Recipe for becoming a clutter bug

I'm actually working on NOT being a clutter bug in my life right now and finding it to be a long process.  But as I'm going through it, I'm getting little insights as to why it might have developed.  Here's my own personal recipe:

If it's cute, buy it:
Cuteness is a call to action to buy if you want lots of clutter.  Who cares if you have no use for it, no place to display it? It's cute, thus irresistible.  Cuteness will rule the world!

Cultivate delusional dreams of entertaining and holiday decor:
"Oh, I need these napkin rings and this cheese plate for that wonderful little party I'm going to throw someday".  But it turns out I'm just not a big party thrower, even though I have all the gear. "Oh, these little eggs would be just purr-fect to decorate for Easter." Even though I never decorate for Easter. "Oh I could use this crepe paper to make my own 4th of July wreath!" Ain't gonna happen.

Subscribe to many magazines:
Which give you more delusional ideas for entertaining and holiday decor.  A million ways to carve a pumpkin.  4th of July decorations.  Thanksgiving table settings from feathers and rocks and wheat.  Creative Christmas trees.  Baby shower themes. Oh, and then there are the clothes.  New trends for Fall, Spring or Summer. Oh, and be sure to keep all the magazines.  Or just tear out anything that catches your eye.

Shabby Chic of Giving:
If you want anyone to become a hoarder, please give them this book right away!  No offense to Rachel Ashwell who I adore.  It's a gorgeous book but it advocates collecting wrappings and trimmings and ribbons and crepe paper and ornaments and generally crafting this beautiful one of a kind world from ephemera.  And unless you have plenty of storage or you're already super-organized and not cluttered at all, this kind of magpie collecting can go bad.

Develop a broad set of hobbies that you quickly discard, but keep the stuff just in case you regain your interest in some distant future:
Embroidery - check
Crochet - check
Sewing - check
Scrapbooking and art journaling - check
Drawing - check
Stencils and stamps and hot glue gun and paints and paintbrushes - check
Ribbon-tying - check
Earring-making - check

Be very frugal - or better yet, be cheap (and then use bargain hunting to get a rush):
Buying bargains is so wonderful.  It makes you feel virtuous.  And at these prices you can buy more, more, more. And even if you don't absolutely love it, it's still so very cheap.  So why not? Why buy one set of throw pillows when you can buy four? It's possible when you sew them yourself or buy them second hand - they're so cheap - buy a lot of them so you can switch them out whenever you like.  Oh but now they're sitting around, clogging your shelves.

Be cheap and find cheap materials for possible projects everywhere (then don't do the projects):
Love that chandelier? Don't buy one, make one yourself. Find one that is only vaguely similar at a second-hand store and also happens to need re-wiring.  Don't worry!  You can paint it and rewire it yourself and then string on your own crystals!  Oh, but then it just sits in your garage, waiting for you to remember it....

Don't sort through those papers now.  Don't decide whether or not you want to keep that empty candleholder now.  Just put it up on that shelf and you'll think about it someday.  Don't put that CD back in its case just set it down.  Don't hang your clothes up - the floor is a fabulous shelf.  Procrastination is the devil.

Don't get rid of stuff - just store and organize:
That mound of annoying clutter - it doesn't need to be shipped off - just box it up and put it out of sight.  You can sort through it later and categorize it and put it in the right place. You don't need to get rid of it.  You just need more storage space and the right organization system.  You end up with a lot of small shoe boxes and baskets and useless plastic crates, some labeled, some not, full of crap and you have no idea where anything is.

The good news... I've been working on the antidote and things are going well!


  1. HA HA HA HA HA HA! You are so spot on it was embarassing to read! Maybe it's time for you to move out of my head, now. :)

  2. Oh, boy. You just cannot imagine how much this sounds like me. EXACTLY! It's scary...

  3. Oh yes, I followed your recipe to a T over the years and became the classic Clutter Bug. However, I have have gone through a major de-clutter this summer and hope and pray to live in my peaceful, clutter-free home happily-ever-after. My heart surely does race when I pass by yard sales and thrift stores though. I think I'm having withdrawals. I've enjoyed my first visit to your lovely blog.

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

  4. Ah, it's so nice to know I'm not alone!