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We may identify with some, or all, of these items.

  1. We have more possessions or items in our lives than we can keep track of.

  2. We find it difficult to dispose of many things. Sometimes we believe that the item might be needed someday and not be available. Other times, we realize that there is no reason for keeping it, yet we still can’t discard it.

  3. Some of us may be neat, yet feel that we are still weighed down by clutter. We may rent additional space to store items that we know we will never use.

  4. Many of us are messy. We often spend time looking for items like eyeglasses or keys. Many times, important papers may be buried in our piles. We find it easier to drop something than to put it away, or to wedge an object into an overcrowded drawer or closet than to find a space for it.

  5. Clutter causes problems with relationships. Those we live with may feel threatened by our invasion of their space. We are embarrassed by visitors. We hesitate sharing about this problem because we are ashamed of our cluttering.

  6. Clutter may hinder us in dealing with our obligations. We cannot recall where we put a borrowed object. We miss deadlines because we cannot find the material we need.

  7. Clutter may keep us from carrying out projects. It takes so long to find materials and space to do them that we give up the attempt.

  8. We cannot judge the time needed to start or complete a task. Sometimes we get buried in details, making projects take longer than is really necessary.

  9. Our perfectionism causes us to procrastinate and delay getting started on a project. Sometimes our perfectionism stops us from beginning at all. This creates avoidance and may cause feelings of guilt.

  10. Some of us use the scattergun approach, never taking the time to determine our goals and set our priorities. We just take care of the surface.

  11. Many of us are easily sidetracked. We begin one project and soon find ourselves beginning another, and then another. We find it difficult to stay focused on a task to completion.

  12. Often we value people more than we value things. This is not wrong in itself unless we find that we are constantly doing for others while our own home is out of order.

  13. Many of us slip out of clock time. We think that we have all the time in the world. This is poor time management and affects our relationships with others.

  14. We tell ourselves that one day we will deal with our clutter. We may have made attempts from time to time, but these work only temporarily, for we lack the strength to stick with them. The problem seems to be growing and endless; at times it appears hopeless. We want to change, but we don’t know where to begin.

©Copyright 1995, 2007, 2013 Clutterers Anonymous℠ World Service Organization. All rights reserved.
This is CLA℠ Fellowship-approved literature.