February 17


Why Do We Have So Much Stuff?

By Celeste DeCamps

February 17, 2020

#declutteryourllife, #organizeyourmindset

 My stuff represents who I am- A bit of glitter and a lot of mismatched lids

I have too much stuff. I didn’t mean to collect so much stuff. It just kind of happened. I’m not one who likes to shop yet somehow I’ve got way more stuff than I need. I know this is not that unusual. A lot of people feel this way. There’s even a show called Hoarders that addresses the extreme and obsessive nature of collecting stuff. Is this a problem? What’s the downside to having too much stuff? I just know by the end of this I will be getting out the garbage bags. 

Why do we insist on buying and collecting more than we need? Everyone has an answer and yet we still do it. “ I can’t throw away this plastic lid. Eventually the bowl it belongs to will reappear one day.” “ This worn out pillow has sentimental value. I couldn’t possibly toss it out.”  “Okay, I should give up believing that I will once again be able to fit into my size two pair of jeans.” I have been trying to manifest a smaller butt for years, it’s not happening. The jeans remind me of this everyday. 

We can’t throw things away because we spent too much money on them and that would be wasteful. Instead we spend money housing items that we will never ever use again. It’s a vicious cycle. 

We have a strange attachment to material things. It’s as if we are constantly worried that without certain items we won’t be able to survive. The idea of having just the bare necessities takes the fun out of life. We enjoy having stuff. The problem is when we don’t take the time to go through closets and bins the accumulation becomes overwhelming. It creates negative energy. We know we have to get to it, but the idea of having to go through everything is depressing. It’s time consuming and the decision to throw away things can feel paralyzing. 

It’s hard to know what to keep and what to give away. Especially if it’s something that was given to us by someone special: a parent or a child. It feels like it would be hard to remember our loved ones without it. Of course we know intellectually that’s not possible. There’s a deeper belief that getting rid of the object we would be getting rid of them as well. It’s not true, but having to face those thoughts alone is tough. 

I always recommend getting someone to help out. I find the promise of pizza and beer usually does the trick. It makes the task at hand more manageable. I actually like getting rid of things. I’ve helped family and friends purge their homes of useless items.

It’s so gratifying to see the transformation that happens in the home and for the person’s mind-set. There’s a sense of comfort and an unburdening that always takes them by surprise.

Our environment tends to reflect our mind-set. I’ve found the more I uncluttered my space the lighter I feel emotionally. There’s a sense of relief when I walk into my room and it feels like a breath of fresh air. There’s nothing weighing me down. I have a new sense of focus and clarity.  When I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed I stop what I’m doing. I look around and see what needs to be cleaned. It could be something simply like the top of my desk or some shelves.  Once it’s done and organized I feel a sense of accomplishment. I also feel a bit more energized. I get back to the task at hand and find my concentration is better. 

The saying “You can never have enough of a good thing” really doesn’t apply to the empty box you’re holding in your hand. Yes, it’s a lovely box. You are thinking of all the wonderful things this box will eventually hold for you. Do yourself a favor and throw the box away. Trust me, you can always find another box when you really need one. Also, if the bowl hasn’t shown up by now, I think it’s safe to go ahead and toss the lid. Of course, the bowl will show up tomorrow.

About the author

Celeste DeCamps has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Miami. She worked in radio and television, was a professional belly dancer, drummer, percussionist, nightclub owner, and a sales rep for Southern Wine and Spirits for 12 years. Throughout her different career moves, speaking to and teaching women how to be more confident is Celeste's most fulfilling job.

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