Why We Keep So Much Stuff

Why We Keep Stuff?

You know what the real problem is with getting organized? We have too much stuff!

I'm willing to bet there are some things you (or someone you live with) keep without having a good enough reason to keep them.

So why DO we keep so much stuff?

The thing is, it's easier to find excuses for why you should keep something and delay making a decision rather than making a firm (and sometimes difficult) choice to say goodbye to your “stuff.”

Here are five of the most common reasons my clients think as we are evaluating their stuff. Let’s see how many of these you can relate to.

“I might need it someday.”

Yes, you might. And the thing is most of the items we keep can easily be found or replaced within a day or two.

“I'm going to lose some weight and start wearing this again.”

I hope if you have a goal to lose some weight, you do everything in your power to make it happen. And when you do, I give you permission to go out and find a sale and buy some brand new clothes. You should be proud and it's the perfect time to reward yourself.

“I paid good money for this thing!”

I'm sure you did. But the thing is, what has more value...this “item” you no longer have any use for or the way you enjoy your house? The item…or your happiness? The item…or your space?

“Oh, I'm just trying to figure out what to do with it.”

Okay, so maybe it's not worth holding onto. See, if it takes that much mental work to figure out what to do with something, you can take a pretty good guess that it may not be worth as much to you as you think.

If you can't figure out what to do with something, it's a safe bet you won't miss it too much. There’s a lot more value in enjoying your home, your friends, and your family than the “stuff” you paid for.

“So-and-So gave me this.”

I'm all for keeping memories and items that remind us of people we love. But the truth is, memories are not in the clutter, the knick-knacks and “stuff” you have shoved in a box. I won't say get rid of everything and it's not always an easy decision. Just try to keep the special things you cherish.

And get them out in the open, on display – where you can enjoy them and have a story to tell when someone comments or asks a question about the item. The key point here is that you shouldn’t let someone else dictate your décor.

And while we’re on the subject of gifts: just because someone gives you a gift doesn’t mean you’re obligated to keep it. If you think you would hurt a loved one by getting rid of their gift, ask them if they would like to have it. If they respond with a strong and immediate “No,” this may mean that they wouldn’t dare put it in their house.

Who knows, they may have just re-gifted that item to you…