Today I want to talk about something that might be a little taboo in our homes this time of year. And it’s the frankly one of the biggest barriers I find people have when designing the home of their dreams. It might be a dirty word to some, but clutter is clutter is clutter. Let’s call it what it is! But I’m offering a bit of a different perspective. Because although I design homes for a living, I’m by no means a master at organization. In fact, when I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be an ice skater/painter/writer/dog trainer for the blind. Um hello, none of these dreams involved decluttering a house. I’m a creative type, so I’m motivated to make things prettier and easier. And I love to learn about processes for organization and some of the mentalities behind it. From my experience, I’m hypothesizing there’s five primary decluttering personality types.
Are you curious to find out yours? Keep reading to get more background on this theory or you can jump to the quiz now!
Start by Dropping the Stigma
Again, this is something I never thought I’d EVER get excited about. There’s so much stigma with clutter.
When someone comes to your house, you try to hide it.
Where there’s a lot of it in one spot, people accuse others of “whodunnit.”
It can cause a fight between two people when it’s both there or when it’s been removed. It might as well be a loaded gun.
In contrast, Feng Shui often refers to clutter as mere energy, specifically: stuck energy. So for this moment that you’re reading this, try to remove any negative connotations you have with clutter. Think of it as purely stuck energy.
I agree with this philosophy from what I see when working with homeowners – especially young families. There’s usually a physical spot or category of items that defaults to clutter. No matter how many times it’s picked up! And since I see it as stuck energy, I’m never coming from a place of judgement. It’s clutch to see these things actually because it helps me understand how the space is truly being used. And what areas need to have more resolve. Not just making the walls and surfaces look pretty.
It’s Often the Final Hurdle to the Home you Envision
It’s pretty typical when a new client shares their inspiration images for their home, that one of the biggest differences is a drastic decrease in clutter. And again, there’s no judgement, because most of those images are fictional! For example, they could be a studio set designed to sell furniture. It could be a stylized area with tags hiding out in the back, so the designer can return all the “props” when they’re done! (Aka, not actually a lived-in space.)
I remember my roommates in college dying laughing when I took photos to sublease my space for the summer. The process included shifting a pile of water bottles, coffee supplies, and general clutter from spot to spot while I took “professional” images of the entire space with my oh-so-fancy digital camera. The final product came out without a drop of clutter in sight.
But actual decluttering involves creating “homes” for the energy to get “unstuck.” Not just moving it from spot to spot. And it’s the biggest difference you can make in your space using time only! So even though your inspiration images might not be exactly real, ANYONE can create a less cluttered home. And it’s ALWAYS a visual improvement.
Where the Personality Type Comes In
I’m finding that clutter itself is not the source of conflicts between spouses, partners, families, and roommates. My theory is that conflict comes from differences in tidying/organizing habits in addition to our general attitude/intentionality towards the task. The two variables of habit and intention create different decluttering personality types – that I’ve divided up into five categories.
I recommend sharing this quiz with your significant other or roommates to see where you may have a different personality type. By completing the quiz, in addition to your result, you’ll get a series of emails with info on the different archetypes and advice for working together. I’ll also be sharing some of my personal favorite organizing influencers that you might enjoy learning from as well!
To sum up this backgrounder: clutter is not a problem that ends when someone decides to spend a whole day removing it entirely. Because it’s a form of energy, the same space or type of item could collect in the same spot weeks later – like clockwork.
By understanding your decluttering personality type, you’ll get the upper hand on creating solutions that work for your family to curb the clutter once and for all.
Ready to find out where you fall on my habit-attitude decluttering scale? Click here to take the quiz now!
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About Kaitlyn Loos
Kaitlyn Loos [loh-s] is one of the newest designers for interiors and events in the west-central Florida area. (Tampa, Ocala, Gainesville, and everywhere in between.) She brings over seven years of graphic design, project management, and event planning experience to create amazing spaces and experiences for her clients. Her company is one of the fastest growing interior design firms offering modern, fresh, pattern and color-savvy designs. From styling an event to designing an entire home, Kaitlyn Loos Design is a full service company that delivers style for nearly any investment level. She also enjoys sharing her ideas and projects through her blog which reaches over 325 people monthly.