Why Do We Clutter?

Looking back over my adult life, I try to figure out when we accumulated too much stuff. I remember when my husband and I first got married. We barely had anything in our one bedroom apartment. But, some time in the fifteen years we gathered more and more stuff. I know that over that time we’ve held yard sales, donated stuff and taken other stuff to the dump. So, why do we still have so much clutter?

I wanted answer to that question. So, I researched why people clutter and I looked deep within myself. By knowing why I clutter I could then fix it, overcome it or know how to “not do it”. I found four major categories. These categories are Spaces and organization, Guilt, Life changes, and Behavior.

Spaces and Organization

  • When you don’t have enough storage solutions
  • Too much stuff for spaces you do have
  • Or you have the space but stuggle with using the space to its fullest potential


  • When trying to determine if you should get rid of an item but you don’t because someone gave it to you as a gift.
  • When trying to determine if you should get rid of an item but you don’t because you feel guilty about the money you spent on it and haven’t used it.
  • You keep an item because it belonged to a family member who is no longer with you.

Life Changes

  • You have a baby. Babies require lots of stuff life a crib, a dresser, clothes, more toys, playpen, bouncy chair, etc.
  • A new family member moves in, like a husband/wife, a mother or mother-in-law, a cousin, etc.
  • Maybe a family member passes away; a parent and/or grandparent. they left all their belongings to you.


  • Maybe you have depression
  • Maybe you have low self-esteem
  • Maybe you have ADD or ADHD
  • Maybe you have gotten out of the habit of putting things away when you are done using them.
  • Maybe you struggle with making decisions and/or letting things go.

After my research and learning about these reasons why people clutter, I discovered that I fall under more than one category. We live in a house that is too small for six people. It doesn’t take much for our house to look cluttered and unorganized. Some times I feel guilt about not needing an item I just bought or received as a gift. I’m trying to work on that guilt especially since I know the person who gave me the gift wouldn’t mind if I gave it to someone else who would more likely use it. Over the years, I’ve learned that I get distracted easily. To be honest, I’m pretty sure I have ADD but just was never diagnosed by a professional. This makes it hard to stay focused on getting things done. In my quest to declutter my house, I’ve learned that writing a daily to-do list and scheduling out my day helps me to get things done.

What categories do you fall under? What is your reasons for not having a clutter free home?

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