Home Forums Welcome Hello! Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

This topic contains 20 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  CW 8 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #158195

    CW
    Member

    Hi – when you think “how will I feel when I get through all of this clutter?”, do you notice some anxiety or fear? Honestly, when I imagine my clutter gone, I imagine a great weight will be lifted, but I also fear it will just feel empty. Do you have similar anxiety/fear of change? I’m curious to hear from anyone else who has felt this and how they worked through it. Thanks.

  • #160530

    finney1
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    Hello CW!

    Generally, my anxiety is about making the decision: do I throw it or not? Will I regret it or not? As far as feeling empty, I figure I can always fill that void with other less cluttered things; like a more functional piece of furniture or appliance to replace one that is not. It is amazing how you can feel when you have eye-break space in your house and know you don’t have to manage or dust one more thing! And, when it becomes a habit…that feels good. Besides, when you focus on a few things, you can give them your all vs. trying to focus on many things; much harder to handle. Good luck CW!

  • #168560

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    I thought I’d look back to the first page of postings and this is a thread I found posted 8 months ago with only 2 posts. I thought it raises pretty important topics: fear, anxiety, regret, emptiness.

    Although I don’t see CW or finney1 postings recently, thank you for raising these issues. I suspect they exist a lot when it comes to clutter and deciding what to keep, toss, or give away.

    I know for myself the decisions get easier and easier the more I declutter; and things I would have kept before I now can easily toss or give away.

    Anyone have something to add?

  • #168563

    jbeany
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    I think I’ve already jumped that mental “but I might need it” hurdle that causes the most anxiety. I’m long past “But it was a gift” and beyond “I spent good money on that.” I know it won’t feel empty -I’ve still got too much stuff for that. I’m more worried it won’t be empty enough. I’m fighting years of practice at being a pack rat. Mostly, every bag or box that goes OUT makes me feel lighter and happier. I know there’s a point where that will stop – where I’ve gotten to some balance of too much and not enough. I worry more that the “not enough” feeling will override my common sense about things like clothes and jewelry, even when I already have the right amount or more of everything.

  • #168580

    Klyla
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    I am a very indecisive person in general and genuinely fear making “mistakes” so this is an issue for me. One thing I do is think through the possible outcome and ask myself how I will feel without it.

    For example, for years I’ve stored a 15″ tall martini glass that we received as a gift filled with chocolates. I thought it would make a fabulous centerpiece for a New Year’s Eve party….the party I hoped every year to have time for but always ran out of energy by Christmas to do another thing.

    As I was cleaning the closet last week where this was stored I once again struggled with the urge to keep it for the “someday” party I will finally get around to having. Then I asked myself “who am I?” The REAL answer is that 1)I don’t even LIKE to have parties, and 2)The closet real estate is more important to me than the glass. In the donate box it went!

  • #168613

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    I have been tossing things for a long time. It is an on-going process. It will never end. What’s left–among the things I don’t use everyday–are things with a great deal of sentimental value. My kids’ artwork (which they are still creating) their schoolwork, music books. I have books and books: lots waiting to be taken to be sold and donated, too! (I don’t have a vehicle. Things like boxes of books stay a while before I can get them out!) But these things are hard for two reasons:

    1) I do not know how to decide their worth to me. I have no idea how much and what of the children’s artwork I should keep and

    2 )to me, the volume of it is overwhelming. It’s neatly stacked in banker’s boxes, so I thought it wasn’t a problem: but, really it is. The basement is beginning to fill up and I need to deal with these things.

    There’s a third reason, too. Do this long enough and there will be things you wished you hadn’t tossed. 90%–no, glad it’s gone, can’t even remember it. But that 10%? And I don’t always know exactly which is which. So, long answer short, anxiety? yep.

  • #168617

    bandicoot
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    the only anxiety i feel, is when i see clutter.
    getting rid of the clutter causes me no anxiety at all.
    this is something i have worked at and grown into … fifteen years ago i would have been frantically clutching my stuff and feeling distress at the thought of losing it.

