After living in the same house for a few years, you’re bound to accumulate a lot of stuff. There's a better than good chance, you have too much stuff right? Some of these things may be useful, but others are completely unnecessary.
But... how do you know if you have too much stuff?
Below we'll look at ten indications that truly highlight that you need to purge and how to act on those indications. Afterwards, you'll be relieved that you saw those 10 signs and acted on them, leaving you with a more organized, less chaotic home.
As a society, we attach sentimental value to the most meaningless things. Because of this we end up stockpiling all kinds of items we just don’t need and should be getting rid of in the first place. It’s not always easy to admit to ourselves that we’re holding onto things we shouldn’t, but there are some warning signs. Here are 10 signs you have too much stuff and how to get started on a clutter free home.
We know how valuable and great storage can be for the household, whether they are storage containers or storage units; they can help keep your home in an organized fashion. But…
Here’s the thing…
The first temptation for most people when faced with too much clutter is to run out to the local department store and buy more storage containers.
We’re convinced that as long as everything looks nice and neat we aren’t hoarders. Wrong! Most experts agree that this isn’t the way to deal with clutter. Being organized is a great thing, but just because you’re organized it doesn’t mean you’ve freed yourself of clutter.
Before you run out and buy more storage bins it’s time to take stock of what you really need to keep and what you just don’t need any more. In most cases, you’ll find there’s a ton of things you can get rid of and you don’t even need more storage containers.
You may even find you don’t need all of the storage space you already own once you’ve properly decluttered. Of course, there’s great places you can donate that stuff to, including the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Salvation Army.
In our home the closet used to be divided into three sections:
It was easy to rid ourselves of the clothes we no longer have any wish to wear again and we did a few months ago.
The bigger problem was dealing with those clothes we still like, but don’t fit us anymore. My wife and I were convinced we’d wear them again – someday. For most people that someday never comes. We’ve finally accepted that and our closet is now free of all items we never wear for whatever reason. It was a hard thing to get rid of them, but it’s something everyone dealing with clutter should consider.
Why is it you can never find the right screwdriver when you need it? Or for that matter the measuring tape when you’re measuring for new curtains?
The answer is usually a simple one. Most of us have so much clutter that we store stuff wherever it seems convenient at the time. The problem with this method is that we often forget where that convenient spot was the minute we move on to something else. It's a great way to accidentally fill the home with too many things.
Anyone that finds themselves constantly misplacing items should consider the possibility that they simply are inundating themselves and homes. If we can get rid of unnecessary items from our home it becomes much easier to find a permanent home for the things we do have and need.
Life Storage has great solutions for storing those items that tend to be misplaced frequently, like socks.
If there’s one thing I used to be guilty of it was leaving clothing sitting on the rocking chair in our bedroom for weeks. It wasn’t really a problem because I had plenty of clothes to use while those ones sat on the chair.
If this describes you and you routinely leave clothes lying around the house for days without seeming to miss them it’s a sign that you probably have more clothes than you need.
Instead of leaving clothes sitting on a chair for a week, why not do an inventory of what you really need and donate the rest to charity? There are people that don’t have the luxury of leaving clothes lying around. By getting rid of excess clothing you’ll have a tidier home and you’ll be helping someone out in need.
There’s a section of our basement that’s full of stuff marked kitchen. The problem is they’ve been sitting in that same spot for two years untouched. We’ve made the conscious decision that it’s time to part ways with all of these extra kitchen items in the next couple of weeks. Most of us have extra stuff like this stored away in boxes for a rainy day. Most of these things we’ll never use again.
Every time we pass by these forgotten boxes we usually feel a small pang of guilt and may feel overwhelmed. Then we usually forget about them a few minutes later. Those boxes aren’t doing us any good, but we probably know a family member that could use a new set of cutlery. If not, there’s always someone that can use them.
As a rule if something’s been sitting in a box for more than 6 months and you haven’t used it you probably don’t need it. (Click To Tweet This Quote)
Almost everyone I know has a junk drawer. It seems natural, but when you really give it some thought it’s actually a strange idea.
In these drawers we store random things we just can’t seem to find a home for. Ask a professional organizer and they’ll probably tell you that there should be no need for a junk drawer at all.
Many of the things we keep in them really are junk and the rest of them should be in a better place. That spare screwdriver should be in your toolbox and those extra needles belong in your sewing kit. If you really take a good look at your junk drawer you’ll probably be surprised to discover that you really don’t need one at all.
People can find sentimental meaning in the most mundane items. Perhaps you have a recliner that used to be your grandfathers.
Sure every time you see it you remember fond memories of watching a movie with grandad, but now it’s just gathering dust in the recesses of your basement. The chair has outlived its usefulness, but you hold onto it for sentimental value.
Most families have some of these items in their home. They have no use for it, but they hold onto it for sentimental reasons and feel like they have to keep it. There’s nothing wrong with keeping mementos and picture of your time together, but you can’t keep everything.
We understand, this process won’t be easy, but here are some resources to assist with this process
After a recent camping trip that involved a lot of hiking and canoeing, I came home exhausted. I was too tired to unpack my backpack so I left it for the next day.
Unfortunately, I completely forgot about it and it sat in the corner of the bedroom for a week before I thought about it again. What does this have to do with having too many items? It’s actually pretty simple – that backpack was full of clothing and other general use items that I didn’t feel like I missed at all.
If you come home from a camping trip or a holiday and you don’t feel the need to unpack your backpack or suitcase for a week it’s probably a good indication some clothing items should be thrown out or better yet, donated.
We don’t miss the things packed away in them because we have duplicates of all of them.
In our society it’s not unusual to lose track of things. The reason for that is the central theme of this whole article – we have too much stuff.
Because we have so many things we forget where we put things and can’t find them when we need them. So when we need a tape measure to measure for new carpet we have no idea where we left it!
Our solution is to run around the corner to the local hardware store and buy a new one. Before we know it we have four tape measures in the house – who needs four tape measures?
All because we have so much stuff that we can’t keep track of it all. Instead of buying a new item every time we can’t find something a better idea might be to go through a purge of unwanted items. You should get rid of extra items and sort out a place for the ones you keep so you know where to find them next time.
Storage units are great for oversized items like vehicles, canoes, large equipment; but renting a storage container for clutter? No Bueno!
Our final sign that you need to declutter is if you think you need to rent a storage container for your clutter. You may feel like it's a good idea to put stuff away in a storage unit, but you'll just forget about the items inside and buy new ones. If you have so many things that you can’t find enough places to put them in your own home it is definitely time to purge.
It may be hard to admit that we have too much stuff, but most of us do.
The ten items we’ve outlined above are some clear signs that you need to get rid of unnecessary items, but you can probably think of others.
Decluttering is something all of us should do at least once or twice a year. Of course, Bin There Dump That can assist you with this by renting a residential friendly dumpster from your local Bin There Dump That Franchise operator.
Obviously, some are more extreme than others, but that doesn’t change the fact that many of us find it difficult to part with our things.
“After years of experience working with clients, one thing is very clear: Americans have too much stuff and it's causing them unnecessary anxiety. People have a hard time decluttering for a lot of reasons – such as an underlying emotional attachment or because the process is simply too overwhelming. But that needs to change, especially as many face financial pressures. One way to ease the process is to turn the things accumulating around your house into money”
— Collette Shine, owner of Organize and Shine, LLC and president of the New York chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers
Images: Sock Drawer