It’s dinnertime, but you can’t really cook because there is so much clutter all over the kitchen.

Or you tripped on your way out of the guest room because boxes and books are everywhere on the floor. Maybe your basement is starting to look like a hoarding episode on TV.

What does all the clutter say about you? And what does all the clutter do to your relationships?

It may speak to deeper thoughts and feelings. Something in the clutter may have sentimental meaning. “If I throw away that toy, I lose my daughter’s childhood forever.” “If I clean out the garage, then the divorce feels very final.”

Holding on means not letting go! Let’s all sing the theme to “Frozen” right now. “Let it go… Let it go…”

Sometimes clutter can indicate a focus and organizing problem. People with ADHD, OCD or even dementia have trouble organizing.

Maybe you have trouble making decisions because of anxiety. What if…you need it later but you threw it away? Or maybe, just maybe, you will lose those 10 pounds and need that dress that is hanging there with the tag still on it.

Perhaps you’ve watched episodes of Storage Wars and saw how many people throw out valuable items but didn’t know it. You don’t want to be one of those people and miss the chance to cash in big!

Too much clutter can be a danger in the home, creating possible fire hazards, dust accumulation and stress on structures not designed to handle too much stuff.

More importantly, too much clutter can create resentment, cramp living spaces and frustrate those with whom you live.

If all the clutter is distressing you or a family member, look at the psychology behind holding on to it. Your clutter may be telling you that you are too perfectionistic, obsessive, disorganized, overly sentimental, worried, and/or having trouble closing out the past. You might even be a hoarder, a legitimate psychiatric disorder now.  So if your living quarters are so cluttered it causes you distress, get some help.

Time to clean it up, organize and throw things away. If you can’t, see a therapist to see if you are a hoarder and need a little more help.

Is clutter ruining your relationship?