Keeping Stuff

I helped Michelle move last week, and oh my goodness, do they have a lot of stuff!  It got me to thinking about why people keep so much stuff they absolutely can’t organize a closet or a garage or an office.  I think there are a number of reasons.

First, I think people who felt deprived in childhood save things because deep down they believe they will once again be deprived and might need these things.  They may save old clothes that are out of style, old excess goods of any kind, too many linens, old furniture in the garage, old home decor from previous houses.  Its just a hedge against the possibility of future want.

Second, I think people save things because they spent too much money on them, and even though there is no likelihood of their being used again, its too much money wasted if they give it away or sell it at garage sale prices.  However, considering the costs involved in keeping a lot of stuff around, keeping unused things might be throwing good money after bad.

Third,people save things because they have a memory attached to them.  They are afraid if they get rid of the item, they might lose the memory.

Fourth, people save things because someone they love gave them the item, and they are afraid to hurt the person’s feelings.

Fifth, people save things because they don’t take time to regularly clean out.  They keep stuffing things away without thinking about whether they need it.  This is how magazines, paperwork, “freebies” etc get stacked up to overflowing.  Its just too much after a long day or week to go through things and THROW STUFF OUT.

All this stuff is eventually enslaving.  Living amid clutter is low level stress.  Having things organized where you know what you have and where to find it is liberating.  There are a lot of good books out there about how to organize anything from your house to your life.  Go for it!  It may be one of the cheapest and most refreshing vacations you ever spent.

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