From our lovely contributors at This Mom S**t Is HARD! How our house clutter can be connected to rising levels of anxiety.
I love my family to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, truly, I do. But there is this one little thing I don’t love at all…their clutter! The socks, the tools, the cereal bowls – their clutter is making this Momma crazy. Actually, it’s worse than crazy, it seriously causes me stress, lots of it.
Let’s be clear, when it comes to the clutter, I’m not certainly not perfect, far from it. I know I’m complicit: I’ve got my stack of mail, I know there are the piles of folded laundry, I know my desk isn’t a model of organization. And truth be told that stuff makes me stressed too. But it’s theirs that really gets to me.
Growing Up With Clutter
I grew up with clutter – actually not so much clutter as stuff. My Dad was a collector, a saver, a recycler; he saw value in things many of us did not. He wasn’t a hoarder, but there was a lot of stuff in our house growing up and it kept accumulating after I left home. No surprise, that stuff ends up spilling out of its hiding place and cluttering their home.
I’m not being critical, all that recycling and saving funded a computer for me when I went to college and I’ve definitely got the saver gene, but the clutter as a side effect is one of those things that makes me cringe.
So, I’ve done what every good daughter does with those things she didn’t love about her childhood…I fight it at every turn. Not that I don’t recycle, upcycle, compost and all the rest, I just work harder than most to fight my clutter gene.
But despite my best efforts, we still have plenty of stuff and that stuff clutters up our house.
Living With Our Clutter
I’ve tried to be reasonable about it. I ask my family to keep the common areas clean leaving their rooms to their own devices. For #2, it’s worked wonders – his room is a wreck, but his stuff is never in the living room. Never. The problem is, his brother and his dad aren’t so good at this. And that clutter is making me crazy.
A while back we all took the Five Love Languages quiz. One of my primary languages is “acts of service.” So, I thought I had an in. I explained to them that when I clean the house before work and come home to a mess, I don’t feel like they’re showing me love.
Fail. Nothing changed. #3’s cereal bowls from breakfast are still on the counter almost every day despite my constant reminders, his backpack thrown in the entry way and an assortment of shoes, socks, and hoodies are strewn throughout the living room. Aaarrrggghh!
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