A Bunch Of Stuff

Mess Messes With Me

Like you, fellow internet surfers, I’ve been cooped up in the house a lot lately, even working from home for several weeks. You start to look at your surroundings when you’re in one spot for a while. That’s when you notice things. I guess I’m a bit of a neat freak because what I see is killin’ me: clutter. This topic is one I seldom write about, but that may change the more I am stuck in my humble abode.

Simplify Stuff

Although it’s not one of my top three blog subjects, Minimalism is something I’ve posted about before. Not because I’m an expert on it. To the contrary, it’s because I have too much stuff and it bugs me a lot. Clutter, bad. Minimalism, good. I need more of “less.”

Less is more, right? I believe in the virtue of simplicity. Also, scientific studies show that clutter causes stress. Mess = stress! Who wants that?

Here are a couple sources about the stress of mess:

Why Mess Causes Stress

The Unbearable Heaviness Of Clutter

The tendency in my house is for any horizontal plane to accumulate eclectic piles of stuff:

  • Stuff that should be put in its proper place.
  • Stuff that has no proper place yet.
  • Stuff that should be trashed.

Seven people living in a small house is a challenge, and not everybody is organized. Despite my responsibility to manage my household, I don’t have the level of control over all the clutter as much as I wish. So I’ve been trying to focus only on my own accumulation of things. That alone is putting me to the test.

Collecting Clutter

Over the years, I’ve kept and collected quite a number of items. In particular, I’ve held onto two whole cardboard boxes full of “cool stuff” (…Star Wars Lego sets from the 90’s!) that I can’t seem to let go of. None of it is really worth much money at all. The value of these things is not monetary, it is sentimental.

I once read somewhere about how we attach ourselves to things that represent us. So if you were to get rid of it, it’d be like tossing out a part of you. But then I’ve also read that if you bite the bullet and sever that attachment, you will realize at least two things. One, the detachment itself is not as difficult as you felt it would be, like quickly ripping off a band-aid. And two, you become more free.

Once that thing you’ve held onto is gone, it’s not just one less thing taking up space in your closet, it no longer takes up space in you. Even if the thing is mostly “out-of-sight/out-of-mind,” it is a burden hanging onto you, maybe in the back of your mind or deep in your subconscious. And now I get to say it: instead of you possessing things, things are possessing you!

Carefree Conclusion

I’m sorry all that sounds maybe too philosophical or abstract, but I hope it makes sense. If nothing else, I’m sure you can identify with the feeling when it’s hard to let go of stuff that you know has no real value outside of sentimental.

I guess it’s safe to say that the inner tension is between my rational mind and my emotional mind. The latter has been winning for a long time. But the longer I stay cooped up in my house, the more rational I’m trying to think about clearing the clutter. Not only will my closet be clean, my subconscious will be clear and hopefully a bit more carefree.

Do you have a clutter crisis? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

5 thoughts on “A Bunch Of Stuff

  1. Great article! I can totally relate. A couple years ago I retired and downsized into a condo that was 1/4 the size of our house. What a challenge. I couldn’t believe how much “stuff” I’d accumulated over the years. It was hard to let go of things, but afterward, and to this day, I feel so much better. You are right, it is very freeing.

    One tip: there were some things I didn’t keep (mostly related to work), but wanted to remember. I gathered each and took a nice photo of it. Now I can walk down memory lane when I want without having all the stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That was really hard! I had so many DVDs (and many, many more CDs). I got rid of all of them, except a small handful of DVDs (~10). I subscribed to Apple Music, and figured that if I wanted to watch one of those movies, I could rent it or stream it for a small fee. But it’s a good point. I know you’ve got kids, so this would be even harder I think. For me, these were very hard because I could see my hard-earned money going out the door! I’m still glad I did it.

        Liked by 1 person

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