Why do we have so much clutter?
It’s quite simple. According to Gill Hasson, life coach and author of Declutter Your Life (Capstone), we hang onto things because of our hopes and fears.
‘We keep so many things because we hope we’ll use them one day,’ Gill says. ‘Maybe it’s a book we still haven’t read, or we keep paint pots in the hope we’ll get around to redecorating. We often think it’s best to hold on to things, but actually the “hope-based clutter” simply reminds us of all the things we haven’t achieved – and this negativity isn’t good for us.’
And we keep other things because we’re scared of what might happen if we chuck them out – for example, paperwork. ‘We worry we might need it again, and that we’ll regret throwing it away,’ she says. Other items end up piling up because we attach memories to them. ‘Letting go of things can feel like letting go of part of ourselves,’ Gill says.
But most of all, there is an overwhelming amount of guilt that comes with decluttering.
‘We feel guilty about throwing away presents from people we love, as if by doing so we are throwing away our love for them,’ she says. ‘We also feel bad about the money wasted on things we no longer need nor want.’