Day 92 Clutter – Physical or Psychological

Forgive me for being a little deep and meaningful with today’s topic but there is plenty of truth in the message I am trying to convey.

Clutter is often the physical manifestation of something Psychological.

Three examples of the psychological motivation behind accumulating stuff

  • Vanity : “Showing off” stuff because you think it makes you look somehow better to others.
  • Insecurity : “Keeping” stuff to make you feel like you are prepared for any situation that may arise.
  • Unhappiness : “Substituting” stuff, to make up for, something else missing in your life.

I am sure we have all fallen prey to at least one if not all of these weaknesses at one time or another.

Take a look at the stuff you are having trouble parting with. Consider for a minute why you acquired these items in the first place and what is stopping you from parting with them. Acknowledge the emotions at play here and free yourself of the burden that binds you to the object. You are better than that and you don’t need it so let it go.

But in the case of this drill, we just have more than one so this one has to go.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Continue reading with these posts:

  • Day 87 Replace old habits I heard somewhere recently that it only take two weeks to start breaking out of old habits. The idea being, if you can persevere and ignore the cravings to continue in your old habit for […]
  • Clutter, why? Clutter isn't about what we have, it is about why we have it.  We acquire stuff for many reasons, aesthetics, functionality, sentimental, recreation and entertainment and even […]
  • Clutter Maintenance Every time I have moved house I have had a reasonable length of notice. Although, sometimes the definite ~ "Yes we are moving." ~ may have come a little last minute but the maybe had been […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Just want to say I LOVE your website and you have inspired me to start decluttering again. I started off with 365 things but have changed it to 365 days as already on Day 9 I am up to 56! I count a bag of small things as 1 or a larger item as 1. I am keeping a record on Excel. Getting rid of stuff is such a wonderful feeling isn’t it? I am far more minimal than my friends, but the clutter builds up insidiously, and I have to go at it occasionally. I used to sell stuff on TradeMe (New Zealand’s eBay) but found it such a hassle, so now I donate everything that isn’t rubbish. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Janetta,
      I really enjoy writing my blog and it keeps me inspired and am glad when it helps others too. Discovering the psychology behind the clutter as each new decision is made about what stays and what goes really intrigues me. Please leave a comment if there is any topic you might want my view on.

  2. One thing I struggle with is photos: I have hundreds of pics on my computer, plus lots on Webshots and some on FaceBook. I have quite a few scrapbooks and lots of old photos too. I haven’t done any scrapbooking for nearly three years and I feel guilty about it. But I would like some kind of simple record.

    How do I organise my photos?

    • I am not sure what you mean by simple record so I am not sure if this will help. My husband is the one who takes care of archiving the photos, he uses Picasa. The latest version even has face recognition software to make it easy to go back through all the old photos and tag each photo with the name of each person in the shot. He creates folders for years, dates, location, events so it is easy to go back and find a particular set of photos. I even have a folder on there for my 365 things. I do simple editing in there and then can upload easily straight to Flickr from which I then Copy the photos info to my Blog. You can place all sort of tags to your photos to make searching for a particular shot very easy. The best part is Picasa can be downloaded free from the internet.