12 Types of Clutter Junkies: Taking the First Step

The time has come to take a searching and fearless inventory of your clutter situation. First stop? Naming your addiction.

The first step out of twelve in a recovery program is admitting that you are powerless over your affliction. If you’re one of these types of clutterers, that means your mountain of hoarding has become insurmountable for you and the people who bravely venture into your messy environs.

The step before the first step of real recovery, of course, is hitting rock hard, linoleum bottom. It might be millions of boxes of junk away, but clutter control is just an oosouji away.

Consider yourself a social clutterer? Sorry, there’s no such thing. If you’ve got a problem, you likely fit into one of these categories.

Deep in the Closet
You hide your habit behind french doors, possibly even the dorm room tapestry you’ve been dragging around since college. If one were to peak behind the curtain though, it would reveal a very dire situation, indeed.

The Bargain Basement Hoarder
You’ve never met a bargain you couldn’t resist. Take care. Your post holiday shopping euphoria could be obscuring a very troubling mold problem in your basement, behind all those boxes from Amazon.

The Bulker
There’s nothing wrong with buying in bulk. Most discerning and conscious shoppers do. But remember that you’re not the only one at the co-op with a hankering for organic carob-dipped chestnuts.

The Techie
Your wire and plug collection would make Wall-E swoon.

The Bill Cultivator
Do you think the IRS is out to get you? File right, and it’s very unlikely that you will ever be audited. Go paperless, get a scanner, get thy receipts to a paper mill.

The Wishful Thinker
Your optimism is to be admired, but you will never be young enough to wear stirrup pants ever again.

The Book Hoarder
Your single-handed efforts to keep your local bookshop afloat is appreciated, but the county library could use some love, too.

The Free Table Watchdog
There are many truisms about working in media depicted in shows like Ugly Betty, one of them being all the free junk that gets hurled your way. It all goes to a place called the free table. Every magazine or major website has one, but it is not a blessing. It is a curse.

The Product Fiend
The solution to perfect anything does not come in a bottle, even if it is greenwashed to within an inch of its molecular structure. Liberate yourself: liberate your medicine cabinet!

The Sentimentalist

Little Johnny and Julie have to grow up sometime and hoarding their roughly drawn sketches of cats and rainbows and those essays about George Washington need to find a home in the recycling box. They will still love you in adulthood without them.

The Upcycler
Just as you don’t want to become known as the crazy cat lady for taking in every stray you come across, you also don’t want to become the crazy driftwood one for stockpiling every piece you find. Some things are left better off drifting.

The Jar Collector
Good for you for committing to lead a zero waste year. But if you don’t have an immediate use for that empty jar, fear not the recycling bin. It is still your friend.

Images: Howard.hall, lamont_cranston, the urban mermaid, clark maxwell, Mr. Mio, Uljana Egli, Henry…, noocar, Shira Goldig, AbigailPhotography, eva the weaver, Katherine A, puukibeach

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.