Why does getting rid of clutter make us feel guilty?

Clutter, clutter, clutter. I think we all have it in one way or another. Some of us just have a little junk drawer, this contains clutter, but really not a large amount. There are those who just have a large amount of an item and really nowhere to put it. While there are a small group who belong on the television show Hoarders, they are so bad!

Am I really guilty of clutter?

I like to think that I am not guilty of clutter, but one look around my house, well, in my drawers, closets and storage areas, and you will see I have clutter like everyone else. Mine fit in the category of “closet clutter”, you can’t see it in person, but it is hidden, like in a closet.

Recently, I discovered how bad my clutter was. The house I lived in before I moved, had a closet the size of a small bedroom. I managed to fill this closet to the brim. It was so packed, I had to move some clothes and my coats to other closets in the house. Clothes were everywhere and that did not stop me from adding to it. Let me add, it was not just clothes, but shoes, purses, jewelry, everything. Just all of the things we women love, except I owned them in multiples!

Moving was a discovery

When I began to pack, because I was getting ready to move, I thought this is when I would begin the cleansing experience. Anything that I had a question about I would try on and make sure the clothes fit good and get rid of those that didn’t. I even vowed to get rid of the clothes I was saving “just in case.” You know the ones I am talking about. The ones that you are waiting to wear when you lose those last ten pounds or the ones that have good memories attached.

Four hours one evening and I had 8 garbage bags of clothes to donate to charity. I used to consign and sell on Ebay, but they were a pain, so I figured since God blessed me with the money to shop in abundance, I would donate to others. It was a good feeling to know that I had gotten rid of so much! That was, until the move.

The day of the move

On the day of the move, I was loading my car with the clothes and I ran out of room! Now, I do drive a smaller SUV, but who runs out of room for their clothes. Not to mention, the day before, I had filled my SUV full of clothes and dropped them off at the house. Now, I did forget to say that in my new house my closets are quite small, so I made a decision that one of my bedrooms was going to be a closet. As I began unloading the clothes, I was running out of room.

The honesty of a friend

The closet/spare room looked good. I had set up a vanity and it was just what most women dream of! Then a friend came to visit. This friend was bluntly honest with me about how I had too much clothes. She even said, “it’s not the fact that you have too much clothes, it is that you don’t wear half of them!”. She was right. Facing these facts was next for me.

With this I decided it was time. It was time to get rid of the clothes that I truly never wore, even though I was saving them. Yes, I tried to get rid of them before, but there were some I had such high hopes for. So, on a day when I had nothing going on, I got rid of even more clothes. This time, I got rid of everything I had no intention of wearing, ever. I piled up ten more garbage bags of clothes and took them home for my family and friends to enjoy.

Now, I bet you are wondering what took me so long to do this? I wish I had the right answer for you, but I don’t. The truth is, guilt is why I did not remove these clothes. It wasn’t that I enjoyed seeing my closet bulge open with clothes, it was plain old guilt. Guilt for the clothes I bought and wore one time and just hated on my body. Guilt for the clothes that still had the tags attached and I just never go around to wearing. I just could not part with these clothes for the guilty feelings I had, until now.

Others must feel this way

I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. There are others out there who probably have guilt associated with their clutter. They know that it is time to get rid of these items, but they feel so guilty about getting rid of them. Guilt consumes them so much so that they feel that they just cannot part with these items.

For me, I had to push past the guilt. I had to realize that even though I might feel guilty, getting rid of these excess clothes was the best thing to do. They would make others happy and I had to keep telling myself that in order to get rid of the guilt.

It can be hard to try to push past the guilt. I know people who still hang onto things and can’t get rid of them at all. These are more your “hoarder” type people and this is when things become a bigger problem. You have to face the fact that you need to get rid of the clutter and just do it. No-one is saying it is easy, but removing this excess from your life, makes things that much better.

It actually felt good

I can honestly say that it is a good feeling to get rid of those clothes, shoes, etc. The only problem is that I made room for more! That problem is another post for another day! In the mean time, I will just enjoy my clothes. And did I mention, I am starting a fashion blog? More details on that coming soon! I guess you could say I am getting to use my fashion degree and shopping addiction in more than one way. But don’t follow my example and get rid of the clutter. Get rid of it and do not look back!

Leave a Reply