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The Story of Stuff: What Your Clutter Actually Means

While clutter may seem like a harmless accumulation of items, its much more than meets the eye. I Clutter isn't just excess, mess, disorganization or disorder. It's often a clue to deeper issues or unresolved emotions we're reluctant to confront. In this blog, we decode the hidden messages in our homes, delve into the fascinating world of clutter, and shed light on what our stuff truly reveals about our inner selves.

"Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination."

Christina Scalise

Types of Clutter

There can be various types of clutter in our spaces:

  • Physical/Environmental Clutter: Anything unfinished, unused, unresolved, unwanted or unnecessary. or out of place. Examples: tangible items such as clothes, books, papers, and household items

  • Visual Clutter: Excessive or disorganized visual stimuli in our surroundings. Examples: too many decorations, crowded shelves, or cluttered surfaces that overwhelm the eyes and create a sense of chaos or unease.

  • Electromagnetic Clutter: the presence of excessive electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in our environment, primarily generated by electronic devices such as smartphones, Wi-Fi routers, and power lines which may pose potential health risks

Note there are many other types of clutter too!

  • Digital Clutter

  • Emotional Clutter:

  • Spiritual Clutter

  • Relationship Clutter

  • Time Clutter

  • Financial Clutter

More on these in a separate blog!

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

William Morris

The Feng Shui Perspective

There is an energetic impact to clutter. In Feng Shui philosophy, clutter is believed to block the flow of positive energy, or chi, within a space. This presence of low-vibration or confusing energy leads to stagnation and imbalances that constantly drains you.

Depending on the area of your home where your clutter is located, it can also negatively influence your health, wealth, relationships and more. According to the Bagua Map, each area of our home corresponds to a different aspect of our life, and clutter in specific areas can reflect corresponding challenges or issues. Feng Shui is about attracting harmony and abundance into your life, but clutter can stop good things from reaching you.

Beyond its direct physical presence and disruption, clutter also has a powerful emotional impact on our lives. Studies have shown that clutter can evoke feelings of confusion, stress, overwhelm, anger, depression, fatigue and even shame, affecting our mental well-being and overall quality of life.

One of the basic tenets of Feng Shui is that nothing new flows into your life until you make room for it. Therefore, clearing clutter is the key to transforming your space. So decluttering strategically and intentionally, we can restore balance and harmony to our living environment, paving the way for greater abundance and well-being, peace and prosperity.

Decluttering the bedroom can lead to improved sleep or relationships.

Clearing the kitchen can contribute to better health.

Keeping a tidy bathroom can support good financial wealth.

The Meaning Behind the Mess

Clutter often has deep roots in our psyche, stemming from unresolved issues, past trauma or loss, and unmet needs. By exploring the psychological underpinnings of clutter, we can address the root causes of our clutter habits and embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Clutter is laden with symbolism that reflects our deepest desires, fears, and unresolved emotions.

The Geography of Clutter

Clutter can manifest in various forms, each carrying its own meaning. Below are some of the most common clutter locations and what they may reveal or represent:

  • Entrance – a fear of intimacy or relationships, the desire to withdraw or retreat socially

  • Closets – an unwillingness to examine your emotions.

  • Kitchen – a resentment to care-taking or gender stereotypes

  • Bedside – a desire for change or escape.

  • Desktop - career frustration, fear of letting go, and need to control.

  • Basement – avoidance or procrastination.

  • Attic – living in the past.

  • Garage – the inability to reach your potential.

  • Clutter all over – resistance to change, feelings of anger and low self-esteem, detachment or depression

More examples...

  • A stack of unpaid bills may signify financial anxiety or avoidance

  • A collection of sentimental items could reveal a reluctance to let go of the past.

  • The over-accumulation of possessions could be an indicator low self-esteem or a quest for validation.

  • Clothes that dont fit may reflect dissatisfaction with one's image or identity, or frustration with health goals.

  • Mementos or belongings from the past can indicate holding onto the past, a resistance to letting go or moving forward or new opportunities

By understanding the symbolism behind clutter, we can gain valuable insights into our inner world and begin the journey towards healing and transformation.

"The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don't."

Joshua Becker

Practical Tips for Decluttering

While understanding the hidden meanings of clutter is essential, taking action to declutter our homes is equally important. Here are some practical tips to help you tackle clutter effectively:

Prioritize the Key Energy Centers: From a feng shui perspective it's best to start with the following rooms:

  1. your Entrance - declutter items that are unwelcoming or intense

  2. your Bedroom: remove any items that are not associated with sleep or intimacy, especially from under the bed.

  3. your Kitchen - keep countertops clear as possible, use natural cleaners, declutter cabinets and drawers

Set realistic goals: Set achievable decluttering goals and celebrate your progress along the way.

Donate or discard responsibly: Re-home unwanted or unused items in the right time, in the right way

Create organizational systems: Implement storage solutions and organizational systems to maintain a clutter-free environment in the long term.

Practice mindfulness: Cultivate awareness around your belongings and possessions, making conscious choices about what to keep, what to let go of, and what to take in in the first place. Get in the habit of asking Do I really need/want this?" or “how can I get rid of this?” rather than “where can I keep it?

Most importantly, Do the inner work.

Chances are, if you grew up in a home or environment that was energetically chaotic, disorderly, or emotionally heavy then your body became accustomed to that energy. As a result you may subconsciously be pushing away the idea of opportunities for a peaceful and calming home and life.

Resistance to decluttering is found in the body and is rooted in past survival patterns. Those patterns are not permanent - they can rewrite themselves through SELF-HEALING, self-awareness and learning to trust your intuition.

Just like you will know when a relationship has run its course, You will know when an item is not longer needed or wanted, when it's time to say goodbye. This comes from age, wisdom, experience. This comes from growth, evolution and self-development. It shouldn't feel forced. It should feel natural.

Reminder: Having clutter does not make you "bad" or less than. You are NOT lazy, unorganized, broken, or failing at life. So stop the shame spiral! If you're doing the best you can, then that's all you need.

"Clutter-clearing is modern-day alchemy."

Denise Linn

Wrapping It Up

The presence of clutter can speak volumes about our psyche. The clutter in our homes, offices, vehicles and minds is a direct reflection of our inner landscape—a mirror that reveals our deepest fears, desires, and aspirations.

By unraveling the hidden meanings of clutter and taking proactive steps to declutter our spaces we embark on a larger journey of self-discovery, healing, and transformation.

In order to tackle clutter effectively, it's crucial to address the underlying emotions and motivations behind it. By acknowledging the emotional and energetic toll of our stuff, we can take proactive steps to create spaces that nurture our mental and emotional health.

Clutter almost always equals procrastination. The reason most people avoid clearing the clutter is because it takes a LOT of energy, effort and of course, TIME. Clutter clearing can also be a very triggering process so it takes emotional stamina and resilience to go through it. 

Knowing all of this, it's understandable if you need some support. Take the first step by scheduling a personalized Feng Shui consultation or energy clearing to create a harmonious environment that supports your well-being and put you on the path towards greater calm and clarity. Clear the clutter today, and watch as new opportunities and abundance flow in tomorrow.


Erin is a certified feng shui consultant, energy healer, wellness coach, and holistic growth strategist.

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