WHICH CLUTTER ANIMAL ARE YOU? Part 1, the magpie, the goldfish and the swan.
Can’t resist the latest gadget or fashion statement? Do you find it impossible to come out of a shop empty handed? If so, you’re compulsively attracted to ‘shiny things’. Your house is full to bursting with them, and some of them haven’t even been unpacked.
The magpie solution
There are several possible solutions, depending on what’s causing you to be a magpie. If it’s simply impulse control, you’ll find visualising where you’ll place an item in your home, before you buy, useful. If it doesn’t have a place to be, chances are that you don’t need it, and it will simply clutter your home. If what you’re buying is actually a symbolic solution for an ongoing problem you have, then you’ll be much happier in the long term if you tackle it directly. Endless trinkets aren’t going to make a house you hate feel any better, nor is thick makeup going to make you feel beautiful if you have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Lastly, if you’re addicted to the ‘high’ of spending, and don’t even look at your purchases once you’re home, you need the help of a qualified therapist that you ‘click’ with to help you sort that out.
Are you constantly worried that you’ll forget where things are or what you need to do next? Then you’re a goldfish, and you think you need visual prompts to help you remember. Your house is littered with things on every surface and even the floor, to remind you.
The goldfish solution
If you’re worried about forgetting where you’ve stored things, try putting them where they’ll actually be used, i.e. literally within arms reach. If you’re afraid of forgetting tasks, list them in your diary (if it’s big enough) or if not get an A5 notebook, and start making lists which you update and consult everyday. Using physical objects to remind you of your tasks is much like carrying gold bars to the shops instead of using paper money. Very inconvenient and not at all necessary!
On the surface a swan’s home looks tidy, but open any cupboard, or peer behind the sofa, and it’s a jumbled mess. Calm on the surface, and chaos underneath…
The swan solution
Swans like visual harmony, and fairly clear surfaces but have no idea how to let go of items and to store what’s left properly, where it will be easy to access and easy to keep tidy. This isn’t an emotional problem, it’s likely that they simply never learned. ‘Banish Clutter Forever – How the toothbrush principle will change your life’ spells it out very clearly.
Next time I’ll be looking at the hermit crab, the squirrel and the elephant.