Let Go Of Your Emotional Clutter:

by Carole Bourne

There is nothing helpful nor healthy about clutter.  Clutter is restrictive and heavy.  It is well known for effecting one or many areas of your life – day in day out.

The burden of clutter becomes screamingly obvious when you physically sell, give away or throw it out.  You then realize just how emotionally or physically draining and life interfering all your clutter has been.


The flip side of course – clearing clutter is one of the greatest ways to boost your energy, get yourself out of a rut, feel lighter, improve your health, remove obstacles and create space for the new to arrive.  Clearing clutter is a proven therapy for creating change in your life.  Now is always the perfect time for a focused clutter busting session.

Simplify your living space and feel the difference:

To help reveal the many sneaky disguises of clutter I have shared with you 10 common forms of emotional clutter that may be lurking unknowingly in your home.  Some will speak loudly to you whilst others will not.  Some will be a total surprise and others will just act as a reminder.  Either way they are intended to give you an extra nudge in supporting you release stuck, thick heavy energy lingering unhelpfully in your home or office.

Start simply with one kitchen draw or your hallway cupboard.  If you find clearing clutter a burden then make it a game,  pretend you are about to move overseas (I use this method often), simply repeat a mantra  “I am happy to let go of my clutter sooner, rather than later” to find your momentum or gather more inspiration by clicking here.

Remember clutter is anything unwanted, unloved, broken, unused, doesn’t work, expired or doesn’t fit.  It is both healthy and helpful to regularly simplify your work and living space by clearing clutter.

The 10 most common types of emotional clutter:

1. Emotional guilt clutter:
Presents and gifts hiding around your house that are not lot loved nor used can be classified as clutter.   You simply feel obliged to keep them.  If you threw them out you would feel guilty.

Shift your thinking to “conscious sharing” or “re-gifting”. Start this year by “re-giving” your unwanted, unloved  gifts to those who really would value and appreciate them and release the emotional guilt energy from your home once and for all.

2. Fear of  “lack” clutter:
You keep all kinds of stuff just in case.  Just in case you might need it some day,  just in case you couldn’t afford to buy another one in the future, just in case you might read it some time soon, just in case you lose weight or just in case for no particular reason. The fact that you haven’t used it in 2, 3 or 5 years generally means its once useful purpose has expired.

To create flow in your life things must be constantly be coming in and going out.   You must let go when no longer needed and receive when necessary.  Once you block stuff going out of your life ( by holding onto your clutter with scarcity and fear of lack)  you stop the flow of abundance.

3. Unhappy relationship clutter:
Keeping stuff from past unhappy relationships keeps a part of you tied to that relationship and tied to the past.

There is absolutely nothing healthy or advantageous from hanging onto memorabilia or gifts from a past unhappy relationship.  Be strong, be honest and ask yourself, what is the benefit for holding onto these things.

If in doubt as to your attachment and the draining effect then try the “energy up, energy down” exercise.

4. Depression clutter:
People with depression tend to have a lot of things stored on the floor. Stuff on the ground pulls your energies down and encourages you to withdraw from the world emotionally.

If your floor surfaces are covered with lots of stuff make an effort each day to start moving things up from off the floor. I guarantee it won’t be long until you start noticing a difference in your moods and how your home feels.

5. Addiction clutter:
Compulsive buying for the sake of it and addicted to sales and bargains without any thought simply adds to the congestion and confusion already filling your home and life.

Take an honest look at your stuff and see if you have any addiction clutter floating around.  Better still never go shopping without a list, consciously choose what you intend to bring into your home and for every new item purchased throw out at least two.  Keep the energy flowing.

6. Need to impress clutter:
You feel your sense of self worth is reflected by the appearance (or value) of the stuff in your living space. You generally don’t like many of your possessions but have them because they are the latest trend, most impressive or even most expensive.

