Too much stuff?
Have you ever opened a cupboard and found yourself closing it quickly as stuff just falls out and it’s all too much to handle? Have you ever walked into a room, or even stopped using a room, because there is just too much stuff in it and you feel squashed, depressed and small just being amongst it all? Do you have a room or area that has become a ‘dumping ground’, where you open the door, throw stuff in and then shut the door as soon as possible?
If the answer is yes, then read on.
Why do we keep it?
It’s time to understand why you are holding on to this stuff. Understanding why you are holding on to it all means you can deal with it, have a damn good de-clutter and move on!
We’re talking about clutter here. Clutter is like an infestation, it stats small and then before you know it, its everywhere! It expands and grows and very quickly can get out of control.
There is nothing positive about clutter. It is:
It is a massive sapper of time. When you live or work in a cluttered environment you often become frustrated and repeatedly are slowed down by not being able to find anything when you need it, or just cannot move easily.
Clutter blocks good energy flow!
How do we know we don’t need it? Well, I bet you move it about, but never use it, you don’t need it. Or you move it about and it doesn’t make you feel good, you feel bogged down by it, yup you guessed it, you don’t need it.
So here are my top 5 frustrating reasons why we keep stuff we don’t need and how to get over them.
- 1. It was given to you.
Argh OMG you hate it, but you don’t want to hurt the feelings of the person who gave it to you. So you keep it…in a cupboard, taking up space and you feel guilty every time you see it. It needs to go, really, you can let it go. Most of the time we worry that the person might ask to see it again, or wonder where it is if they pop round to your home. The reality is, this is never going to happen.
- 2. You or someone else paid a lot of money for it
Why is this? What difference does a price tag make to how we feel about it? If it isn’t useful, or you don’t love it, why keep it? The money has gone, been spent, it’s value is irrelevant. If it is in your way or generates a negative feeling, then it is time to wave it goodbye. Why not see if you can refund it or sell it if it’s worth something. Use the money to replace it with something you do love. Think what it could do as a charitable donation!
- 3. Sentimental reasons
This is where the power of technology can come into it. You love the memory but not keeping the items. If you like to keep concert tickets, certificates, cards or other items that are sentimental because they remind you of a great time in your life, then treasure them and do something with them.
If you love keeping it and it makes you smile then ask yourself is it something you could enjoy more? Could be framed or mounted so that you could put on a wall. How wonderful to see it every day. Alternatively is it something you could photograph and then pop into an album or create a whole book of the children’s artwork they did at school. Scanning and photographing is so easily done. How about sorting the items into a gorgeous box that could be kept on display somewhere, so you can just reach it and look at it when you want to – give it a special place!
- 4. It might come in handy or be useful at some point
Oh trust me on this point. Just let it go. You have to ask yourself is it worth keeping, just in case? I had items I had kept for 20 years before I realised that by keeping it, it had gone out of commission, was no longer compatible or just had gone out of date. (I’m just going to suggest here that you MAY have a massive box of cables somewhere that are just not compatible with anything now, then you’ll know what I mean!). By all means keep it for a while if it makes you feel a little better, but if it has not been used within 6 months, it is highly unlikely you are never going to use it. My biggest question is, how much would it cost to buy one should you need one of whatever it is. Is it worth keeping, taking up space, just to make that saving?…I bet the answer is no! So let it go, enjoy the extra space.
- 5. You just never got round to getting rid of it.
Letters, credit card statements, bills and letters from school. Oh yes, I am sure you know exactly what I mean. If you have boxes or drawers full of this stuff, do yourself a favour and make a start right now to get shot of it all. Create a system and stick with it. There will be documents you will need to keep for a certain amount of time for legal reason, but the rest can go. Deal with letters as they come in. Have files to hand for the documents you need to keep, so it’s easy to just put them in and shred or scan to keep the rest. A clear kitchen side, draw or desk, free of this type of clutter will be heavenly productive and a more relaxing environment to be using! Try it.
Become aware of the clutter in your life.
Being conscious of the clutter is the starting point. If you find yourself rummaging through drawers, cupboards or even rooms looking for something, stop and ask yourself, why is this so difficult? If you have too much stuff, do yourself a favour and start to de-clutter.
Question why you have it and get to work.