How do you know you have too much stuff?

How do you know you have too much stuff? Having too much stuff might sound like an oxymoron, but the reality is that too much of anything can be a bad thing.
This is pretty much the central maxim of minimalism!

Recent studies have demonstrated that clutter can have a negative effect on stress, life satisfaction, physical health, and cognition. When we think of decluttering, we picture cleaner spaces and fewer things.

As you delve into minimalism, you learn that the more you cut back on unnecessary ‘stuff’ and clutter, the less stress you have, the freer you become, and the more you can appreciate the few items that matter to you.

By forcing ourselves to consider our purchases seriously, we are more likely to buy items we genuinely like and appreciate, rather than accumulating low-cost impulse buys.

But how do you know you have too much stuff? Take a look at this checklist to find out:

You dread the thought of cleaning surfaces

If this thought is starting to make you anxious, then the chances are that you have too many things sitting on that surface.
House cleaning shouldn’t take hours to do. The more stuff you display around your home, the more time you will devote to cleaning them and tidying up.

You are considering moving to fit your things in

A lot of us make this decision without giving it a second thought. But if you are considering moving to a larger home only to store more of your items, then this is a worrying sign.

The thought of moving house is terrifying

Think about moving house right now. Is this something you would be able to do on your own without too much stress? Or would you have no option but to spend a lot of money on a removals company?
If the latter is true, this is proof that your possessions limit your freedom.

The space under your bed and even your wardrobe is full of boxes

This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it has a significant psychological impact on how spacious a room feels.
Also, being surrounded by a streamlined wardrobe and a non-cluttered space makes us aware of what matters rather than focusing on where to store the next box filled with things.

It is vital to have some space in your home to let it breathe.
Studies show that indoor air can be up to five times as polluted as the air outside your house. Undoubtedly, the bedroom is a room you need to prioritize.

You have no clue of the things you own

Think of everything you own. Are you able to perform a mental stocktake?
If you find this exercise virtually impossible or keep forgetting to account for a lot of your belongings, you most probably have more stuff than you can manage.

Maybe it is time for some of it to go..

Top image by the vegan fashion library.

Elena Daniilidou

Elena is an ethical vegan and minimalist advocating for sustainable and slow living.

View all posts by Elena Daniilidou →
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