3 Reasons your Clutter gets to you more as you Uplevel… And what to do about it

by | Jun 6, 2023 | Business Lessons, Co-Creation, Manifestation | 0 comments

Is your home or office driving you mad, even although it hardly bothered you before?


Maybe things you thought you might get around to one day suddenly feel incredibly pressing and feel you absolutely must deal with them right now, and you’re suddenly rearranging every room? 

It’s tempting to conclude that it’s all just procrastination and perfectionism gone wild and to try and stop the process in its tracks. But pretty much everyone’s environment starts bothering them as they uplevel, and it’s worth skipping the easy answers and looking more closely at the reasons for it and how we can address them. Decluttering and upcycling in your space is actually hugely profitable energetically and an essential part of the uplevel cycle. The very fact Feng Shui exists, (and is so profitable globally), is a testament to this!

1. Upleveling out of scarcity


Scarcity awareness increases as we move towards an uplevel because we become more aware of where things don’t match up to where we want to be. Feelings of incongruence feel physically uncomfortable; at the deepest levels of our bodies, hearts, minds and souls, we don’t like feeling like our reality is telling multiple different stories.  Add this to the fact upleveling typically comes with a heightened state of stress and experiencing multiple kinds of scarcity (e.g. time, energy, money, skills, confidence, support, belief) all at the same time, and you have the creations of a strong pull to focus on the negative. A.K.A. you  start noticing more lack around you, everywhere you look. 

This is most evident in our physical environment because all of our senses engage with it all of the time. Suddenly, you’ll start noticing things like the sofa being 6” too long for the space, or the chips in the paintwork, or the disorganisation of the cupboards more than usual and it will feel more unbearable than ever before.  

How can we resolve this? 

Make small intentional changes towards harmony with the uplevelled reality you’re moving into. This doesn’t mean spending crazy money, but rather consistent acts that move the needle. For example, there was a rip on our wallpaper that was probably there for years, but I’d also stopped noticing it years ago. Once I noticed it I couldn’t unsee it and every time I walked past I felt it glaring at me. We just weren’t in the position to redecorate completely (I was heavily pregnant and we were strapped for cash) so I glued it back down and move the furniture around so I couldn’t see it. Less than fours years later, we’re about to have our home redecorated from top to bottom for the second time since then. Taking tiny little steps like this, consistently, is part of shifting your energy and your identity and they soon add up.

The changes don’t have to be big 

Start by going around each room and identifying three small things that will improve the space immediately e.g. replacing a broken lampshade, putting up pictures, changing up the colours with some fun cushions, rearranging your books in a rainbow. Then get to work making changes.

It’s also great to get into gratitude. Focus on being truly grateful for the things that you have now, and be appreciative of simple natural abundance by being present in the moment and taking time to use your senses. We’re talking things like rainbows, fresh bowls of berries, song birds (anyone else seeing more of them just now?), flowers and foliage. If you can’t go outside where you are, bring the outside in with floral decor, pictures of wild spaces and taking time to visualise rainbow light. 

2. Material Overwhelm and Self-Esteem


There’s a cognitive cost of mentally curating thousands of things full time. Like with my wallpaper, every object in your life talks directly to your subconscious. They remind you that they need repaired, or to put them away, or that you never liked that gift in the first place and how long is it socially required to keep it? 

Even through you don’t notice the vast majority of this on a conscious level, the extent to which this is happening is extreme: every single thing you walk past that’s out of place, broken, ugly, unloved or unwanted is talking to you — reminding you that it requires your attention. I don’t know about you, but even my favourite dresses are telling me they’re sad, that their zippers are social distancing now and to go and lose 20lbs already. Dirty marks on the wall remind you that they haven’t been repainted since… ummm… that was actually in the last house. 

This is especially true when you work in your home

In a 9-5 job you can get out of the house, get away from those feelings, and build your sense of self in a wider world, so you might get away with it. But with an online business that’s not an option. Working from home, you have to listen to those thousands of material voices clamouring for your attention all day long and it gets exhausting and overwhelming, contributing so much to decision fatigue that more and more CEOs and founders are becoming minimalist to deal with it. 

This kind of clutter co-creation is terrible for our sense of self too. The congruence we were talking about is also very important for self-esteem. Every time we say we’ll do something that has a value to us and then don’t, that has a wellbeing cost. It’s like tossing a cup of mud into a bucket of clean water. Pretty soon, it’s a mess of “you never do what you say you will” which over time becomes “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not enough” or “I’m not worthy of a nice life because, I can’t even look after what I have.” This is terrible when you’re upleveling and low self-esteem is the main reason people turn back; just as things are actually starting to work. Either because they don’t see how things can work out for them or, because they don’t feel like they deserve them to work out. 

