If you are wondering whether you have too much stuff, you are in the right place. This article will help you understand the signs that you have too much stuff and how to deal with it.
Despite some beliefs, having too much stuff is not a sign of wealth or success. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Having too much stuff can be a burden, both physically and emotionally.
If you can relate to any of the following signs, it might be time to declutter your life and get rid of some of your stuff.
Signs that you have too much stuff
You don’t have to fit in all of these categories to have too much stuff. Even a few of them is enough.
1. You don’t have enough storage space
This is a big one. If you don’t have enough storage space, it’s a clear sign that you have too much stuff. Usually, storage space is one of the first things to go when you have too much stuff.
2. You can’t find things
We’ve all been there- you can’t find your keys, your phone, or your favorite book. So, you spend ten minutes searching through the house, moving couch cushions, and emptying out drawers. Eventually, you find what you’re looking for, but the process is so frustrating.
When you have too much stuff, it becomes difficult to keep track of everything. This can lead to frustration and wasted time when you’re trying to find things.
3. You are constantly cleaning
Having too much stuff takes up more time for cleaning. As simple as that. So if you find yourself cleaning all the time, it might be a sign that you have too much stuff.
4. You’re always moving stuff around
One of the most frustrating things in life is feeling like you can never get your stuff under control and organized.
It seems like no matter how often you tidy up and move things around, there’s always something out of place. And continually rearranging and moving things around is so time-consuming. If you find yourself doing this often, it’s a sign that your stuff is taking over your space.
5. You don’t have a specific place for your stuff
If your stuff doesn’t have a specific place, it’s going to stay on the countertops, tables, and floors. This creates clutter and chaos and makes it difficult to find things when you need them. So, if you don’t have a place for your stuff, it certainly means that you have too much stuff.
6. You don’t have any white space in your house
White space is the empty space in a room. It’s uncluttered and free of any furniture or decor. And having some white space in your house is important. It makes the space feel bigger, brighter, and more open.
If you don’t have any white space in your house, it’s a sign that your stuff is taking over. And that’s not a good thing.
7. You’re constantly buying new storage solutions
If you find yourself constantly buying new storage solutions, it’s a sign that you have too much stuff. You might think that buying a new storage unit will solve the problem, but it’s just a temporary fix. Eventually, you’ll run out of storage space and your stuff will take over your house. And we don’t want that!
8. You barely/never use some of your stuff
Do you have in mind now some of the things you haven’t used in months or even years? If you do and the answer is “yes”, then you might have too much stuff.
8. You only buy things and don’t get rid of anything
We all know that person who always seems to have the latest gadgets, the trendiest clothes, and a never-ending supply of new things. And while it might seem like they’ve got their life together, the truth is that they’re probably drowning in a sea of stuff.
Constantly buying new things and never getting rid of anything is a sure sign that you have too much stuff. And it’s a problem that’s only going to get worse over time. Holding onto things might not be a big deal now, but it will be a huge problem down the road.
9. You have no idea where that item is
Your spouse asks you where the pictures from your last vacation are and you have no idea. You spend the next half an hour looking through closets, drawers, and boxes, but you can’t find them anywhere. Sounds familiar?
If you can’t find things when you need them, it means that you have too much stuff.
10. You never know what to wear
Studies show that too many choices lead to indecision. And that’s certainly true when it comes to clothes. If you have a closet full of clothes but can never seem to find anything to wear, it’s a sign that you have too much stuff.
Further reading: What You Can Do When You Have Too Many Clothes
11. You’re always losing things
Do you have any items that you couldn’t find even until now? Well, if you do then that’s another sign that you probably have too much stuff. When you have too many things, it’s easy to lose track of them. And that can be frustrating, not to mention costly.
12. You’re constantly buying duplicates
Those “just in case” items or that updated version of something you already have. If you find yourself buying duplicates of things, it’s a sign that you have too much stuff. Not only is this a waste of money, but it’s also a waste of space.
13. You’re embarrassed by your house
Do you ever have friends or family over and feel embarrassed by the state of your house? If so, it means that you have to get some decluttering done. The sooner the better.
14. You don’t know what is inside some of the drawers and cabinets
If you have to open a drawer or cabinet and take everything out just to find what you’re looking for, it’s clearly not good. Imagine how would it be to have everything organized and know exactly where everything is. Wouldn’t that be great?
15. You feel like you’re living in a storage unit
If your house feels more like a storage unit than a home, it’s time to get rid of some stuff. Nobody wants to live in a place that’s crammed full of stuff. It’s just not healthy or sustainable.
A home has to be cozy and inviting, not chaotic and claustrophobic.
16. You have no space for your car in the garage
There is an interesting study that found that almost 1 in 4 Americans can’t fit their car in the garage because of clutter. Are you one of them?
17. You don’t have any empty/almost empty shelves
Every single square inch of your house is accounted for and there’s no room for anything new. If you don’t have any empty shelves, it means that the stuff is starting to take over.
18. It’s difficult to vacuum or clean
Do you need to move a bunch of stuff just to vacuum or clean a certain area? If so, then it’s definitely time to declutter. A home should be easy and pleasant to clean, not a constant battle.
19. You haven’t decluttered your space in ages
This is pretty self-explanatory. If it’s been years since you’ve decluttered, then it’s safe to say that you have too much stuff.
