Do You Have Too Much Stuff?

Diana says, "I am in the process of trying to get rid of some of my clutter/stuff/belongings to help clean out my apt. My problem is that I tend to hoard things b/c I’m worried that although I may not using something today, I may need it later. Also, I tend to overbuy stuff I like so it’s hard to downsize b/c it can be stuff I really like, have used within the last year, etc, which makes it hard for me to get rid of some of it b/c usually, I just get rid of stuff when it’s broken or I haven’t used it within the last year, etc. Do you have any tips on sorting belongings and/or rules on getting rid of things you actually like and use if you just have too much of it?"

Saving for someday

It sounds like you think keeping more than you have room for, you are somehow preparing for the future. This is very common. The problem is no one knows what the future will be. Are we to keep stuff for events that may or may not happen? I love what Peter Walsh says in his book, It’s All Too Much, "We can’t control what tomorrow will bring. Those things we hoard for an imaginary future do little other than limit our possibilities and stunt our growth."

If you aren’t using something now, give it to someone who will use it. Create space for new opportunities.

Do you have too much?

The stuff is not what matters, it is the space. You may have good stuff, but if the things are making it difficult to live the life you want then it is time to let go.

  • Do you have shelves that overflow?
  • Closets that won’t close because there is too much stuff?
  • Piles in too many places?
  • Do you spend a lot of money on "organizers"?
  • Do you have to rent storage space?
  • Does your energy feel sapped when you go into certain rooms?
  • Are you always bumping into things?
  • Do you spend tons of time just maintaining your home?
  • Do you "upgrade" more than every few years?

If you have a lot of yes answers, you may have too much stuff.

What is your clutter costing you? What is it sapping from your current life? What do you want your life to really be like?

The amount of space you have cannot be changed — the amount of stuff you have can.

The real question

So the question may not be, "What can I do without?" but rather, "What do I want in my life?" Imagine if your home were a clean slate. What would you welcome back in? What wouldn’t you allow to cross the doorframe?


"You need to set limits, and the limits are easy to create. They are determined by the amount of space you have, your priorities and interests, and the agreements you make with other members of your household." – Peter Walsh

You get to make up your own rules and limits based on the life you want to live. Free your life from stuff and see what happens!

Photo Credit: juhansonin