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Types of Clutter: Physical, Mental and Emotional

identifying clutter the decluttering process Mar 22, 2019

There are 3 types of clutter that are present in our lives – physical, mental and emotional. Being able to identify clutter is the first step to simplifying your life. As you read the examples below give some thought to what type of clutter is most common in your life.

Types of Clutter

Physical Clutter

Physical clutter is often the easiest to identify because it’s staring us right in the face. You can see physical clutter anywhere stuff can be placed – your car, your home, your desk at work, etc.

Below is a list that will help you identify physical clutter in your life:

  • Stuff you don’t want or need
  • Things you don’t use
  • Stuff you keep around for the sake of someone else – gifts or items purchased at the suggestion of someone else.

Take a look at the space you’re in now. Does anything fit this description?

Mental Clutter

Mental clutter is a little tougher to identify because it can be very subtle. Think of mental clutter as the noise or negative voice in your head. This type of clutter often leads you to believe you are not capable of something.

Some examples of mental clutter are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Constant stress
  • Latent anger
  • Self-doubt
  • Self-pity

Do any of these emotions resonate with you? What is the impact of those feelings?

Emotional Clutter

You can uncover emotional clutter by examining your habits. This type of clutter tends to present itself after your negative self-talk gets the best of you. Emotional clutter is often a distraction to your thoughts and feelings. It could also be a habit that keeps you stuck and stops you from accomplishing your goals.

Here are some examples of emotional clutter:

  • Indulgences – What do you throw yourself into to avoid feeling or doing other things?
      • Social media?
      • Work?
      • Spending time with people you don’t really like?
  • Habits – what habits waste your time, energy, or money?
      • Procrastination?
      • Perfectionism?
      • Lack of discipline?
      • Pessimism?
      • Disorganization?

What type of emotional clutter do you possess? What habits would you like to change?

Once you’ve identified clutter in your life, you can begin the process of decluttering.

Some things will only require a quick trip to the Goodwill. Others will may require you to consider changing your habits. It may even lead you to address thoughts or beliefs you’ve carried with you for a lifetime. Check out the this category to stay see different ways that clutter can present itself in your life!

Que-so Goodbye,


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