You may be unaware of the consequences associated with having too many things. Not only is owning too many things visually distracting, it can contribute to clutter, which often leads to feelings of depression and anxiety. In this post, I’ll explain why you can’t be happy and enjoy being at home with too many things.
The Effects of Having Too Many Things
Research shows that clutter, caused by having too many things, can be a hidden cause of stress at home.
A 2011 study at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute examined the effect of clutter on the brain. According to the study, “Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex,” clutter does more than take up space in our homes.
Clutter limits the brain’s ability to focus and process information.
Moms who limit clutter in their home are less irritable, less distracted, and more productive.
Getting rid of excess stuff at home, and items that aren’t adding to your joy, will provide more peace and create additional space to do other things that will increase your happiness.
Experiencing less stress at home may be as simple as getting rid of your excess stuff!
Signs That You Have Too Many Things
I believe most people are willing to admit that they own too much stuff, and that it has in fact become a problem. I think this is becoming common and “normal” for many households.
We live in a time where items can be purchased as fast as you can add them to your online cart, and delivered right to your door, and sometimes right to your vehicle!
And electronic payment methods have become easier than ever, in this digital age.
With all the ease and convenience, it’s no wonder we buy “too much stuff”. And sending and receiving gifts add to the “too much stuff” problem, as well.
Are you starting to wonder if you have too much stuff at home? Do any of these signs sound familiar?
1. You have items that you see daily, that you rarely use.
2. You have a garage, attic, or basement full of things in your way, that you never use.
3. The items on your tables and countertops look crowded.
4. Sitting in some of your rooms makes you feel uncomfortable or anxious.
The Benefits of Living With Less
You’ll spend a lot less time cleaning.
Half of the time you spend cleaning is actually spent decluttering. It’s easier to clean the floors, the counters, and the furniture if you don’t have to spend time moving things around and putting things away first.
You’ll feel better.
Less clutter uplifts your mood and outlook on life. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel without all the stuff that’s commonly in your way. You will also be surrounded by the things that mean the most to you.
Living with less is less expensive.
It only stands to reason that you’ll save more money if you buy fewer things. You might even make a few bucks when getting rid of the things that aren’t meaningful to you.
Clearer sense of purpose and greater motivation
By limiting your activities and possessions to the most important, you’ll find it easier to focus, make decisions, and prioritize. Your motivation increases and your commitment to those remaining activities also increases.
Experience family harmony
When you and your family are less distracted, happier, and have more free time, you can enjoy each other more at home.
A comfortable, stress-free environment benefits everyone in the home.
Tips to Avoid Over-Buying
Do you buy too much stuff? Have you been having too many retail therapy sessions?
Consider these tips to help with purchase problems:
For every new item that you buy, get rid of two.
If you buy a new article of clothing, then find two pieces of clothing to donate to charity. And if you are buying a replacement item, then make arrangements to discard the old item right away.
Make a list and stick to it to avoid impulse buys.
Regardless if you’re at the grocery store or the mall, following a list can help you to make wise purchase decisions. If you want to allow yourself a weekly “allowance”, then set a budget so you don’t go overboard.
Before buying a novelty item, sleep on it for 1 day.
Especially around holidays, as you begin to see fun gadgets and fancy electronics making their debut, be careful not to splurge on something that won’t end up getting used. After 24 hours, you’ll have a better idea of whether it’s something your heart truly desires.
Use a declutter checklist to tidy up your home
Write down all your daily declutter tasks. Begin with the spaces you come into contact with on a regular basis.
Next, add your weekly declutter tasks. These are areas that you come into contact with on a weekly basis.
Then, add your monthly declutter tasks. These are areas that you come into contact with on a monthly basis.
Finally, add your annual/seasonal declutter tasks. These are areas that you come into contact with on a yearly or quarterly basis.
Tip: Put your your declutter checklist on the refrigerator, or keep it somewhere where you will actually see it (and not forget about it).
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Crystal is the owner of The Organized Home, LLC and producer of The Home Approach®; empowering moms to create an organized home that they love, so they can thrive at home. She has spent the majority of her career in the Professional Organizing industry, gaining experiences in areas such as decluttering, organizing, and home management.
While coaching moms is her passion, she also loves being a SAHM to her young children (ages 3, 5 and 7), date nights with her husband, and family outings on the weekends. Above all, she is most passionate about following Jesus and inspiring others to do the same.