Freud may have said “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” but nothing is just anything. Things aren’t only material, they interact with us, acting back upon us in multiple ways. So it’s never’s “just” clutter. It’s an emotional burden, an untackled itinerary and the mental load of tackling it alone. 

What can you do?

Giving is the name of the game. Material things only talk like this to their curator. Imagine a museum… you don’t go there and start worrying whether the collection is in good order and start making an oppressively long to-do list. Right? I mean, sometimes I do, but that’s another story. Curators choose only a tiny amount of their collection to display and the rest is put away in storage, so give some of your stuff a break, and put it away. Better still, give some of it away for good.

Lastly, give away the responsibility of it. When we are overwhelmed and fighting with our families about all their things that we resent caring for, remember this: as long as you continue to act and think like their curator for those things they are going to keep bothering you. There will be no reason for whomever you are shouting at to pick their pants up off the floor to actually do it because, you’re taking responsibility for it. Completely move curatorship for their things into their court (for their own good too). If a job’s not done, then you can say, “oh that’s a shame you didn’t look after it. If looking after it’s too much for you, we can put/give it away.”

3. Your identity is changing reference points


This one is the big one. Your material possessions are intricately bound up with your identity on multiple levels because, two of self-esteem’s most foundational prerequisites are significance and belonging and your identity gravitates to where we find those needs met (sadly, even if in a very unhealthy way). 

In the western world, we opt into a great deal of both significance and belonging through conspicuous consumption (on both conscious and subconscious levels). 

Conspicuous consumption is most commonly understood as buying things, not for how they’ll feed your wellbeing, or how they match your bank balance, but for what they’ll make OTHERS think about our wellbeing and bank balance. Conspicuous consumption allows you to stand out and signal your social position  to others and it’s how we’re taught to show others  we’re doing well.

Conspicuous consumption can have negative consequences

Working with 6, 7 and 8 figure business owners, one thing that often comes up is being very conscious that it’s possible to draw negative attention by appearing to do TOO well; even the loveliest things can feel oppressive and unsafe in our environment. Going further with your social positioning – even by accident – can make your loved ones and community feel comfortable. They feel that same lack of congruence between their reality and your lovely things; it’s a lot like that discomfort you feel around your not-so-lovely ones. It feels dangerous to risk belonging just for nice things.

So many entrepreneurs get tangled up in knots trying to fulfil their dreams and also stay inside the lines of what’s acceptable to others. Knowing we all signal our belonging and stay within our sub-cultures through our clothing style, food culture (e.g. what, where and when we eat), the music we consume and the experiences we share, many find themselves living two different lives – one around their peers and one around their family and that feels uncomfortable too.  One life where they feel like they need impressive things to fit in, and one where they feel horribly guilty for owning the exact same things when others are struggling with basic needs. The true cost of this is hard to quantify because, for every one million it costs those biggest business owners, it costs an unknown number of people the chance to even try because, at the first inkling of losing belonging many will turn back on their uplevel and find a way to self-sabotage back to where they were before. 

What can you do?

Ditch conspicuous consumption and engage with the idea of conscious consumption. This means choosing things that align with your deepest values, instead of consuming what you believe others value. Whether that means going organic, avoiding low quality manufacture, prioritising innovative social enterprise or only buying things a wizard would own, choosing to buy things you truly love and that give you real joy matters because it helps you feel more integrated as one version of yourself across contexts. This is important when you’re uplevelling because, it helps reinforce the identity of who you are becoming as true (the body, heart, mind and soul struggle with the idea of “true sometimes, with some people” a great deal). This allows you to be continually reminded of who you really are, instead of feeling like you’re continually being reminded “this is not who you really are.” Donate or sell what’s “not you”, even if it cost you a lot of money and make the most of what really feels like it “is you” by using/wearing/displaying it more – not just for other people, but for your own understanding and experience of self, and to support your uplevel. 

Grab your journal and look really honestly at these things, ask yourself if you’re willing to go back to business as usual and to try to pretend you didn’t see the cracks in your reality? Or are you going to start working on them? If so, what action steps are you going to take?


Dr. Morgana

Dr. Morgana McCabe Allan


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