20. You have more than one storage unit
Do you have so much stuff that you had to rent an additional storage unit? If so, then it’s time to save some money by getting rid of some things. You don’t need all that stuff, trust me.
Where to start if you have too much stuff?
If you ran through the list above and realized that you’re guilty of most, if not all, of the signs then don’t worry. It’s not too late to declutter and get your life back on track.
If you make a plan and commit to it, you’ll be less overwhelmed and more likely to stick with it.
I have a comprehensive guide on clutter clearing here.
Other relevant articles are:
- The Complete Guide on How To Get Rid of Clothes
- 10 steps on starting decluttering when overwhelmed by the mess
- How to declutter toys for a happier family?
However, I want to quickly go over some basics that will help you get started on the right foot.
How to deal with too much stuff?
Set the mindset
Decluttering is not easy, especially if you have too much stuff. It will take time, effort, and energy. But it’s important to remember that it’s worth it. A decluttered home will make you feel lighter, happier, and more at peace. So, keep that in mind as you go through the process.
Ask yourself some questions during the process
These questions include:
- Do I need this?
- Do I love this?
- Does this bring me joy?
- When was the last time I used/wore this?
- Do I have a place for this?
- Is this worth the storage space?
Asking yourself these questions will help you narrow down your belongings and make the decluttering process a lot easier.
Get rid of big stuff first
This includes furniture, appliances, and other large items. Not only will this give you a sense of accomplishment, but it will also make your space feel more open.
Work in smaller chunks
If the thought of decluttering your entire house is too daunting, then break it down into smaller tasks. For example, focus on decluttering your bedroom first. Once that’s done, move on to the living room, and so on.
Please don’t underestimate this point. Just because you have a lot of stuff doesn’t mean you need to get rid of everything. Keep the items that are important to you and that make you happy.
Make it fun
Decluttering doesn’t have to be a chore. Put on some music, and make a game out of it. The more fun you have, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Recycle, donate and sell
This is an important process of decluttering because it helps you get rid of things in a responsible way. Plus, it’s a great way to make some extra cash.
Related: Life After Decluttering: Now What?
Organize after you declutter
Once you’ve decluttered your space, it’s important to organize what’s left. This will help you keep your space clutter-free in the future.
Why having too much stuff is bad?
It is certainly bad to have too much stuff, but why?
There are a few important reasons:
- You spend money on things you don’t need. The PR Newswire has a statistical article that people have lots of stuff and not enough money. Well, that’s not surprising. When you have too much stuff, you’re more likely to spend money on things you don’t need. It clutters your home and your life.
- It’s bad for the environment. We buy things and they end up in the landfill. Climate change is getting worse and worse, and it’s our responsibility to take care of the earth. Read this article on How Buying Stuff Drives Climate Change to find out more about this problem.
- It causes stress and anxiety. It’s actually true. If you find yourself feeling stressed and anxious, it might be because you have too much stuff. NY Times published an article that links clutter to stress and anxiety.
- It’s a waste of time. When you have too much stuff, it takes up your time. You spend time cleaning, organizing, and looking for things. It’s time that you could be spending on more important things, like your relationships or your hobbies.
Why is it so hard for me to get rid of stuff?
You might be in one or more of these categories:
- You are too sentimental. If you have a hard time getting rid of things because they remind you of someone or something then you are too emotional. You might also feel like you’re getting rid of a part of yourself. This article might help you.
- You are a collector. You might collect certain items, like books or records. It can be hard to let go of these things, even if you don’t use them.
- You think you might need it in the future. This is a common problem. We hold on to things because we think we might need them in the future. But the truth is, we probably won’t. If you haven’t used it in a year, chances are you won’t use it in the future.
- You’re afraid of change. Change can be scary. But change is a good thing. It means improvement.
- You don’t know where to start. It’s hard to know where to start when you have too much stuff. But once you get started, it’s not so bad.
Will I regret getting rid of stuff?
If you don’t over-declutter, which means getting rid of things that are important to you, then you shouldn’t regret it. On the contrary, you’ll probably feel a sense of relief and freedom.
Avoid over-decluttering, so don’t get rid of things like hobby items, useful everyday items, and in some cases sentimental items (although it is best to take a picture and let go).
Keep the clutter from coming back
If you had too much stuff and finally made the step to declutter, you should also make an effort to keep the clutter from coming back. Here are some tips:
- Don’t buy duplicates. When you’re out shopping, resist the urge to buy things you already have.
- One item in, one out. This rule means that for every new item you bring into your home, you should get rid of one.
- Declutter regularly. Decluttering is an ongoing process. You should declutter your space regularly, so it doesn’t get out of control again.
- Think before you buy. Before you make a decision to buy something, give it a day or two. Ask yourself if you really need it. If you can live without it, then don’t buy it.
- Be mindful of your consumption. Be more mindful of your consumption overall. Not just with physical things, but with everything. Be mindful of the food you eat, the energy you use, and the way you live your life.
If you feel like you have too much stuff and you have proven it by the fact that you can’t close your drawers or cupboards (just an example), then it’s time to do something about it. Don’t let your stuff control your life.
You have to get through the initial pain of decluttering and letting go, but it will be worth it in the end. A decluttered space will lead to a decluttered mind and a happier life.
I hope this article was helpful. And I hope you will embark on your own decluttering journey.
Have a lovely day!