Filling your home stuff to impress your ego or others, simply means you are out of alignment with your life and the energy in your home.  This can be as obvious as a bookcase full of books that you never look at or even care about.  It simply gives the impression you are well read and knowledgeable.

7. Unhappiness clutter:
Buying stuff to make you feel happy again is a quick fix solution. It does not bring deep long lasting satisfaction to your life and the item you bought only brings happiness momentarily. Unhappiness clutter can then turn into guilt clutter when you realize a few days later you don’t really need it and feel guilty for buying it.

8. Emotional hiding behind your clutter:
Overfilling your rooms, cupboards and home with stuff is often used to hide from the outside world or your true self.   It keeps the attention away from you and focused more on the hundreds of nick knacks you have everywhere.

9. Denial clutter:
If you are scared of change then you will have denial clutter.  You have a sense that your world may fall apart if you start removing serious amounts of clutter from your home.  You may be consistent in throwing out surface clutter but when it comes to a serious clutter busting session to invite wonderful change you consistently tell yourself this item or that possession is not clutter.

Do you really need all those plates and salad bowls in your kitchen or clothes in your wardrobe?

10. Other peoples  clutter:
When you look after stuff for other people get clear with how long you are minding it for.  Short term is generally fine as you are being helpful.  If however their stuff turns into annoyance or frustration then your act of kindness has evolved into energy draining clutter that’s not even yours.  Your friends or family need to find other arrangements or put it in storage.

More articles I’ve shared before on clutter:

* Six simple things you can do when you can’t shift your clutter:

* 6 excellent reasons to uncomplicate your life:

* 4 fun clutter busting games:

* The energy up, energy down exercise:

* Detox your home and feel brand new:


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Beside my bed:

mindoverIf you are struggling with health issues, I have a feeling you will love this book.

I’ve borrowed it twice from the library and will now be buying a copy.  Some books are simply keepers to delve into from time to time for their pearls of wisdom.

The biggest highlight for me was being reassured that our bodies natural healing mechanisms work magnificently when our bodies have internally triggered the relaxation response.  This research is a perfect fit for my Slow Retreats.  xx Carole

Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself by Dr. Lissa Rankin


Rejuvenation Lounge Full Moon Healing Circles:

Each month I craft a unique Global Full Moon Healing circle with specific healing and therapeutic qualities.


You are very welcome to join, no matter where you live in the world.

The circles are active and streaming healing vibes your way from the start of the full moon and continue for up to 10 days.

Click here to read more about my Full Moon Healing Circles.  xx Carole



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Oscar - freestyle mind January 16, 2010 at 12:17 am

Clutter kills creativity. I’ve decluttered my computer setup by removing lots of distractions and programs that were not worth having. Now I use simple tools for my tasks and I’ve found that I’m more effective and less stressed this way.


Carole Fogarty January 16, 2010 at 6:33 am

Hi Oscar, Yep couldn’t agree more clutter clouds your thinking, confuses your mind and definately blocks the flow of creativity.


kathyj333 January 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been workinmg to unload emotional clutter for a while now. But as I look around me, I can that my life is full of clutter. Great article. Thanks for sharing.


Carole Fogarty January 26, 2010 at 8:23 am

Hi Kathy,

I’m always baffled as to where all the clutter comes from, even though I clear clutter regularly. Hope you done some serious clutter clearing since reading this article.

Good luck



Fiona January 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Oh gosh Carole – this is hard. I’m moving house so thought it the perfect time to declutter. I have so much! Thought it would be easy but when it comes to gifts my Mum has given me that just aren’t “me”, I’m feeling guilty. I suppose the hardest thing is deciding that it has to go and then sticking to it. Once gone, I’m sure I won’t even remember or feel bad. I’m giving it to charity and to garage sales to raise money for orphanages so that make sme feel better. Thanks so much for your article again – definitely getting lots of practice. Fiona x


ladyjulie January 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

thanks for the post on dec luttering the computer I now spend a lot of time working on my PC and need to do this thanks for the motivation…


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