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the cost of clutter

So, you’ve scrubbed your toilets and washed your sheets, but your house still looks like a bomb went off. Does that sound familiar?

Most of us are drowning in stuff. Garages that we can’t park cars in, tables that have more piles of paper on them than family meals held around them, and children’s rooms that have more toys than a store. Our materialism is out of control.

the more things you own, the more they own you

I find most people are REALLY resistant to getting rid of stuff, or even admitting that they have too much. But what they don’t realize is exactly what that clutter is costing them. I am not just talking about purchase price, although breaking the “stuff addiction” will definitely leave more money in your bank account. I am talking about the time and expense to maintain this stuff, the emotions they attach to those inanimate objects, and the stress of living in constant mental and physical clutter.

The reason that we have too much stuff and don’t want to get rid of it is complex. Some of it is materialism. There are a lot of emotional holes we are trying to fill with a new pair of shoes, or soothing ourselves with a trip to the mall after a stressful week. That’s not a healthy relationship with stuff, emotionally, financially, or from a cleaning perspective.

Or maybe you are one of those people who can’t get rid of clutter because of the memories. If your youngest is starting high school and you still have their entire crib set, this may be you. You don’t need rooms full of clutter to remember your grandparents.

In January my family lost almost everything in a fire. All of my childhood books, most of my daughter’s things, furniture pieces that were family heirlooms. Gone in a flash. Sure, I was sad to lose some of those things, but I still have wonderful memories of the people they belonged to, and those haven’t faded without the physical stuff. Stuff is stuff. Inanimate objects are incapable of emotion, so to attach feelings and memories to them isn’t healthy. Value experiences and memories, but keep clutter where it belongs; in your home, not in your heart.[bctt tweet=”Value experiences and memories, but keep clutter where it belongs; in your home, but not in your heart.”]

You don’t have to throw away all of your clutter immediately. But this week I challenge you to start piece by piece and evaluating if this stuff is really adding value to your life, or if the price of owning it is too high. Maybe you are just paying the price in maintenance, time, and stress, or maybe you are even renting a storage unit, or buying more totes to store your clutter. Life is short, don’t waste it all on stuff!

31-Days-To_A-Clean-House-SeriesThis is the 12th post in my 31 Days To A Clean House series

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Hi! I'm Melissa!

Melissa is a former hairstylist of 20 years who has a passion for living a simply creative life. She loves inspiring others to pick up a planner and get their lives organized, to clean out a closet and minimize their clutter, and to clean up their physical and mental space to lead their most fulfilled life. She is a wife, mom, and crazy dog lady who constantly rewatches The Office.

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