The Truth Behind Your Clutter and the Hidden Meaning with Star Hansen | EU 182 7 min read

August 14, 2023

Are you in control of your stuff or is it in control of you?

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I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


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Are you in control of your stuff or is it in control of you? Do you feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your home? How is deep cleaning your home a type of profound therapeutic work?

In this podcast episode, I am so excited to have Star Hansen speak about the truth behind your clutter and the hidden meaning behind it.

Meet Star Hansen

Star Hansen is a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO©) and Clutter Whisperer on a mission to help you banish your personal Clutter Monster, take control of your stuff, and create a life you’re truly proud of.

Star looks at the deeper meaning of your stuff to help you figure out WHY you feel overwhelmed by your clutter in the first place.

Star’s best-selling book, “Why the F*#@ Am I Still Not Organized?”, has inspired countless individuals to tackle their clutter head-on and find lasting solutions. She has appeared on over 30 TV shows, given a TEDx talk, and shared her fitted sheet folding secrets with Oprah & her fans. Her unique methodology has helped thousands of people get (and stay!) organized when nothing else worked.

Connect with Star Hansen on her website. Find her on LinkedIn and Youtube. Listen to her Podcast Here.


  • How people use clutter to get their needs met
  • Get a system that works for YOU
  • The power of a daily routine
  • External clutter is a sign of internal clutter

How people use clutter to get their needs met

  • To boost memory: people might hoard clutter because they hope that a certain object will help them to remember an event, day, or activity.
  • For communication: sometimes people use objects passive-aggressively as a poor attempt at communicating their frustration or to continue an argument.
  • To feel secure: people may use clutter as a coping mechanism to prove to themselves that they are no longer struggling financially or are without something they once wanted or needed.

There are a lot of ways that we use clutter, I’ve seen people use clutter to empower themselves, especially those who grew up maybe with lack or scarcity. (Star Hansen)

  • For security: clutter and chaos can hide valuables or make it difficult for thieves to find items in the mess. 

I’m trying to help people see by asking them, “What are you trying to use your clutter to do?” Because if we figure that out then we can meet that need without the clutter, then the clutter is not needed, and it just falls away. (Star Hansen)

Get a system that works for YOU

There are loads of systems that you can make use of to help you keep track of things that you want to remember and like to use to jog your memory.

Instead of using items that clutter up your space and home, use a system. It could be:

  • Sticky notes
  • Trello
  • A diary
  • Calendars
  • Daily reminders on your fridge
  • Notes on your phone

There are so many different things that you can use to help yourself – and it doesn’t matter what it looks like because it has to be for you. It’s your system, after all!

You need somewhere, ideally in one place, where you brain-dump all your genius ideas because a lot of what’s probably on your desktop and a lot of those post-its are not super urgent and they’re burying the urgent things. (Star Hansen)

 You want to keep the urgent things together and the non-urgent aspects somewhere separate but still close by.

The power of a daily routine

It’s no secret that a daily routine is a lifesaver for so many reasons. Everybody talks about the power of having and maintaining a basic daily routine, and when it comes to clutter, that routine will help you as well.

A routine will help to keep you on track so that your phone, emails, or calls don’t end up dictating your day.

You need to decide how you’re spending your time and energy before you make yourself available. (Star Hansen)

If you feel like you don’t have time to do a daily routine, then you are long passed overdue to make one! At a certain point – if you don’t want to have permanent anxiety or heart issues from the endless running around – you need to scale back.

External clutter is a sign of internal clutter

You really have to check in with yourself and say, “What is causing this static energy?” Because our external clutter is literally a demonstration of our internal clutter. (Star Hansen)

When people feel stressed, scared, anxious, or fearful, then their external behavior starts to match those emotions, especially if those emotions are not regulated for a long time.

This is why it is important to view clutter as a maladaptive coping skill that was used to meet those needs or to regulate those emotions. Sure, some clutter is due to poor organization, but most clutter probably has a deeper meaning behind it.

Remember, when everything is important then nothing is important. You need to have some clarity on what are your values, your urgent things, and the necessities.

It’s not a waste of time or something impossible. You can declutter yourself and your home, and get yourself feeling calm and ready for your future.

Stop seeing organizing as a task to complete and look at it as a skill you’re acquiring … and a healing journey also! (Star Hansen)

Books Mentioned:

Star Hansen – Why the F*#@ Am I Still Not Organized?: Stop Struggling with Clutter Once and for All

Useful Links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast

Hello, my name is Veronica Cisneros, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, married for 23 years, host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast, and owner of a group private practice called Outside The Norm Counseling.

A lot of couples struggle with setting aside intentional time to connect and communicate. They yearn for meaningful conversations that don’t lead to arguments.

1 month away from divorce, I realized I had to do something different. For years I had compromised myself to meet the needs of my husband and my child, I lost myself and was about to lose my marriage. After years of personal growth and self-reflection, I not only reclaimed my identity, and celebrated 23 years of marriage but also helped hundreds of couples transform their marriage from feeling like roommates to experiencing a deeper love.

I am on a mission to help couples reignite the fire by providing them with the skills to have the relationship they deserve.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook community, or do the Workshop,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcast {previously iTunes) and subscribe!

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

I've been there.

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