Identifying Different Types of Clutter in Your Home

Types of Clutter In Your Home

When you think of clutter in your home, what is your first thought? For most, it is “wow, I need to declutter this house”, which is especially true if you are moving soon. After all, why move items you are not going to use or need in your new home?!

Did you know that there are different types of clutter? There most definitely is! And the kind of clutter that you are dealing with can affect your ability to donate it or toss it. Clutter is a bit more than just extra things that you have lying around. The types of clutter out there are:

  1. Sentimental clutter
  2. Painful clutter
  3. Sunk-cost fallacy clutter
  4. Identity and self-worth clutter

Sentimental clutter is items that you hold onto because they have a special meaning. For example, parents may have totes full of their kids’ artwork; maybe you have tons of greeting cards from relatives that you kept. It is this type of cutter that is harder to get rid of since it symbolizes a memory. To remove this type of clutter, most professionals state that the memories are held in your mind, so there is no need to hold onto these items. However, one concession you can do is to take a photo of the items and keep that, rather than the item itself.

Painful clutter is categorized as items that you may be holding onto that bring about painful memories. For example, maybe you are holding onto a broken rocking chair because it belonged to your grandmother. Perhaps you have an entire tote box of supplies from a former occupation you once held. Getting rid of this clutter will save you room during a move and help to let go of some of these painful memories.

The sunk-cost fallacy type of clutter includes items you hold onto because you sunk so much money into this in the first place. How can you get rid of this? Well, you can donate it and consider it a lesson learned never to buy something like that again. Or you can sell this item and get back some of your investment.

The identity and self-worth clutter are a bit harder to let go of. These are items that you have tied into your sense of who you are. For example, have an entire box of old maternity clothes you will never wear again, but you hold onto them for a just in case scenario? These items are harder to get rid of but should be something that you try to get rid of as many professionals state that it is unhealthy to hold onto them. Remember, material things do not define you, so keep remembering this as you declutter.


Whether you are holding onto clutter with bad memories or clutter that helps you define who you are, moving is a time to get rid of clutter. So, make the best of this and get to decluttering! And remember, Dunmar Moving is here for all your packing and moving needs!

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