by Melinda Massie | Featured Contributor
Today’s message is short and sweet, Sunshines.
Why am I telling you this? Because in the vast majority of homes I’m in, the excessive clutter is there to fill up some hole that is missing. Mild to moderate clutter is often circumstantial reasons like someone who didn’t fully settle into their new home after a move. However, excessive clutter and hoarding is more often than not tied to self-worth. Examples are: the person who feels better about their self if they buy an expensive brand name. Perhaps someone gives an obviously cheap gift but puts it in an expensive store’s bag then says, “I thought you’d appreciate the gift more if it were in a Neiman’s bag.” Maybe you were raised by someone that was materialistic and so was conditioned from birth that if your life didn’t look Stepford Wife perfect on the outside, you were a complete failure. Maybe you gained a lot of weight so use shopping and things and clothes as a balm for feeling bad about your body.
The truth is, I could go on and on with examples of this sort of ridiculous and twisted logic. This “logic” is then all made worse by mass marketing. Through advertising (which gets more stealth all the time) we’ve been erroneously taught that by simply purchasing XYZ item then all of our problems will be solved. It will make us feel the way we want to feel. It will make us the person we want to be. It will make us loveable and worthy.
Sweetheart, purchasing these items may immediately act like a balm and make you feel better. However, over time it’s ineffective and only adds to the clutter. Then there’s the downward spiral of negative feelings such as depression, anxiety and guilt that crop up with the clutter. Which makes you feel bad about yourself. Then you purchase more to feel better. Which adds to the clutter.
See where I’m going with this?
Outside objects won’t fix internal problems. Often, they make it worse.
Now lest you think I’m prattling on about something I don’t understand please remember that I have an inside track. My degree is in advertising and I received impeccable sales training in a previous career. I got that degree because I truly love and am fascinated with advertising, public relations and marketing. (Just one of the many reasons I j’adore Mad Men.) Back then I never would’ve guessed I’d one day use that knowledge to help clients avoid the pitfalls of advertising, but am so happy I get to.
So here it is, Sunshines. Objects will not make you better. They will not make you prettier, richer, or thinner. They won’t love you and they won’t even make you more organized. (You have to deal with the physical clutter and emotional attachments to clutter first!) Most of all, these objects will not make you more worthy.
However, you are worthy.
You are enough.
You’re worthy and enough because you have a heartbeat and reside on this earth.
That in and of itself worth celebrating, Sunshine! The more you accept and believe it, the easier the clutter is to shed.
Melinda Massie – Professional Organizer of Organizing with a Side of Fabulous – Ft. Worth, TX
Melinda is the sassy, redheaded best friend you always wanted. Called everything from slave-driver to life-saver to organizing ninja, her natural organizing skills and vivacious attitude will make getting organized suck less.
She’s on a mission to prove that being organized has nothing to do with bins and labels. And it definitely isn’t about perfection. Organization is about addressing what is standing in your way so you can let go of the excess clutter and create the home that supports your dreams and goals. Her education in advertising and marketing means she can guide you past the common traps in today’s mass consumerism “stuff” culture (you know, the b.s. that leads to unwanted purchases and excess clutter) while her former careers in professional ballroom dance and event planning means she still likes to make everything sparkle.
Melinda works with mildly cluttered to mildly hoarded people all over the country. She’s also teamed with extreme-cleaning crews to safely clear out massive clutter situations. She was named “Best Personal Organizer” by Fort Worth, TX Magazine and her tips have been featured in Shape, Woman’s Day, and WeTV as well as many other local and national publications.
When not clearing clutter, Melinda enjoys performing as a supernumerary with the Fort Worth Opera, yoga, cooking and eating indulgent food and believes that champagne is meant for the everyday.