Why Do We Have So Much Stuff?

“If you had to evacuate your house, what would you want to take?” I have asked this question over 700 times to my audiences over the past 10 years and the answer is always the same- “photos.”

If it’s just photos that are so important, then why do I have 3 half used rolls of masking tape in my drawer, along with batteries that don’t even work and electronic wires for old cameras, cell phones, and other technological gadgetry.

Answer me this:

Do you have a junk drawer in your house? How about an over-flowing closet, storeroom, basement or attic? We all do! Depending on how long you’ve lived in your present house, over the months and years, you’ve probably been tossing all kinds of things into your junk drawers, closets etc.. Maybe you’ve finally convinced yourself that you absolutely have to do some clearing out?

I know de-cluttering is difficult. Psychologists tell us that we should begin the clearing out process by asking ourselves what keeps us from getting started. How come it usually takes so long before we get fed up with the clutter? Our tolerance is longer than the list of things to give away.

Do we feel overwhelmed by all our stuff? Is it difficult to find the time to begin? Or do we fear the negative emotions we might dredge up?

More pragmatic organization experts suggest a sorting approach, i.e., taking our kitchen implements, clothes, books, mementoes, pictures, whatever, and sorting them into at least three piles:

1. Love it, use it, look at it, or wear it all the time; Keep it pile.

2. Use it, look at it, or wear it occasionally; Decide to Keep, Donate or Toss

3. Haven’t used it, looked at it, or worn it for at least a year. Donate or Toss

Again, take the cleaning up challenge with me and let’s De-Clutter! Tell me your results!

Linda Edgecombe, CSP
Motivational Speaker
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Linda Edgecombe
Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame