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8 Reasons Why You Hold On To Too Much Stuff

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8 Reasons Why You Hold On To Too Much Stuff

Do you have too much stuff in your home? Do you have a room or closet that is just filled with junk?

Whether it’s an office, bedroom, living area, or basement- clutter can be overwhelming.

It’s normal for someone to feel overwhelmed by too much clutter, as there are many types and causes for having a cluttered space.

Not only that, having an overly cluttered home or holding onto too many things can make it difficult to think clearly, especially on what should stay or go (when deciding on the proper storage or discarding methods).

But there is a solution!

By taking some time into digging into your reasons for holding onto too much clutter and finding out why your stuff has become such an integral part of your life, you’ll have a better idea as to how best to deal with them. 

Thay way, things don’t pile up anymore and you can finally live a clutter-free lifestyle. 

We’ll discuss the reasons why you might be holding on to too much stuff and how to avoid accumulating more things in the future.


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The simple reason we hold on to too much stuff

Why having too much stuff is considered normal & the consequences of having too much clutter

What’s an example of clutter?

A lot of unorganized stuff in one area is considered clutter. Clutter is a pile of clothes, toys, books, and photos mixed together. To make things messy is what clutter means. To clutter is to dump everything you bring home from a trip in a heaping pile and not organizing those things to their rightful locations.


What does clutter do for your mind?

Anxiety, sleep quality, and focus can all be affected by clutter. Clutter can also reduce productivity, leading to not-so-good coping strategies and avoidance strategies such as coping with food or substance abuse and/or feeling paralyzed by watching TV shows about people who have decluttered their lives, while doing nothing about it.


If you have too much clutter, you are not alone!

UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) has released a new study that shows how overcrowding our homes with stuff can lead to an increased level of stress.

The team studied the home lives of 32 middle-class, dual-income families with 2-3 kids and found that as clutter increased so did one’s sense of being overwhelmed by their own surroundings.

The researchers also noticed something interesting when they conducted this study: As people collected more stuff; it became harder for them to keep up with all the work created from managing these belongings – which caused greater levels of stress at home than ever before!

This was because there were just too many things cluttering up their space, making them feel like it will never be clean.

home decluttering tips to help tackle clutter

What are the consequences of having too much Clutter?

Yes, there are also side effects and consequences to having too much stuff.

The same study showed that women who feel their homes are overly cluttered have a number of negative consequences, which include:

  • Not being as happy with their marriage
  • Having an unhealthy cortisol pattern
  • Difficulty managing tasks every day
  • Feeling ineffective throughout their overall day.
  • Depressive feelings also arose during the evening hours when fatigue was present 

Unclean homes are all too common nowadays if we’re being honest, and these findings show how important it is to keep your house clean and clear from too much stuff!


How all our stuff adds up.

When we are constantly exposed to advertisements that tell us how to be happy, healthy, wealthy, and attractive we can be that’s when we can fall prey to acquiring more stuff.

It can also be easy to accumulate many things that we don’t need in our already materialistic society because it can be challenging to get rid of the emotional baggage.

As a result, this can lead to us becoming more dependent on the stuff in our lives.

There are also so many reasons and factors why we might feel emotionally paralyzed when deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.

You can feel attached to objects in a sentimental way or believe that they have hidden monetary value.

But the main reason why we hold on to them is fear. We can be misguided and fear losing security, status, or comfort.

Our possessions also can represent our past, present, and future. Who we are and where we want to go. And what we have accomplished throughout our lives.

So it’s not surprising that it can be hard to let go of things.

But as you’ll soon see, tidying and decluttering will allow you to reflect on all your core beliefs and how you want to live your life.

Below will explain why clutter surrounds you or someone you care about and how to get rid of it all with more useful decluttering tips.


8 Reasons Why You Hold On To Too Much Stuff

Reasons Why You Hold On To Too Much Stuff

1. You feel Guilty.

It’s normal to feel a sense of guilt when you have items in your home that remind you of someone. If this is the case for anything around you, consider donating or selling some things and using those funds towards something new! Freeing your guilt will help clear any memories from these belongings while also giving yourself an exciting future experience to look forward to.

For example, use packing services to pack up and move unwanted items into storage units until they are ready to be donated or sold on Craigslist. The money raised can then be used as seed money for a down payment on a house or car.


2. You’re way too attached.

What if you could let go of attachments by defining a new purpose for them? When I had trouble letting sentimental items go, it was because I thought that they would bring me closure or help heal my emotional wounds. Turns out, though, this wasn’t the case and these things ended up taking up space in my home!

Plus, it’s easy to get rid of clutter when you find an original use for your belongings- such as discovering their true underlying need before giving away what is no longer necessary. If you can figure this out, it will make room for your meaningful objects while also helping you get rid of clutter!


3. You already have a ‘place’ to put it.

The worst excuse that people can give for holding on to too much stuff is that they have a place to put it. But it’s not about the space you have. It’s about what occupies it and why.

What also makes this a huge clutter issue, isn’t so much the physical space at all – rather, it’s your mental and emotional states when you’re feeling guilty or obligated in parting with certain items because it feels like you wasted what could’ve been potential if only given just one more chance. Not all of your space needs stuff and Marie Kondo’s book is a great reminder of why!

Recommended:10 Genius Organizational Tips from Netflix's show Tidying Up - Everything Abode

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

I just wanted to let you know about an amazing book I read recently. It’s called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo and it was a game-changer for me.

Marie has two main points: 1) Each thing in your home should spark joy or bring you at least some satisfaction; 2) If something doesn’t make the cut, get rid of it as soon as possible. In her words, “Getting rid of clutter is not only practical but also emotional.” And she really got me with that one!


You may also like: 9 Productive Things To Do Before Bed Instead Of Binging TV


4. Comparing your life to others.

Do you ever feel like others are living a better life than yours? It’s easy to start feeling this way when comparing your situation with theirs. But this doesn’t mean your lifestyle is any less valuable and worthwhile than theirs.

Take what you’ve got in life and make the most of it because things are just things at the end of the day- don’t waste time feeling inadequate by observing other people’s lives and what they have that you don’t have!


5. You ‘think’ you lack the time and energy to declutter.

The idea that time solves all our problems is a fallacy. Life doesn’t work like this, and things are happening around us at all times – not just when we’re working or doing chores in the house.

If you think getting organized is wasted energy, clutter will never be solved because it’s easier to hold on to items than to let go of them even if they don’t have any value anymore. 


6. You Can’t Pass Up a Good Sale or Bargain.

It’s tough to resist the temptation of sales if you’re anything like me. I have a lot of trouble remembering what needs to be bought and then resisting any other urge that comes into my head, but it is so important! This can lead us down an inevitable path where we find ourselves with no room for our belongings because things keep coming in from all sides.

If this sounds familiar, try taking some time out before making your purchase decision by asking yourself “Do I really need it?” If not, don’t buy it- let someone else take advantage of the sale instead.


7. Holding On To Old Gifts.

Chances are you’ve been given a lot of gifts over the years that didn’t work out for one reason or another. This may have resulted in your home clutter with unwanted items and memories weighing down on you.

But you can’t blame yourself for the gifts you’ve been given. Some are great, and others not so much – some of them were even from people who have since passed on to a better place in life, and we all know that feeling when we’re staring at an old gift or piece of clothing which holds memories but doesn’t fit anymore; it’s time to let go!


You may also like: 8 Ways To Clear Negative Energy From Your Life & Home


8. Wishful Thinking.

Do you find yourself whipping out your wallet every time you come across a do-it-yourself project? Maybe you just love the idea of crafts and find yourself aimlessly shopping for craft supplies at the dollar tree or Micheals? 

If wishful thinking is bringing in too much clutter for you and all of those projects you’ve been meaning to do have turned into money not so well spent? Come to terms with what you can actually do and discard or donate the rest.

Because when it comes to wishful thinking, even though our minds run mad like a wild kid on candy thinking of all the things we can make or build, in reality, all of these supplies you are buying are actually turning into unwanted clutter.

It’s time to stop making excuses for holding on to what doesn’t serve a purpose in your life any longer.


How to let go of clutter.

how to let things go, stuff and things, how to get rid of clutter

A person’s home can become overly cluttered when they try to keep every old thing that they’ve ever purchased or was given as a gift.

So the best way to find simplicity and happiness in life is by letting go of the things that aren’t being used anymore so that someone else can enjoy their new treasure with all of its memories intact.

There are some simple and easy ways to get rid of the mess so life doesn’t feel like such hard work.

You don’t need any special skills for these tasks – all you’ll need is enough time and motivation!

Here are a few ways to break free from the extra clutter and let things go:

1. Don’t buy anything unless it is absolutely necessary – Instead, think about what items would be fun for guests or friends who come over once in a while but don’t live with them every day like they still have their own place.

2. Think about how much money you will save – Emotional attachment can happen simply because we spent our hard-earned money on it.  So try to stop buying more than you need or try shopping at places where prices aren’t as high such as secondhand stores.

3. Take it slow – Start decluttering now before the process becomes overwhelming.

4. Store what you want to keep – Put items that don’t have sentimental value into storage.

5. Start donating the small stuff first- Donate or sell anything not used regularly, especially the little things, that you don’t need. 

6. Change your thinking – Spend time entertaining thoughts of what life would be like without ‘said’ things.

7. Make new memories – Get rid of any possessions which are associated with pain.

8. If you’re still holding on to something because of the memories attached, ask yourself this- What are other things I could do that I can remember those same feelings without having to hold onto these items?

9. Always consider what you already own – Dispose of duplicates when making purchases and try to think about what you already own that can do the same job.

10. Develop an awareness for when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your belongings because this is a great signal that there is too much around you, and once you are aware of the problem, you can take steps to solve it.

11. Ask yourself the following questions: What’s your attachment to this stuff? Why are you holding on to this particular thing? Is there an alternative reason for keeping these things that don’t involve guilt? What are the chances you’ll need that item again?

12. Donate or sell – This final step is a little more difficult if you are too attached to your belongings but if you donate or sell what you don’t need/use and use this time as an opportunity to help yourself start anew, you will feel liberated and more in control of what you own.


Sometimes people don’t realize why they feel a deep attachment to certain things or items.

If you believe that your attachments are based on emotions like guilt, nostalgia, etc., then it’s time for some self-reflection and to ask yourself whether the item is really serving its original purpose anymore.

There are many reasons why people hold onto things but the bottom line: if you’re holding onto something just out of habit — it’s time to let it go!


See Also:

25 Items to Declutter to Live a Minimalist Lifestyle at Home - Everything Abode

Want to get even more organized?! Check out, 25 Items To Declutter To Live A More Minimal Lifestyle, next!


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Author: Rebecca

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