09 June 2006

No room for sentimentality: Part 2

(Part 1 is here.)
8 June 2006 - Saw an interesting NYT article today, articulating why people accumulate clutter:

Closet organization certainly seems to offer relief to all those — and there are millions — who are beset by the tendency to accumulate clutter, and who are the most obvious market for the (closet) industry. Cindy Glovinsky, a psychotherapist and personal organizer in Ann Arbor, Mich., and the author of "Making Peace With the Things in Your Life" and "One Thing at a Time: 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter-Free Every Day," said that these people may be substituting things for relationships. There are many reasons for such attachments, she said, noting, for example, that some female clients in their 30's and 40's who complain of difficulties in organizing lost their mothers prematurely and often say they felt neglected by their mothers.
Mr. Lupo and Jesse Garza, the founders of Visual Therapy, are familiar with that sort of timidity (associated with organizing one's closets), and have little sympathy for it. Most people need permission to let go of their things, they argue, and they grant that permission with a form of tough love that they practice in their consultations.
Putting aside sentimentality (they allow that a few sentimental objects may be kept, as long as they are out of sight), they ask clients some practical questions about every single item when evaluating what to keep and what to toss. (Do I love it? Is it flattering? Does it represent me, and is this the image I want to portray?) They also advise against keeping any possession simply because it was a gift or cost a lot.
--> Yup yup yup.

To be fair and balance out the viewpoint, I am looking out for articles psycho-analyzing people with an obsession to to eliminate clutter.

P.S. Of course I am a sucker for fancy closet organization solutions. How could you have wondered otherwise?


  1. i always think that we become the opposites of our parents. what we cannot change in them we make a conscious effort to represent the opposite in ourselves.

  2. Then I must have started quite young then! I remember wanting to redo my house and gett rid of the junk ever since I was 11 or so... Whew.