Toxic mindsets are sneaky ways we hold ourselves back from creating the clutter free home we’ve always wanted. If you’ve struggled making real change in your home, your mindset might need a reset. Read on to learn about 3 toxic mindsets and how to overcome them.
Do you dream of living in a simple spacious home?
If so, you’ve got a deep desire to break free from the weight of your clutter.
A home where you have room to create, space to relax and feel at peace.
But the struggle continues.
You’ve downloaded the free checklists, followed all the right Instagram accounts and have lost track of how many times you’ve tried and failed at clearing your clutter.
So what gives?
If the home you want and the home you live in look like they come from two completely different worlds, your mindset may have something to do with it.
And that’s perfectly normal.
This article won’t shame you into thinking “more positive” (that’s called toxic positivity and it’s harmful.)
Instead, l invite you to compassionately facing your inner struggles. This is key to transforming the outward parts of your life, especially clearing clutter.
I’m sure I’ve lost some readers already.
Just give me the tips and tricks, I hear them cry!
After all, if they just had the right instructions, they could finally enjoy a clutter free home.
But clutter is attached to our personal stuff, which means it’s attached to our inner world as well.
Our thoughts, beliefs and environment are all connected.
While there are dozens of toxic mindsets related to your clutter and home connection, this article focuses on three powerful and common examples.
Let’s take a look at them together as I offer alternatives to falling into these old traps.
Often stemming from our childhoods, as adults we lean on perfectionism as a coping mechanism.
Some might even view their perfectionism as a positive trait.
However, with these high standards come an even higher ability to criticize ourselves.
The unachievable goal of looking, acting and being perfect can hold us back from the good work we need to do in our lives.
Perfectionism expects too much of us and shames us when we inevitably don’t live up to its expectations. Gross.
Sadly, perfectionism and organization go hand in hand.
Consider the most popular organizing trends lately – all shiny, perfect and extremely aesthetically based.
The media’s obsession with decanting and labels has turned the “ideal” home into an image, a mirage.
Rainbow colour coordination may be completely natural and nurturing to some, but it’s equally paralyzing and intimidating to others.
If you fall into the second group, I’m right there with you.
My clutter seeped into every corner of my life until I cleared it away over 10 years ago.
Now I consider my home organized.
But this just means I can find what I need when I need it. It gets messy and rarely looks “perfect.”
We put so much pressure on ourselves while we take this journey to a clutter-free home.
But the fear of imperfection might stop you from even trying.
And that is so sad. You deserve more grace and compassion in your life.
Clearing clutter is messy, it takes time, it takes making mistakes and trusting yourself to learn from those mistakes and try again.
As my financial coach the Money Witch Jessie Susannah Karnatz says “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Done is better than perfect. If you often go big and then don’t get it done, try to explore what it looks like to do the quick and dirty version of things.”
If you struggle with the toxic mindset of perfectionism, ask yourself: How good would it feel to just go for it and enjoy the process no matter what it looks like?
What to try instead: imperfect action!
Try and make mistakes.
Notice how your body feels when you make a mistake. Breathe into it. Try again. Support yourself.
Affirmation: Nobody expects perfection from me, now I stop expecting it from myself
You might compare yourself to an older, more put together version of yourself. Or you can’t help but wish your home looked like your best friend’s. And of course there’s always Instagram and Pinterest ready to aid the compare and despair cycle.
As social media and perfect homes continue to grow in popularity, comparison robs us of the joyful life we are meant to live.
When we lose sight of the good in our lives, our minds wander to what others have.
Always thinking the grass is greener.
They must be happier.
Comparison is a sneaky form of shame that can keep you stuck.
If you’re creative and have hobbies, you don’t need to be a minimalist and get rid of your supplies.
You also don’t need to rainbow coordinate them in thousands of dollars of acrylic containers.
To holistically clear clutter out of your life, keeping your eyes on your own paper is essential.
There is so much of YOU that will help along the way. This includes your:
- vision for your space
- special skills and talents
Your path to success is individual to you.
Stop looking outward at others. It only distracts you from the good work you’re here to do.
If you struggle with the toxic mindset of comparison ask yourself: How good would it feel to stop holding myself to others standards?
Try this instead: Focus on your own intentions and actions.
Use your energy to envision what your space could look like.
Unfollow, unsubscribe any accounts that make you feel bad.
Express gratitude for your own home, no matter the state it’s currently in.
Affirmation: My life is worthy and doesn’t need to measure up to anyone else’s
Knowing you want a clutter-free home but avoiding digging into the work is a special kind of stress.
Because you literally end up living in the results of your procrastination.
You look around and know something needs to be done, but you distract yourself instead.
Anything to avoid doing the work in your home you know you need to do.
This feeds into shame, self-doubt and low self esteem. Oof.
Here’s the problem.
Procrastination doesn’t stop at creating stress – it also feeds into fear.
This fear then builds and grows stronger and the cycle of procrastination continues.
I get it.
Clearing clutter and digging into old boxes and corners of your home is scary!
Your mind makes up all sorts of stories of what might be waiting for you.
You worry about what you might find, put off the work for another week , and the cycle of procrastination continues.
But waiting for you on the other side of procrastination is a feeling of freedom one hundred times stronger than the fear you feel now.
Knowing what’s in your home and why is a powerful thing.
I’ve worked with many clients over the years, and 100% (yes, 100%) of the time they were scared of a box or closet…
Once we actually pulled out what was inside they felt relief and realized it wasn’t as bad as the story they made up in their mind.
If you struggle with the toxic mindset of procrastination, ask yourself: How good would it feel to make even the tiniest bit of progress?
Try this instead: Start small!
One box, one cupboard, one closet. It all adds up. The best way to eat an elephant? (ew) One bite at a time.
I love the small and steady approach.
It’s especially helpful for my fellow highly sensitive folks out there.
Don’t let anyone tell you you have to completely overhaul your cluttered home in a weekend or even a month.
Maybe it will take 6 months to a year.
Maybe more than a year!
The point is, making steady progress towards your goals is better than fearfully avoiding them.
Affirmation: I can start small, I can start today
We All Struggle With Toxic Mindsets
As you work through the inner challenges of clearing clutter and getting more intentional in your life, be gentle with yourself.
This work isn’t always easy, but it’s so very worth it.
Whether it’s perfectionism, comparison, procrastination (or a combination of all 3!) You can replace these toxic mindsets with more supportive ways of thinking and habits.
Take it one day at a time and believe in your ability to get better.
I believe in you!
Special thanks to my biz coaches Caroline and Jason Zook. Their article 12 Toxic Mindsets to Avoid as a Business Owner & How to Fix Them inspired me to write this blog post.
Get tailored advice, just for you.
Most people struggle with one of three common challenges when clearing clutter. Once you understand what’s holding you back, you can create a peaceful, calm & inspiring home you love.
Take the quiz below to uncover your #1 clutter challenge and how to overcome it!