Organizing Blog

Psychological Obstacles to Clutter


There are three aspects to consider when looking for the causes of clutter: technical errors, external realities, and psychological obstacles.

Technical Errors - Simple, mechanical errors in your organizing system that can easily be fixed. It's often helpful to get an outside person involved to search for these errors with you, as they are often overlooked.

  • Items have no home
  • Inconvenient storage
  • More stuff than storage space
  • Complex, confusing system
  • Out of sight, out of mind
  • Organizing is boring¬†

External Realities - Environmental realities beyond your control that limit how organized you can be. Stop having unrealistic expectations of yourself when you discover and understand these realities.

  • Unrealistic workload
  • Speed of life/technology
  • In transition (new baby, marriage, divorce, moving, death, business growth, etc.
  • Uncooperative partners
  • Limited space

Psychological Obstacles - Hidden, internal forces that make you gravitate towards disorganization, no matter how much you crave control.

  • Need for abundance
  • Conquistador of chaos
  • Unclear goals and priorities
  • Fear of success/fear of failure
  • Need to retreat
  • Fear of losing creativity
  • Need for distraction
  • Dislike of space
  • Need for perfection

While the first two causes are important to address, psychological obstacles may be the most difficult to overcome and sometimes require additional assistance.

Major Mom uses a detailed job evaluation and method to help you identify potential obstacles, determine your exact needs, and solve these causes of clutter.

Causes of clutter taken from article by Julie Morgenstern

Fun Fact

Obstacle:  The Need for Abundance

Gaining perspective and awareness is the first step to recovering from "affluenza"-- a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more!

Organization IN-Sight

Believe it or not, the need for perfection is one of the most common psychological obstacles to clutter.

Find out how to overcome perfectionism and start organizing today! Listen to our podcast titled, "Paralyzed By Perfection: Get Over It and Start Organizing" at: