourself when you look at clutter in your home? Please leave a comment below.
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