7 Warning Signs You Have Major Clean Out Avoidance

What is major clean out avoidance? A space that needs a major clean-out has usually had stuffed piled up in it for months or years.  This could be a garage, a basement, an attic or a storage space stuffed full of items.  The items don’t necessarily have to be unorganized or literally in piles.  It’s the sheer volume of materials in the space that call for a major clean out.  There is simply no more room to stack, stuff, or shift items around.  The reason these major clean-outs are avoided for so long is because we know we will have to clear every single things out sort through it, and process letting things go.  It is a daunting task to take on by yourself.  You also may have limited space so you may need to get it done quickly which makes the task even more stressful.

7 Warning Signs You Have Major Clean Out Avoidance | www.smarthappyorganized.com | clutter, clean out, purging, sorting, donating, avoiding | What is major clean out avoidance? A space that needs a major clean-out has usually had stuffed piled up in it for months or years. This could be a garage, a basement, an attic or a storage space stuffed full of items. The items don't necessarily have to be unorganized or literally in piles. It's the sheer volume of materials in the space that call for a major clean out.

Here are seven warning signs that you have major clean out avoidance:

1.)  You are so over whelmed by the thought of this task that you take a look at the problem and shut the door.  You would rather stay uncomfortable for a long period of time than be more uncomfortable for a short period of time while getting it done.  This giant mess has actually become your comfort zone.

2.) Either you yourself are feeling guilty or someone else is making you feel guilty about the financial loss off all of the things you will be throwing away or donating that you had spent money on.  If this is the case you probably don’t want to tackle the project with this person. You want to have a partner in this project who will be non-judgmental and motivating and who realizes the money has already been spent.  If there is a way to get any money back out by selling certain items then that should be considered up to a point.

7 Warning Signs You Have Major Clean Out Avoidance | www.smarthappyorganized.com | clutter, clean out, purging, sorting, donating, avoiding | What is major clean out avoidance? A space that needs a major clean-out has usually had stuffed piled up in it for months or years. This could be a garage, a basement, an attic or a storage space stuffed full of items. The items don't necessarily have to be unorganized or literally in piles. It's the sheer volume of materials in the space that call for a major clean out.

3.) You know what you want done in the area, you just don’t know how to get started.  If I looked at this space with you and you showed me all of the different areas you wish you had (i.e. workout area, play area, reading area, etc.) you are basically telling me your plan.  Some problems could be you don’t know where or how to start, or maybe you don’t have a plan and need one before you can get started.

4.) The space is filled with sentimental items.  Maybe your parents have passed away and you have no idea what to do with everything that was passed on to you. Or you want to keep some of you child’s baby items but can’t seem to limit what is special to you.

5.) You want to do it but you have no one to help you and there is no way you can do it on your own.

7 Warning Signs You Have Major Clean Out Avoidance | www.smarthappyorganized.com | clutter, clean out, purging, sorting, donating, avoiding | What is major clean out avoidance? A space that needs a major clean-out has usually had stuffed piled up in it for months or years. This could be a garage, a basement, an attic or a storage space stuffed full of items. The items don't necessarily have to be unorganized or literally in piles. It's the sheer volume of materials in the space that call for a major clean out.

6.) You are afraid you will regret getting rid of any items in the room because you might need them later.  There is a reason they are in there and they are all important to you.  This may be stopping you from starting this project.

7.) You have a feeling of loss or an emotional attachment to many items in the space. For example, all of your children’s baby clothes are in there and you were saving them for another baby but you have have decided not to have anymore children.  This can make it more difficult and a much slower process to part with these items.

7 Warning Signs You Have Major Clean Out Avoidance | www.smarthappyorganized.com | clutter, clean out, purging, sorting, donating, avoiding | What is major clean out avoidance? A space that needs a major clean-out has usually had stuffed piled up in it for months or years. This could be a garage, a basement, an attic or a storage space stuffed full of items. The items don't necessarily have to be unorganized or literally in piles. It's the sheer volume of materials in the space that call for a major clean out.

If one or more of these sound like you then you probably have clean out avoidance for a space in your home.  If you have non-judgmental family or friends support see if they can arrange a time to help you with this space.  If you don’t you may need to call a professional.  They best way to find a professional organizer in your area is through NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) www.napo.net.  Once you go to the webpage you can access the Organizer Directory to find an organizer.  Meet with one or a few organizers before making your decision.  You want someone who will make you feel comfortable but also push you through the hard arts to help you get the job done.

16 Replies to “7 Warning Signs You Have Major Clean Out Avoidance”

  1. Our Clients have major clean out avoidance! Another big factor is cost. How much does this cost? My suggestion is to go to the NAPO site, find some organizers and ask around. You’ll get a good idea of cost by simply asking. Prices will vary based on skill, disposal fees, etc. make sure they are insured.
    Another great resource to find a skilled professional organizer is the Institute for challenging disorganization website at http://www.challengingdisorganization.org they also offer free fact sheets on hoarding disorder and chronic disorganization. Great share Autumn thank you!

  2. I think many people have more than one of these. Working with one now where there is a room she shut the door on, filled with sentimental items, and also struggling about the financial implications. Best thing we can do is break the issue down and deal with one piece at a time!
    Seana Turner recently posted…Hazy DaysMy Profile

  3. The big challenge for facing the “clean out avoidance” type spaces is facing them on your own. I agree that enlisting help IS the way to go. That can be from anyone (friend, family, professional) that as you said, Autumn, is nonjudgmental.

    ICD-trained organizers specialize in working in these types of scenarios and with great sensitivity. Above, Rachel mentioned this association and provided the link. NAPO is another great source for finding professionals to help.
    Linda Samuels recently posted…3 Useful Ideas to Help Increase Your HappinessMy Profile

  4. Call the Dr!! I definitely have it!! And it’s hard to find someone to help! (For free. I have a very limited budget. )My daughter always says she’ll help me, but she’s very critical to me, so I never take her up on it. I don’y need the extra helping of “feel bad”!!

    1. Just seen your post, I admit that I am disorganised. However have you thought of breaking the task down into small manageable steps so that it does not seem so big a hurdle?
      This could perhaps give you the confidence to do it by yourself and feel proud.

  5. Sometimes starting a clean out can feel like a full time job. These are almost all the reasons people use to procrastinate. The hardest one on this list to overcome is probably sentimental clutter because those are the objects we become most attached to

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