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Robert Tamayo

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The Harm of Clutter

I don't mind things getting a little disordered, but I don't like when they are cluttered because of a lack of space. The drive in life is to seek opportunity in order to better your prospects. Being in a tight space with no room for expansion actively stunts your brain and your growth opportunity. Here's how it works.

If you have a small apartment, like I do, you will eventually reach a point where there isn't much room left for new things. My wife and I are at the point where we can't even receive blankets as a gift because we simply have no room for them. The worst thing one can do at this point is to accept it and live with the clutter.

This kind of clutter doesn't spawn creativity. It isn't clutter due to an active mind pursuing different and exciting ventures in a confined space.

It's the kind of clutter that is caused by being hemmed in. Trapped.

Once one accepts it, it will stifle one's drive to expand naturally. This is what I noticed in myself.

I accepted my living conditions as what they were, living in the clutter. There really is no space to put everything at once. Something has to be left out at all times in order for there to be room enough in the house for everything we own.

Having accepted it, the desire became to keep the status quo instead of expanding. This is important to understand: I had subconsciously decided to make every waking effort of mine go toward trying to keep things the same in order to make living in a tight space with a lot of things work. 

I was not working on expansion. I was working on stagnation.

It's weird, because I never thought of myself as someone who lacked ambition. And the truth is, I don't lack ambition or drive... naturally. But living in a tight space with too many things forced my mind to make a choice, and I chose to accept the clutter and live with it. 

This psychological state actually stunted my development. I was no longer trying to take risks in order to better myself. Instead, I was simply trying to get by and let as little change happen as I could.

Thank God I was pulled out of this mental state, and to be honest, I don't know how it happened. I feel like I just woke up one day and decided I needed to be different.

I needed adventure, excitement. I needed risk and thrills. I needed to go out and find more things to do in life.

I needed space.

Simply put, to turn my life around, I need to find more space. The good news is that the mere desire for space works wonders in the mind. Desiring better conditions leads to taking actions that put you on the right path to achieving them. So far, I've got that covered.

The only way to fight clutter creep is to say NO right away. Say "no" to getting that new pillow. Say "no" to getting that new cabinet. Say "no" to getting another notebook and even "no" to getting another pen. Clutter happens so slowly that eventually you have to say "no" to everything coming in.

But staying in that state will keep you motivated. Your brain will start to desire the things you keep denying. The only solution will be to have more space for them, and so therefore your subconscious mind will start to work to improve your prospects of achieving the goal of obtaining more space.

For now, I think my only solution will be to put things into storage. Either that, or I will have to let it hit where it hurts and start getting rid of a lot of things in order to bring me below the too-many-things threshold and back into the territory of healthy brain chemistry.

Time to get to work.

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