It’s no secret that humans have a love affair with stuff. We’re conditioned to believe that acquiring more and more possessions will make us happier and fulfilled.
But what happens when we have too much stuff? How can we tell if we’ve crossed the line into excessive consumerism?
It’s not like one day you wake up and your house is bursting at the seams. It’s a gradual process that happens over time as your stuff accumulates.
Here are 13 significant signs to keep in mind if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of your possessions.
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- How to tell if you have too much stuff
- 1. You acquire things at a faster rate than you get rid of them
- 2. You feel overwhelmed when cleaning your house
- 3. You have trouble finding things
- 4. You have no space on your counters
- 5. You have junk drawers around your house
- 6. You need bigger spaces to store all of your belongings
- 7. You're embarrassed to have people over
- 8. You hoard items because you think you might need them later
- 9. You feel stressed out and anxious when faced with your stuff
- 10. You have new items still with the tags on them
- 11. Your cabinets and wardrobes are overflowing
- 12. You end up buying duplicates
- 13. You suffer from clutter blindness
- What to do when you realise that you have too much stuff
How to tell if you have too much stuff
1. You acquire things at a faster rate than you get rid of them
When you’re not intentional about what you bring into your home, it’s easy for the amount of stuff to spiral out of control. And if you’re not careful, it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying new things before you’ve even had a chance to use or enjoy the things you already own.
If you find that you’re acquiring more things than you’re getting rid of, it’s a clear sign that you have too much stuff.
2. You feel overwhelmed when cleaning your house
One of the clearest signs that you have too many things is when cleaning your house feels like an impossible task. There’s just so much to clean, and it seems like it never ends.
When your clutter starts to take over, it can be really overwhelming and discouraging. It’s tough to feel motivated to clean when your house is full of stuff.
3. You have trouble finding things
When your house is cluttered, it can be tough to find anything and you’ll find yourself constantly misplacing your belongings.
The reason why this happens is because when your space is cluttered, your mind becomes overwhelmed. You can’t focus on what you’re looking for because there are so many other things competing for your attention.
And as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” The more you can’t see or find in your home, the more likely you are to forget about it altogether.
4. You have no space on your counters
It can be really difficult to keep your counters clear of clutter when you have too many things. It’s easy to fall into the trap of acquiring more things without realising that each new thing means less space on your counter.
If you find yourself using it as a dumping ground for mail, keys, and other miscellaneous items, it might be time to take a look at how much stuff you actually have in your home.
5. You have junk drawers around your house
If you’re like most people, you probably have at least one junk drawer in your house. That’s because it’s so easy to accumulate little things and not have a place to put it.
When you have too many things, it’s inevitable that you’ll start to accumulate junk. And the more you have, the harder it is to keep your house clean and organised.
If you have multiple ‘junk drawers’ in your house, it may be a sign that you’re keeping things you don’t need. Especially if you don’t know what’s in these drawers.
6. You need bigger spaces to store all of your belongings
As your stuff accumulates, you might find that you need bigger and bigger spaces to store it all.
You may start to use rooms in your house that you don’t normally use for storage, such as a spare bedroom or garage, or you might even start renting storage space to store your things.
If you find yourself needing more and more space to store your belongings, you may need to start decluttering what you do have.
7. You’re embarrassed to have people over
If you’re not comfortable having people over to your house because of the amount of clutter, it’s definitely a sign that you have too much stuff.
When your house is cluttered, it can feel really embarrassing and uncomfortable. You don’t want people to see how bad things have gotten and you worry about what they might think.
8. You hoard items because you think you might need them later
Do you hoard items because you fear that you may need them at some stage in the future?
This can happen because we tend to overestimate how much we’ll need something in the future and we forget about the things we already own.
When you have too many things, it’s easy to start hoarding items because you think you might need them later. But the reality is that you probably won’t need most of these things and they’re just taking up space in your house.
