How Much “Stuff” Do I Really Need?

Cluttered GarageI’m sure, like me, you’ve asked yourself many times, “how much stuff do I really need” or said, “I have way too much stuff” or “I need to get rid of some of this clutter”.

Every year my town offers a shredding day where old papers, checks, junk mail and other useless papers are recycled into a large travelling truck. And each year as I round up all these worthless pieces of paper for the shredder truck, I can’t help but wonder how I manage to accumulate so much stuff.

Maybe, you are organized and don’t accumulate clutter. If so, congratulations! But most of us find ourselves with more “stuff” than we know what to do with.

Even though there are times when I can proudly say I’ve streamline my stuff and got rid things I no longer find useful, beautiful or interesting, I still find myself surrounded by some clutter!

And I’ll bet you do too!

Does any of this stuff sound familiar to you?

  • An overstuffed closet filled with relics that you know you won’t ever wear or fit into again
  • The drawer stuffed with enough pens, pencils, staples and tape to supply 10 small offices for a year
  • Furniture stored in the attic or basement that is broken or you no longer want or use
  • Stacks of all occasion cards you’ll forget to send
  • Hundreds of obsolete cassette tapes on which you have nothing to play them
  • A bookshelf lined with books you won’t read or re-read
  • Toys you’re holding on to even though your children are all grown up
  • Old magazines that by now you’ve forgotten the article you wanted to save

Ask yourself:

If I didn’t have all this clutter, what spaces would open up for me to have more of the things that really matter to me the most?

It all comes down to what you really need to foster the best results for your life!

I’m not talking about the individuals who amass an excessive amount of possessions that are hazardous, worthless or unsanitary and causes peril in their daily living (i.e., showering, cleaning, cooking, sleeping). This type of compulsive behavior is mental health disorder known as hoarding.

Most of us don’t fall into that category.

Those of us who have too much stuff generally lead busy, hectic lives with limited time and energy to pare down and de-clutter.

From time to time, we’ve all experienced a cluttered workspace or home environment.  But, I have learned to question my thoughts and examine what else may be going on in my life when clutter leads to disorganization and overwhelm. For example, when I let my desk get cluttered, it usually means I’m procrastinating. It’s important to consider what underlying thoughts you have about cluttering. For instance, if you constantly send messages to yourself that you’re sloppy, disorganized and unproductive, you’ve successfully trained your mind to respond to a belief that limits you from taking action. Or the underlying belief may be that having all of your “things” out where you can see them gives you a feeling of control.

You may want to find out if your town has a shredding day so you can begin the process of getting rid of some of your stuff – the unnecessary papers –  so you can make room to thrive and grow. You will think clearly, create more order in your surroundings and free up energy to focus on the things that are most important to you.

And, to help you take charge of clutter and have more personal control in your life, I invite you to get your FREE Special Report: Building Strong Boundaries to Create More Breathing Space in Your Hectic Life” for more tips, insights and guidance.

What are you willing to do now to start getting rid of some of your “stuff“?

Gladys Anderson - Life Coach, Therapist, Author

Gladys Anderson helps nurses, teachers, social workers, therapists and other care-giving women to set limits so they have more time, more joy and more energy for self-care.

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  1. thanks for posting this info

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