  • #168618

    glassrose
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    I find that the more I declutter, the freer I feel.

    I am not striving for a minimalist life – I am aiming for enough. Enough, not too little, not too much. Too little and I will overfill it, too much and it weighs me down.

  • #168620

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    Any anxiety that I felt was from the thought that I might keep uncluttering until there was nothing left! I was afraid of becoming the exact opposite of a hoarder.

    However, I have since realized that I just want to keep what I love. And I don’t need to love everything. That eased the anxiety! My anxiety now just stems from finding homes for the things I no longer want!

  • #168622

    jbeany
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    Someone on the Hoarders board said the opposite of hoarding is called obsessive compulsive spartanism. Those suffering get rid of everything, including things they do need and use.

    Never going to be my diagnosis. Working hard to make sure “hoarder” doesn’t ever fit, either.

  • #168625

    bandicoot
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    OC spartanism doesn’t sound like much fun either!
    i read something here months ago about a woman who had decluttered … and then gotten rid of her chairs.
    no chairs!
    what’s that all about?

  • #168630

    Claycat
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    Wow, needtocleanhouse, I’m glad you dug this one up! I had not seen this before. I’m afraid this may be one of my biggest problems. Klyla, I am very indecisive and worried about the mistakes, too, because I have made too many before. It almost paralyzes you, doesn’t it? I think that’s where my anxiety lies.

    Now, the fear… That’s the worst thing. Once I get everything taken care of, then what. There are so many things I feel that I want to do, but I spend a lot of time in avoidance.

    Also, when I finally get this house fixed up, we have to sell it, because it is my MIL’s house. We are having money problems ourselves, so I don’t know where we will be able to live once this is sold. I guess that’s my greatest fear!

  • #168639

    irishbell
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    The only thing I’ve ever had any anxiety about uncluttering was old photos of my kids. I thought, how can throw away this beautiful face?? I managed to keep the best and am totally happy with what I did. I had very little attachment to much else that I ever got rid of. I also cannot remember wishing I had kept something I got rid of.If I can’t use it in my home now, why have it?
    bandicoot: I believe we read the same blog or whatever it was about the woman who got rid of her chairs. She said they sit on the floor. Honestly, this does not sound like the way to live at all. I know different strokes for different folks, but that is just taking things too far!

  • #168642

    Jillian
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    Strangely enough, when I was uncluttering my room, wardrobe, and possessions in general, my boyfriend was more distressed than I was. We’ve been together for a little over a year, and are pretty much inseparable. Every time I would put a piece of clothing or an object into the “donate” pile, a look of slight disdain would come over his face. Eventually I asked him what was wrong. As it turned out, he was afraid that if I got rid of my possessions, then I would be getting rid of parts of myself as well. He was scared that since I was growing out of all of these things, that I would “outgrow” him as well. I never realized just how much our things can embody us until that moment. I had to keep reassuring him throughout the whole process but after the uncluttering was all said and done, he realized how much happier I was, and understood why I did it. Needless to say, we’re even happier now than before.

  • #168645

    bandicoot
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    @irishbell, yes, they sat on the floor.
    ok if you replace chairs with beautiful big comfy cushions, but i have a feeling that was not the case.

    i want an uncluttered minimal look, but i need it to be comfortable and beautiful also.
    throwing out the bed or the chairs seems crazy to me.

  • #168654

    Claycat
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    Actually, I will eventually be buying some more furniture myself. Furniture is not my clutter. LOL

  • #168677

    SunshineR
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    no chairs at all….whew! Definitely keeping my comfy computer chair. It’s more comfortable than all of my living room chairs. Hmmmmm…….

  • #168681

    Rosa
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    Like a lot of things, the anxiety beforehand is way worse than the actually doing it. Like visiting my relatives, actually 🙂

    I’m on year…5? 6? of decluttering. It’s never going to get over. But it gets easier and easier.

  • #168684

    Claycat
    Member

    Getting Past Anxiety/Fear…

    I know Rosa! You are so right; it never truly gets over.

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