Too Much Stuff and What It Does To Us

Clutter, stuff, junk, odds & ends.  Whatever you call it, having too much stuff can affect your life.  So, how do you know whether or not you have too much stuff, and what can you do about it?  Let’s start with a quick exercise.

First, imagine your house burned down tomorrow.  What are the most important belongings you would want to save?  These are the irreplaceable, precious-memory items such as photos, your inherited china, or a box of letters you have received.

Next, what items do you use regularly?  Probably your clothes, everyday dishes, desk, furniture, cleaning supplies, bath items, yard care, etc.

Now ask yourself what’s left.  Do you need anything else? Here is a checklist to determine whether you have too much.

  • If you opened up your spare room closet, would a pile of stuff tumble out?
  • Do you have to search your home to find a particular item?
  • If you remove one item from a shelf or rack, is it difficult to put it back?
  • If you donated half of one category (like shoes, for example) would you really miss them?
  • If a friend comes to visit unexpectedly, would you want to close all of the bedroom doors?
  • Is the volume of stuff in your home causing friction between family members?

The solution is simple, but not easy and that is to reduce the volume of stuff in your home.  Don’t try to accomplish this in one weekend!  I suggest that you start with a small project such as a junk drawer or DVD collection.  It may take six months – or more – to go through your entire house.  Please don’t get discouraged if it does take a while, just keep moving forward.

Once you experience the feeling of openness, discover how much easier it is to locate the things you want and find out how much easier cleaning is, then I predict you will be motivated to keep going.

Don’t forget that I would love to hear success stories if you have recently completed an organizing project.

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