Is your home overflowing with stuff? Maybe it is, maybe it’s not, but you landed here because you feel stressed to a degree about having too many things in your living space. There are 11 warning signs that say you have too much stuff. Here they are:
1. You feel stressed about having too many things
This is the first and most important warning sign of having too much stuff. If you’re feeling stressed about having too many things, this may be the indication that you do have too many things.
It’s natural to feel stress when there’s clutter in the home, but it shouldn’t paralyze you with fear. Don’t let your items in your home control you.
Start in the easiest part of the home and declutter it first. Go through a few articles of clothing, clear out some papers, find a few books to give away, or donate pairs of shoes. It’s easy to find ways to declutter when you put your mind to it.
2. You lose regularly-used items (like keys)
It’s easy to misplace items in your home if you don’t have a specific place for them. Daily-used items like keys and wallets can be misplaced when clutter is in the home. Clear off counter space or your bedside table for these often-used items. It’s helpful to know where these items are so you’re not scrounging around the home trying to find them last minute before heading out with friends or for an important meeting.
Another option is to add a Tile to your keys or wallet so you can easily find them with your phone. This is a Bluetooth tracker so you’re never without knowledge of where your items are located. It will beep at a push of a button or give you a placement on a map of where it was located last.
3. Your fridge and pantry have expired food
Produce in the fridge typically has a shelf-life of one week. After that, it tends to rot. If you’re not regularly going through your fridge to check expired items, it will soon start to stink and cause stress. If there’s expired food in your fridge and pantry, it’s a good indication that you may have too much clutter in your home.
Start by going shelf by shelf and tossing anything past the expiration date. Now you not only have less stress, but you also have more room for new food items. You’ll thank yourself later for creating more space.
4. You cannot decide where to start decluttering
If you’re okay with the idea of decluttering but don’t know where to start, this may be a warning sign that you have too much stuff. Items can accumulate in many areas of the home: kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, garage, etc… and the thought of having to declutter all these areas at once may seem overbearing.
Have no fear! Decluttering starts with the decision to declutter. Once you pass that hurdle, you’re well on your way to having a clean home or apartment again. Focus on one area at a time — preferably an area that’s small and easy to declutter. A great place to start is a shelf or dresser drawer.
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5. You tell yourself that if you get rid of something today, you’ll end up needing it later
This is probably the biggest reason things are kept for too long, you think you’ll need it later. Chances are, however, if items have been cooped up in a closet or under a bed, you won’t need it again. Most things stored away (except decorations and winder clothing) won’t be used again. A decluttered house is better than having too much stress in a home with too many things.
6. You buy things to keep you organized but don’t declutter
Tools used for organizing — like drawers and shelves — are great, but if you find yourself buying more items to help you organize rather than decluttering, this may be a warning sign you have too much stuff. Accumulating stuff causes stress, but you probably already know this…hence you reading this article! Instead of spending money on ways to organize, consider spending time finding things to let go of.
7. Many of your drawers can’t close properly
A glaring warning sign for having too much stuff is if your drawers can’t close properly. We’re not talking about a “junk drawer” — everyone has one of those. We’re referring to drawers with clothing, kitchen utensils, or other belongings that stop them from closing all the way. Evaluate what’s inside these drawers and get rid of or donate items accordingly.
8. Your closest has clothing you no longer wear
Do you have things that are too large/small in your closet? This may be a sign you have too much stuff. Old clothing tends to pile up over time and if you’re not managing your inventory, it may consume you. Find a few articles of clothing you can sell or donate. After a once-through evaluate what clothes you actually wear on a regular basis and decide if the rest is worth keeping.
9. You keep unwanted gifts because you don’t want to hurt the givers’ feelings
We all have been there…You receive a gift that’s not quite “you,” but you keep it anyway because you don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings. But here’s the deal: typically your friend won’t know if you keep it or not. Spend less time stressing over it and find a new home for the item. It may serve another person better anyway.
10. Your kids don’t know what to do because they have so many toys
This may be a regular phrase stated by your child.
Too many options can make us overwhelmed or indecisive and a warning sign that you have too many items in the home. If there are too many toys in the house, your child may have a hard time selecting one to play with. Paring down on options will not only help them decide what to play with, but it will also cause less stress for you.
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11. Your car can’t fit into the garage
In America, 25% of households don’t have room to store their cars in the garage because of the stuff they store. A garage is typically a place to store a vehicle, but if you can’t fit it in there because of too much stuff, this may be a warning sign. Consider stacking items high along the side of the garage for added floor space. If it’s impossible to create space without removing items, consider renting a storage unit.
If you have too much stuff and need a place to drop it for a while, contact The Storage Depot. We offer cheap full-service self-storage units in Mills River and Banner Elk North Carolina to hold wine, art, furniture, luggage, household items, or other things.