We as Americans generally agree: most of us have too much stuff and not enough space in which to store it all. Every holiday, we give each other piles of gifts. Throughout the year, we buy clothing in anticipation of each season. Not only do we over-shop, but we also don’t know how or when to get rid of other things to compensate for this constant influx of new items. In this article, we outline 10 signs you have too much stuff. Don’t fret if you recognize yourself below! Often realizing there’s a problem is a great first step toward remedying it.
- Your house feels smaller with every passing year.
When you moved into your home, you most likely thought that it was spacious enough for you and your family. Now, years later, you might be feeling like the place is bursting at the seams!
If you haven’t added a family member, it’s time to set aside time and declutter. Let go of things that served you in the past if they aren’t working for you now. A good rule for overstuffed homes is that if one new item comes in, two items of that category must go out.
- You can’t figure out what to wear.
If you’ve found yourself standing in your full closet feeling like you had nothing to wear, you have too many clothes. Contrary to our instincts regarding this feeling, the answer is rarely further shopping. Instead, try creating a list of the clothing items you really want to wear.
You’ll probably find you have most of these items already, albeit buried behind other clothes! Bring these clothes to the forefront, and donate items that you haven’t worn in the previous year. Reducing the number of clothing items you own will ultimately make it easier to locate truly beloved outfits that will boost your confidence!
- You’re constantly struggling to find things.
If you run late because you can’t find things, you have too much stuff. Now, if you’re struggling with something like ADHD or an anxiety disorder, you may feel like misplacing things is just part of your distracted state.
The truth is, though, that having too much stuff will exacerbate your challenges, and reducing the number of things to keep track of will probably help with your symptoms.
- Your kitchen counters function as “overflow” storage.
If you have a good-sized kitchen with storage, yet you still have a rotating or permanent collection of small appliances or dishes that live on the counter, you need to let some things go. The main function of your kitchen counters should be food preparation, so anything that prevents you using them isn’t working to support your lifestyle.
You don’t need an egg slicer, cherry pit remover, or garlic peeler. Only keep things you’d buy today if you were shopping, and donate the rest.
- You buy storage solutions instead of decluttering.
Storage bins don’t replace decluttering. If you want your storage solutions to bring order to your life, you’ve got to place deliberately-chosen items mindfully into them. You bring the order to the bins, not the other way around.
- If you had an hour to get ready for company, you still wouldn’t be ready.
If this sounds like you most of the time, it’s important to realize that sometimes it’s tough to get everything put away because there just isn’t anywhere to put things. Having a dedicated “return spot” for everything you own is the vital first step toward living in an organized home.
Ultimately, clutter is bad for you. It’s bad for your physical health in the form of dust mites, mold, tripping, and fire hazards. It’s bad for your mental health because it increases the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Clutter can also be socially isolating because people with messy homes are far less likely to invite people over to socialize.
The good news is, At Dallas Custom Closets, we have seen time and time again that when people choose to scale down their possessions and store them beautifully, they are happier, less anxious, and more efficient in their daily lives.