A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Clutterers Anonymous: Are You a Clutterer?

Little did I know when I wrote yesterday’s post about no longer denying your clutter, that there was actually an organization called “Clutterers Anonymous.” The purpose of Clutterers Anonymous is to “stop cluttering one day at a time.”

If you’re not sure clutter is a problem for you, take a moment to answer the questions below.

 Are You a Clutterer?

  1. Do you have more possessions than you can comfortably handle?
  2. Are you embarrassed to invite family, friends, health care providers, or maintenance workers into your home because it is not presentable?
  3. Do you find it easier to drop something instead of putting it away, or to wedge it into an overcrowded drawer or closet rather than finding space for it?
  4. Is your home, or any part of it, unusable for its intended purpose, with a bed you can’t sleep in, a garage you can’t park in, a kitchen you can’t cook in, or a table you can’t use for dining?
  5. Is clutter causing problems at home, at work, or in your relationships?
  6. Do you hesitate sharing about this problem because you feel embarrassment, guilt, or shame about it?
  7. Do you have a weakness for discarded objects, bargain items, freebies, reading materials, or yard sales?
  8. Do you use avoidance, distraction, or procrastination to escape dealing with your clutter?
  9. Does your clutter create a risk of falling, fire, infestation, or eviction?
  10. Do you avoid starting assignments, miss deadlines, or abandon projects because you can’t find the paperwork or material you need?
  11. Do you have difficulty making decisions about what to do with your possessions, daily living, or life in general?
  12. Do you rent storage space to house possessions that you rarely use?
  13. Do cleaning, organizing, follow through, upkeep, and maintenance all become daunting tasks, making the simplest of chores insurmountable?
  14. Do you bring an item into your home without designating a place for it and releasing an equivalent one?
  15. Do you believe that there is all the time in the world to clean your house, finish those projects, and read all those piles of old magazines or newspapers?
  16. Are you easily sidetracked, moving from one project to another, without finishing any of them?
  17. Are you constantly doing things for others while your own home is out of order?
  18. Do you often replace possessions rather than find or clean those you already have?
  19. Does perfectionism keep you from doing anything at all?
  20. Does clutter cause you to have late charges added to your monthly financial obligations?
  21. Do you feel a strong sense of emotional attachment towards your possessions, which makes it difficult to release them?
  22. Do you consider all your possessions to be of equal worth, whether or not the objects have financial, functional or sentimental value?
  23. Do you waste your valuable time and talents by constantly rescuing yourself from clutter?
  24. Does clutter keep you from enjoying quality leisure time?
  25. Is the clutter problem growing?

If you have answered yes to some of these questions, then you have a clutter program. The actual number of positive responses is not as important as how you feel about your clutter. The amount of clutter in our lives is not as important as the desire to stop cluttering.

For me, I decided to minimize our clutter when I simply couldn’t take the mess anymore. I knew there was a problem before I knew what to do about it.

We’ll talk about what to do about your problem clutter areas next. I’ll be covering the clutter problems mentioned in the comments on today and yesterday‘s post. So if you’d like some advice, be sure to let me know in the comment section what your clutter problem is.

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“Are You a Clutterer” questions. Copyright © 1989 – 2011 by Clutterers Anonymous World Service Organization.

Article originally published on 01/19/2012

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  1. I answered yes to way to many of the questions. Needed two hands of fingers. And some of my toes. I am trying to get out from under (5 huge loads gone to charity since september) but it is still so overwhelming and time to spend working on it (or lack of really ) is a huge issue for me.

    I have often wondered how clean and organized people manage it all..kids, kids’ extracurricular activities, work, fitness, home tasks. And while I have accomplished a lot in my life, as I approach 50 a bit of reality stares at me and sadly I have started to wonder if a neat and clean home is something in my life that I will ever be able to accomplish.

    Thank you for this series. I am following it daily via feed.

  2. Clothing clutter is a big problem for me! A weakness for discounted items, certainly. And kid clutter is tough to control.

  3. I read through this, said yes to almost everything, but made myself feel better by thinking, “Well, at least I’ve never rented a storage space or incurred late fees on anything!”

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