What does clutter do? Different things to different people but to most people, it causes stress.
We are hardwired to acquire. Acquisitions mean a better chance of survival, or at least that’s what we think. When it comes to acquiring money, which can buy food, housing, health care, real estate / land, and power, acquisition is most certainly a means of survival.
When acquisition ends in clutter though, things take a turn for the worse.
It becomes hard to find things, you don’t have space to be organized, and you will feel more frantic, not to mention the needless buying of things you don’t need. Living in clutter and being disorganized can also make it harder for you to accomplish goals or projects.
Of course spending money is not a bad thing, but how much “stuff” is too much?
The storage business in the US brings in $24 billion dollars per year. We have an industry of people here who are professional organizers just to help people get rid of clutter.
I’ve been fortunate enough to get to travel to some really incredible places, and I love the souvenirs I’ve gotten from these places. They evoke memories of these exciting adventures in my home. But it’s a constant battle to deal with clutter at my house- with just 1 person!
We’re programmed to “squirrel” things away partially because it gives us a feeling of transcendence, like we’re going to be here forever. Obviously, we aren’t.
Of course you can take things to the other extreme. When I was in boot camp, we would get yelled at for having a tiny wrinkle in our bed spread! This is obviously going too far.
The military does have it right though, staying organized and simple can help us achieve more, be more focused and efficient.
Most importantly, getting rid of clutter can help us be calm.