Much of our clutter is rooted in false assumptions about our reality.

“Aspirational clutter” is clutter you accumulate because you believe that not owning a given item (or items) is the primary roadblock to you achieving something that you believe you should do.

For example, go find an online “influencer” who believes you should prepare most of your food at home. If they’re not gluten intolerant, and they don’t already own one, there’s a fair bet they would like to own a stand mixer.

And sure, stand mixers are great for making bread, cakes, meringues, and all sorts of other things. In the hands of somebody who does a lot of food preparation, it’s an awesome tool. That’s also how the “shop at home” channels pitch the product. 

“Look at this mixer. You can easily make bread, cakes, meringue pies, and so much more! And with our special attachment package, available at a great discount today, you can grind your own ground beef, grind ham for ham salad, and even make your own stuffed ravioli. Look how easy this is!”

If you have the desire to cook at home more, when you sit and watch the commercial on TV – or read the recipe on the Internet – it can play on that desire in the back of your mind. It might even create a little bit of guilt. And if you buy into the premise that this gadget makes cooking easier, and you want to cook more, why not get it….right?

How do you escape this thinking trap?

Start by realizing that the problem the gadget solves likely isn’t the problem you have. You don’t have an “I make pies every weekend and I need to make that process faster” problem. You have an “I don’t cook as often as I’d like” problem. If you pull on that thread a little bit, it’s a safe bet that “not having a particular kitchen gadget” isn’t the main cause of that problem. Most people run out of time or hit the limits of their knowledge well before the equipment becomes the issue.

Once you know what your actual problem is, then you dip your toe into the proverbial pool. What’s something small you can do to move you toward your desire? Start there. If you want to cook at home more, rather than dropping $350 on a fancy kitchen gadget, what if you Googled “easy 15 minute dinner recipe” and tried some of the options that come up?

That gets you something that’s a low time commitment, and typically doesn’t involve buying a ton of bulky stuff. It gets you some firsthand experience. It helps you learn what works and what doesn’t. And even better, it helps you determine whether or not this is something you even like to do.

If you give it a shot and you hate it, you’re out some time and a few bucks. If you discover that this is turning into a new passion, the gadgets and stuff will always be there for you to purchase when you’re ready.

And when you do little experiments like this consistently – rather than accumulating tons of aspirational clutter – you’ll have more money, time, and space for what you love. And isn’t that what all of us really want?

Of course if you happen to have a bunch of aspirational clutter laying around, don’t let it get in the way of the life you want to live. We’ve never met clutter we can’t get rid of. Give us a call, tell us what needs to go, and we’ll get it gone!

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