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What Are Your Emotions About Clutter Telling You?

I hope you’re having a great week! Before we get to this week’s post, we’ve received a few questions about my recent update on getting certified as a life coach so I wanted to clear up any confusion. If you missed the update, you can read it here.

Here is the question we’ve been getting: Are you no longer focusing on decluttering & getting organized and only focusing on life coaching?

Here is my answer: No. Absolutely not! I got certified as a life coach to better help you on a deeper level with addressing your clutter, specifically with all of the emotions that get triggered and the associated pain with relationships. My life’s mission is to help you create lasting change in the area of getting organized so you can better focus on what matters most to YOU. I’m simply adding to my skillset with the goal of helping you MORE on a DEEPER LEVEL!

I hope that clarifies and answers any questions you may have. Sometimes I say or write something and it makes perfect sense inside my head yet it causes confusion to others! I appreciate everyone who took the time to write in and ask questions. THANK YOU!

I also very much appreciate the kind words from all of your replies that you are super excited for this next journey together! I read all of your messages and am so incredibly grateful in my heart for the wonderful community we’ve all created! I hope to one day meet all of you in person! <3

Now to this week’s post…. What are your emotions about clutter telling you?

When we see clutter, most of us don’t instantly feel a burst of positive emotions such as joy or inspiration. Instead, maybe we feel sadness or frustration. Or maybe it’s guilt or anxiety.

Whatever that emotion is, our emotions are always telling us something. We just need to be silent and listen to the message.

Take shame for example. Have you ever felt shame because of your clutter? If you’re like most people, the answer is yes.

For example, your house is a complete mess and all the sudden the doorbell rings and it’s an unexpected visitor. Let’s say it’s your friend. Shame is instantly triggered before you open the door (IF you even open the door…).

While it’s hard to see the positive aspects of an uncomfortable emotion (shame in this case), there is always a way to transform a negative emotion into an empowering one.

What if the shame you feel with the unexpected visitor was presenting itself as an opportunity to be vulnerable about your messy home? Could the power of you being vulnerable actually strengthen your relationship with your friend (the unexpected house guest)? Maybe your friend happens to be more organized than you and offers to spend time helping you declutter because she loves you so much and sees your pain because you were vulnerable? Or could your vulnerability actually inspire your friend to be vulnerable as well by her revealing to you all the clutter she has hidden behind closed doors?

What else could shame be telling you?

Or how about guilt… or anger?

What if the guilt you feel when you see unworn new clothes that have been hanging in your closet for years was just trying to remind you to slow down your shopping and instead invest your money in personal development or experiences with loved ones that lead to life-long memories and greater fulfillment?

What if the anger you feel when you see your family’s clutter was just an expression of your love and how deeply you care about maintaining a tidy home so each family member can thrive at what matters most to them? After all, we don’t get angry over things we don’t value.

What if your sadness from your clutter was just an opportunity to connect with yourself so you can realize that what matters most in your life are your relationships and not your material possessions? Maybe your realization leads to action…

What if your feeling overwhelmed by the volume of your clutter was actually a gentle reminder to simplify your home by sharing your excess items with others desperately in need of basic items like a pair of shoes or a warm jacket for the upcoming winter? Holding onto items we don’t use serves nobody, whereas sharing serves others and allows you to feel joy.

Or what if the stress of the constant clutter was really just opportunity knocking at your door again, reminding you to invest your time in learning how to get organized so you can feel calmer? After all, organizing is a critical skill you’ll need for the rest of your life and it’s never too late to learn no matter how many times you may have failed in the past.

Instead of feeling negatively about these emotions, we can be grateful for their reminders and realize that they’re just trying to guide us toward what we really want in life.

Ed has a shirt that he wore last weekend that reads, “Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.”

If I could add one line I’d say: “Listen to your emotions, they guide.”

Whatever you’re working toward in life, keep moving forward no matter how slowly you may be moving.

Sending you love,

If you’d like to be notified when I post new articles, videos, and updates, then you can sign-up for my newsletter here.


    Alejandra Costello
  • About Alejandra

    Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and "The Decluttering Queen" by Good Morning America, Alejandra's expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Oprah.com, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman's Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. You can read more about Alejandra here.


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