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  • Writer's pictureShannon McKinney

What is aspirational clutter and how can it affect you?



Let’s talk about aspirational clutter: the exercise equipment that you bought in the hopes it would inspire you to work out more often, the dress you know you’ll eventually fit back into, the juicer taking up space on your counter because you intended to add more fresh produce into your diet… you get the idea. It's not "clutter" in the general sense but what you see and think to yourself" one day", maybe with a sigh.

Aspirational clutter is what you hold onto that doesn’t represent who you currently are - it represents what you were in the past or what you hope to become in the future. When you see these items on a daily or weekly basis, it may not be on a conscious level, but they become an emotional drain. If you do notice and think about a goal you haven’t reached or reminder of the past, it might lead to feelings of guilt or shame.

I can relate to this first-hand; I bought a fancy ice cream maker when my daughter was younger and felt guilty at the end of each summer as it sat untouched. I wanted to be the mom that made homemade ice cream! You know what? I’m not! I donated the ice cream maker last year and I hope that an ice cream making mom is making memories with it now. I wanted to bring the topic up to bring it to your awareness and offer a few suggestions.

First of all, let go of the guilt and try to get honest with yourself. If you think these items will eventually get used with achievable goals, then keep the dumbbells and make a plan to start using them and do it. If you’re holding onto serving pieces because you want to entertain more (or a fondue pot, ahem, me!), then set a date and invite a few people over. The point is, become aware and set a plan.

If months go by (set a date!) and you realize you’re not going to take up tennis or that you’ll buy new jeans when you reach your goal weight instead of the 5 year old pair you’re holding onto, it’s time to make some decisions. You can continue to hold onto the items that are causing you some uncomfortable feelings, or you can send them on their way.

I realize that it can be difficult but you might feel relief letting them go, maybe even lighter in spirit because you won’t have the visual reminder around anymore. Because aspirational clutter is strongly tied up with emotion, go easy on yourself but be firm when you set a goal to take action or ultimately let things go.

I applaud you for taking steps and making progress if and when you’re ready! If you need guidance with the decluttering process, you know where to find me.

Here for you! Xoxo

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