The 8 Types of Clutter Ruining Your Life Now


Gretchen Rubin details her decluttering process in her book The Happiness Project.

We all know what clutter is - a confused or disordered state or collection; a jumble; or simply a mess. Decluttering can provide you a sense of release, greater peace of mind, more room for other things to enter your life.

Even renowned Astrologist and Feng Shui expert Ellen Whitehurst says that if you want to bring anything new into your life — be that quick cash or a perfect partner — you must address and clear the clutter!

According to Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, these are 8 types of clutter you do not want in your life:

  1. Nostagic clutter – Relics you clung to from an earlier life.
  2. Conservation clutter – Made up of things that you’ve kept because they’re useful – even though they’re useless to you.
  3. Bargain clutter – Result of buying unnecessary things from when they’re on sale.
  4. Freebie clutter – The clutter of gifts, hand-me-downs, and giveaways that you didn’t use.
  5. Crutch clutter – Things you used but knew you shouldn’t e.g. underwear with holes and frayed edges.
  6. Aspirational clutter – Things that you owned but only aspired to use e.g. glue gun you never mastered.
  7. Outgrown clutter – Things  you used for years but don’t anymore e.g. plastic picture frames of the past vs. the proper picture frames you prefer now.
  8. Buyer’s remorse clutter – Rather than admit that you’ve made a bad purchase, you hung on to things until somehow you feel they’ve been “used up” by sitting in a closet or on a shelf.

Take a good look around your room this instant! If you were to move house, what would you get rid of first? Spring cleaning is not as daunting as it seems. Break the task on hand into smaller bite-size tasks and start getting rid of some of that clutter pronto!

Dr Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexuality educator with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists), as well as certified sexologist with ACS (American College of Sexologists). She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as certificates in practical counselling, life coaching and sex therapy. She is available to provide sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conduct sexual education workshops and speak at public events in Asia and beyond. For more, visit

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