Posted by: Mildred's eftedmonton Blog | July 13, 2010

Getting Rid of Clutter has it’s roots in Feeling Safe

I don’t know about you, but clutter has been a constant challenge for me.   I really just have too much stuff that I’m not  ready to let go of just yet.  I can give you explanations for this:  I come by clutter honestly; on both sides of my family tree, clutter seems to be passed down through the generations; I am the child of parents of the depression and my childhood was deeply affected by my parent’s experience with the deprivation and poverty associated with this.  Also, the depression never really ended for my family –  my father was a farmer during the time that the family farm was dying it’s slow death in North America.  He was good at buying high and selling low, and we had a family of eight to support on the dwindling, sometimes non-existent, farm income.

So I grew up feeling a lot of lack in my life.  This lack translates sometimes as hoarding.  I keep things like spaggetti sauce jars under the kitchen counter, thinking that I might require them for some yet unspecified purpose.  I have a tendency to clip out newspaper articles that I might need to refer to for an upcoming book I plan to write, and I have a filing cabinet crammed with such articles.

I used to subscribe to several magazines and if I did not get to them to read, I would add them to a growing pile in our bedroom.

My husband also grew up in a large family, and was the child of parents affected by wartime deprivation.

Though he has less of a problem about hoarding than I do, the one exception is his tendency to hoard books, even children’s books that we are unlikely to ever read again, books that I would not waste time reading  – even if I had grandchildren as my audience.

Of course, I like books too, and I also felt like I never had enough to read as a child.  Apparently my husband felt this deprivation more acutely than I, however; I have been scolded for giving away children’s books to his sister’s kids.

As I have been using EFT over my own issues, I have gradually come to realize that the big issue behind my own hoarding and probably my husband’s, too, is a feeling of being not quite safe.

I need to feel safe enough that I will always be able to buy another book, or glass jar, or magazine if I am in need of one.

Thanks to EFT,  I do feel this level of safety now and so I am on a big de-cluttering spree.  I have emptied our bedroom of unread magazines, those children’s books specified above, and novels that I purchased myself that are not worth a second reading.

It is exhilarating and freeing to do so, and I feel like I have let go of a big ball and chain around my ankle.

So what are you hoarding, and why isn’t it safe to let it go?  What is behind your hoarding?  Is it genetics or family history, is it experience  with poverty, or is it a trauma you experienced as a child when you moved and your dolls were all lost somewhere along the way?  Are you afraid your spouse will leave you, and so you need to keep that extra out-dated computer – just in case.  Are you afraid to let go of those old trophies because you fear that you haven’t amounted to much since high school?

EFT can help you with your fears, your clutter and your hoarding. If you need help with EFT, just give me a call.  I know where you are coming from. I’ve been there.


  1. Would you recommend, having sessions with a qualified professional before starting on your own? I would love to have my GFs mother use this as she is a chronic hoarder my GF and her 3 siblings have Ocd too and could be useful for them. no real help has worked on the mother who is in denial, has been in therapy on and off for 30 years, very sad.


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