If you have, or a loved one has, problems with serious clutter, Clutterers Anonymous is a good place to find help. In these support groups, people help each other find solutions to the clutter problems they share using a slightly modified version of the 12 steps developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. The organization welcomes everyone wishing to eliminate clutter from their lives.
If you would like help finding more information about treatment for cluttering issues, please call our toll-free hotline at 1-888-287-0471.
What Is a Clutterer?
Clutterers Anonymous defines clutter as anything people keep in their lives that uses up their time, space and energy, and creates worries. It may involve physical objects, meaningless activities or old emotions. Clutterers feel like they have little control over the growth of clutter in their lives and may feel hurt and shamed by it. An addiction to clutter, according to Clutterers Anonymous, is just as real as any other addiction.
Cluttering is quite common. Serious cluttering is related to hoarding which, according to John Hopkins Health Alerts, is estimated to affect 1 million Americans. An Australian Institute study done in 2008 showed that 88 percent of the Australian homes surveyed had a minimum of one cluttered room, and this clutter embarrassed 33 percent of women and 23 percent of men. No equivalent American studies have been conducted yet.
The Clutterers Anonymous website outlines 25 questions to ask yourself if you believe you may be a clutterer. Some of the issues the questions address include:
- Having problems at home, at work or in a relationship because of possessions
- Having more possessions than you can deal with comfortably
- Being embarrassed to invite people to your home because it is full of things
- Being easily tempted by sales and bargains
- Difficulty making decisions about both possessions and life in general
- A strong emotional attachment to possessions
- A problem with clutter that is currently escalating
How Clutterers Anonymous Helps
“Clutterers Anonymous sees clutter as a symptom of the real issues clutterers need to deal with.”Clutterers Anonymous sees clutter as a symptom of the real issues clutterers need to deal with. Because of that, Clutterers Anonymous support group meetings do not focus on strategies for managing clutter but rather look at the underlying reasons for the clutter in people’s lives. Clutterers Anonymous members support each other in developing and maintaining their own de-cluttering strategies.
Members strive to accept each other unconditionally as they work through their issues, sharing sadness and joy as they go through the process. They focus on what they see as the three issues clutterers face:
- The physical clutter they have to deal with
- Emotional difficulties that come from focusing on the past and future
- A feeling of spiritual emptiness
What to Expect at a Meeting
Clutterers Anonymous defines a meeting as taking place any time two or more members get together to share experiences and offer each other strength and hope. Meetings are generally held weekly and are 60 to 90 minutes long.
Meeting formats vary quite a bit. Some have speakers. Others involve discussions of literature on cluttering or studying the 12 steps and 12 traditions that Clutterers Anonymous borrowed from Alcoholics Anonymous. As in Alcoholics Anonymous, new members choose sponsors to help them through the 12 steps. They may also have buddies — fellow members who help out with specific projects or provide general encouragement.
Each group is independent from the others. Meetings are run by elected officers with a mandate to serve rather than govern, and groups fund themselves through voluntary contributions from their members.
You can find Clutterers Anonymous meetings on their website, which lists meetings in 22 states. If there is no meeting in your area, the website also offers kits to help you start your own meeting and provides information on regular telephone meetings.
To learn more about Clutterers Anonymous and find a wealth of information on cluttering, visit the website at www.clutterersanonymous.org.
We can also help you learn more about cluttering, clutterers’ support groups like Clutterers Anonymous, and other addictions. Call our hotline at (1-888-287-0471 for a free talk with one of our specialists.