9. You feel stressed out and anxious when faced with your stuff
If you feel stressed out and anxious when faced with your stuff, it might be a sign that you have too much. When you’re surrounded by clutter, it can be difficult to focus on anything else. It can also be difficult to relax and feel at peace.
You might feel overwhelmed and suffocated by the amount of stuff you have in your home.
If you recognise any of these signs, it might be time to take a closer look at your belongings and see if there are any items you can get rid of.
10. You have new items still with the tags on them
A clear sign that you own too many things is when you still have clothes you’ve bought that still have the tags on, clothes you’ve never worn before.
It’s easy to get caught up in the buying process and not really think about what you’re doing. But when you have too much stuff, it’s important to be mindful of each and every purchase.
11. Your cabinets and wardrobes are overflowing
When you have too many things, it’s inevitable that you’ll start to fill up every available space with your belongings. And before you know it, your cabinets and wardrobes will be overflowing.
This can be really frustrating and it’s difficult to find anything when you need it. It’s also difficult to keep your clothes and belongings clean when they’re all crammed into small spaces.
12. You end up buying duplicates
Do you have duplicates of the same thing in your house?
This can be a clear sign that you have too much stuff. When you have too many things, it’s easy to lose track of what you own and you may end up buying duplicates of the same thing.
Forgetting what you already have is a common problem when you have too much stuff
13. You suffer from clutter blindness
If you have too much stuff, you might find that you start to suffer from clutter blindness
Clutter blindness is when you can’t see the mess because it’s all become normal to you. You might be able to see the mess if someone else points it out to you, but you can’t see it when you’re looking at your own house.
What to do when you realise that you have too much stuff
Declutter your house
Once you come to terms with the fact that you have a house full of things you probably don’t need, the best thing to do is declutter. This can be a really difficult process, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
You don’t need to get rid of everything, but try to get rid of the things you don’t use or need. This can be clothes, books, DVDs, or anything else that’s taking up space in your house.
When you declutter your house, you’ll feel so much better. You’ll have more space and you’ll be able to find things when you need them.
Change your mindset
We’re often under the impression that the more we own, the happier we’ll be. This isn’t the case. Clutter causes stress and anxiety and takes us away from the important things in life.
More isn’t always better and having too much can be really detrimental to your wellbeing and changing your mindset can be of huge benefit.
Think about the things you own and ask yourself if you really need them. Chances are, you don’t. And once you get rid of them, you’ll feel so much better.
Go on a shopping ban
If you find it difficult to resist buying new things, challenge yourself to a shopping ban. This means you won’t be able to buy anything for a certain amount of time.
This can be really difficult, but it’s a great way to stop yourself from buying unnecessary things. You’ll be surprised at how much you don’t need when you’re not constantly buying new things. And once that period of time is up, you may find that you don’t enjoy shopping anymore and don’t need it in your life.
Apply the ‘one in, one out’ rule
If you can’t give up shopping altogether, make a commitment to yourself that if you do buy something new, something else in your home must be donated.
This is the ‘one in, one out’ rule and it’s a great way to make sure you’re not buying too many things. It also helps to keep your house tidy and organised.
Assess your priorities
When you have too much stuff, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. You might be so busy taking care of your belongings that you don’t have time for the things you really care about.
Assess your priorities and ask yourself if the things you’re doing are really important to you. If they’re not, it might be time to let go of some of your stuff.
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If you find you have too much stuff and don’t know where to begin, read some of these decluttering posts to get you started.
- How To Declutter Sentimental Items Without The Overwhelming Guilt
- How To Get Motivated To Clean When Overwhelmed By Mess
- How To Be Ruthless When Decluttering Clothes: An Essential Guide
- What is Clutter Blindness and How to Overcome it
- Overwhelmed by Clutter? Getting to the Root of Your Clutter Problem
- Why Is Decluttering So Hard: 9 Reasons You Can’t Clear The Clutter
Do you think you have too much stuff? Does it cause you stress and anxiety? Are you read to let go of things?