The Cart Before the Horse: Understanding Our Stuff

The other day it hit me, I may be doing it wrong. I have been clearing extra unused stuff from my home little by little for over a year and a half. Approximately 80% of our home makes me feel at peace. I have figured out why I want a clear and simple home with only things in it that I use and love. But what I have not dug deep into is why I acquired and kept extra stuff. Experts say that understanding this gets to the heart of the matter and could prevent falling back into accumulating more clutter. Some reasons I have extra stuff:

  • It was a gift
  • It might be useful someday
  • I never got around to fixing it so bought a new one and never threw away the old one
  • Didn’t know we had this item (took too long to find, so just bought another.) Now we have duplicates.
  • Never sorted through items used long ago but no longer currently use
  • They are sentimental and have good memories associated with them

I really didn’t want to psychoanalyze myself and dig deep into my feelings. I want a clear space, darn it! Just start moving stuff out, was my attitude. These last two areas of my home (basement and garage), still have clutter and I have not taken action for months. I have the excuses down. I’m busy, it is not a priority, I don’t see it daily. Why is it a sticking point? I want the whole picture– 100% clutter-free home. I have not been reflective and looked at my internal reaction to getting rid of stuff. I haven’t ever wanted to do this. After all, this isn’t therapy. Or is it?

Doing a bit more research, looks like the number one reason for extra clutter in our home is fear. This is not what I want to hear. I want to close it up and shut it in the closet door and never open it. Thank you very much! I know…. I am supposed to face my fears.

This quote from Sarah Parish might get us all moving, “Living with fear stops us taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit.” Will you join me and take action with your fear/stuff? This week I am going to clear off the workbench in the basement. What good is a workbench if you can’t work on it? What fear will you face? Please share what you are working on. ~Ellen

3 Replies to “The Cart Before the Horse: Understanding Our Stuff”

  1. Have you read or listened to Brene Brown? What you write here reminds me of her work. LMK if you need a primer, or just go to her website. Her Netflix special is amazing too!


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