Are You A Clutterer? Take This Quiz And Find Out.
Cluttering, unlike hoarding, OCD and AD/HD (ADD), is a self-diagnosed condition. Cluttering, like hoarding, is often a manifestation of deeper psychological issues like anxiety or depression. Calling clutterers "messies, slobs or packrats" trivializes a serious condition. Cluttering is not the same as hoarding, though some of us exhibit some mild hoarding tendencies.
In a nutshell, if cluttering is causing you problems at home, work or in your relationships, chances are you could be a clutterer. Some people are simply not as organized as they would like to be. This is not about organization. It is about your physical world manifesting turmoil in your emotional and spiritual life. If you answer "Yes" to 4 or fewer questions, you probably are not a clutterer -- unless you feel so overwhelmed that you are paralyzed. 5 or more "Yes" answers qualifies you as one of us. Questions 8, 9 and 10 are ADD or AD/HD (to use the current medical acronym) questions. Many clutterers have AD/HD tendencies, and this is not a diagnosis, but you might consider visiting the ADDA web site, www.add.org for more information.
Many AD/HD people have found that Clutterless meetings help, with the cluttering aspect of their lives. If you answer questions 17 & 18 affirmatively, you are probably a hoarder. While Clutterless welcomes you, and can probably help some, this is a serious OCD condition and requires psychological help.
Some Questions Only You Can Answer
1. Do you feel overwhelmed when thinking about your clutter?
2. Have you tried to "clean up" or "organize" yourself repeatedly, with no lasting results?
3. Are you ashamed to have anyone come to your home?
4. Do you feel more confused in your home than in the outside world?
5. Do you find yourself buying more of everything because, "you never know when you will run out?"
6. Do you have multiple copies of books, software, clothing or any other items because you couldn't find what you already owned when you needed it?
7. Has your spouse or partner expressed dismay about the way you live?
8. Do you flit from one task to another, feeling like you never get anything done?
9. Do you find that you concentrate better in noisy situations?
10. Do you find yourself getting distracted easily?
11. Do you feel like, "What's the use, it will just get messed up again," when you begin to declutter?
12. Do you hold onto broken items because "they might come in handy someday," or "I'm going to fix them someday?"
13. Do you hold onto relationships that do not serve you because, "This is the best I can do?"
14. Do you feel like there will never be enough for you? Do you believe that you do not deserve any better than what you have?
15. Do you feel more "lack" than prosperity in your life?
16. Do you find it hard to decide what is worth keeping and what is not?
17. Do you obsess about saving food? Do you have enough canned goods to feed the neighborhood?
18. Do you save garbage -- fast food boxes and wrappers, obvious trash, things that smell bad etc?
Now the Easy Part!
These are tough questions. If they caused an emotional reaction in you, then you might want to consider attending one of our meetings. We do not preach or nag. Together, we'll help you face your situation and offer loving, practical and spiritual ways that have worked for us to overcome the same challenges. Try us out. What have you got to loose? The answer is: your clutter!
If you took the test above and believe yourself to be a clutterer, please keep reading.
Help us help others.
While I have personally interviewed hundreds of clutterers, there is no scientific study that I know of (and if you do, please let me know) that specifically addresses cluttering. Most researchers concentrate on hoarding, which is intriguing, but affects less than 1% of the population. Three university researchers have contacted me for our information and used our data, but I have not seen the results.
Psychiatrists have studied hoarding and have data. But we are forgotten. I believe we are the forgotten majority, to paraphrase a phrase.