Shame and vulnerability burst out of the closet 7 years ago, thanks to the incomparable Brene Brown. Her groundbreaking research shed light into how they suppress our courage to live an authentic life. Facing our vulnerabilities is never easy. However, it’s the first step towards controlling our own narratives.

In turn, I firmly believe that shame plays a leading role with why we delay the space clearing process. Read on about 5 common truths we feel shame about with our own household clutter.

fashion loving

1. We Love to Shop

It’s hard for us to imagine that the average American once owned just a few outfits. But it’s true: during the 1940s, World War II caused rationing of fabric and thread. It was common to purchase a very simple ensemble or two and to wear them frequently until they wore out. If you think about it, we actually functioned with a uniform of sorts.

Fast forward to the present? “Shopping is a sport”! We are cajoled with seasonal sales, holiday sales, Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday sales, just to name a few. Indeed, “retail therapy” is a real activity, albeit a costly one. We’re trained to buy the latest style, time and time again. Subsequently, we feel shame when we admit that we enjoy the dopamine rush of purchasing something new.

shiny object syndrome

2. We Adore Shiny Objects

Most folks have a weakness for buying something. I have a friend who is infatuated with rose gold. Jewelry, shoes, clothing…you name it…it is a siren call for her credit card! Even my “tomboyish” sister-in-law loathes to clothes shop but she can spend hours trolling the aisles of Home Depot! Yet paring down requires us to face our retail Achille’s Heel which is painful.

more is better

3. We Think More is Better

Can you relate: You find a blue t-shirt that fits you perfectly. And you could use this for multiple occasions so…score! Then you proceed to scoop it up in black, pink and white, too. I mean, it fits so well! But do you actually wear each of them equally? Or do you tend to wear the blue one because that’s the color that truly pops on you?

It’s a fact that most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. And one of the reasons is that we naturally gravitate to what fits, flatters and feels the best. So we feel shame when we face the excess of whatever we can’t seem to own enough of, yet don’t really use.


4. We Tend to [Over]Spend

Most people have a set budget yet many often blow past it. Thanks to stored credit card data on-line, PayPal or even memorized credit card digits, it’s too easy to click and buy. And then when the bills arrive 30 days later? Ouch!

Or how about this: Do you review the year-end statements that many credit card companies provide? They categorize the types of purchases you made throughout the year. You can see in black and white where your money goes. In the same way, opening your closets or drawers requires you to face what your financial priorities are.

low self esteem

5. We Have Low Self-Esteem

Lastly, remember the familiar phrase, “keeping up with the Joneses? According to Wikipedia, it was coined over 100 years ago. Imagine how the explosion of social media has exponentially upped the ante of comparing ourselves to others! Celebrities of all sorts influence what we should wear, eat and do. We are persuaded to buy so that we, too, will be beautiful, desirable and relevant. In fact, being ordinary or “average” is the kiss of death.

What if you took the plunge and examined what you own? How many items still have tags on them? How many are bought simply because they are on trend? Yet what if they don’t truly suit our shape or lifestyle? In other words, have you accumulated too much in pursuit of feeling better about yourself?


What Do You Think?

Your turn: which of these truths stir up shame for you? Do you recognize a pattern with why you have more than you use? Why is it difficult for you to get started with your own decluttering? Drop us a comment below. Share where you’re at with space clearing.

Then head over here: Begin releasing what you no longer need, use or love.…and thanks for stopping by!