Clutter blindness is defined as a person’s literal inability to see his clutter in front of him. The person may perceive that there is a pile of newspapers, dishes, or other items collecting in an area, but his mind minimizes or just flat-out ignores the mess. In extreme hoarders, the mental “blindness” is progressive until the issue is brought to light, and then they’re overwhelmed by the mess and unable to do anything about it. In less extreme cases, clutter blindness in my opinion, becomes apparent when clutter affects your everyday life and those around you.
The majority of the 350+ clients I have helped in the past few years have not been hoarders, but I will have to say that they didn’t usually contact me until they were experiencing stress, overwhelm, embarrassment, or immobilization in their lives and needed some sort of a “bail out”. I would venture to say that some form of clutter blindness occurred. It’s something as simple as saying “Oh, I’ll deal with those papers later”, or “I don’t have time to clean out the garage this weekend”. Before you know it weeks, months or years slip by until the clutter has gotten in the way so much that it is affecting people on an every day basis. Simple procrastination is common, but unlikely causes any harmful effects.
Some experts say to take a picture of the clutter. They say by looking at the picture from an observer’s point of view that it may make a person realize how bad things have gotten. Experts also say that a solution might be to ask a friend or family member to give you their opinion. That may or may not work. Cluttering is generally handed down from generation to generation so a family member may not be able to help. A friend may not be entirely honest, and might not want to get involved for fear the person asking may be hurt or ask them to help to declutter. If you think you are a hoarder or even entertain that thought, then you most likely have an issue that needs to be dealt with. It may not necessarily mean you are a hoarder, because like most of us, we are more critical of ourselves than others.
You first need to have an awareness that clutter is a problem in your life. You then need to be realistic regarding how severe it is and if you are ready to take action. If you want to make a change in your life, then there are several professionals in your local community that can help. I would suggest a certified life coach, a mental health counselor, or a professional organizer. If you just need help to command the clutter, and you are totally 100% ready, then a professional organizer is your best bet, and less expensive than a coach or counselor. If you need help making a decision, not sure you need help, or aren’t ready to take action, a life coach can help. If you are depressed, anxious or stressed out, then your go to person would be a mental health counselor.
If you see the clutter for the first time, then please reach out and get help. A good resource to take the first step is www.findmyorganizer.com. You can search for professionals in your area. Another good resource is National Association of Professional Organizers, also known as NAPO. Of course, if you have any questions, you can also contact me, and I’d be more than happy to help.
Command Your Clutter is a professional organizer providing services in Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs and Tampa. For more information, go to our web site www.CommandYourClutter.com
or call (727) 420-1746.