Creative Space Organizing - Making Spaces More Livable, Creative & Productive

Get your FREE copy of

"7 Tips for Organizing Your Life
and Decreasing Stress"

You'll also receive a FREE Subscription to our Creative Space Organizing newsletter.

A Culture of Too Much Stuff

A Culture of Too Much Stuff

Too Many Thing

We Collect more than we can Use

I recently helped a client who had boxes of things stored at her mother’s house, as did her sister. The garage was filled from front to back and top to bottom. There was one small path to walk through. The side yard held her and her husband’s boat and multiple boxes as well as multiple boxes of her sisters. The things outside were stored in cardboard boxes with plastic tarps over them. Over the past 2 years, the tarps were eaten away by the weather, the boxes were completely water logged and many of the contents in the boxes were moldy, damaged, rat eaten and unsalvageable. The sister, upon seeing her many destroyed belongings, sadly claimed, “it’s a sin.”  How did it get this bad?

We are a culture of too much stuff, holding onto our many belongings and trying to save them. My client and i pulled out all her things and removed them from the yard. We filled up canister after canister of old cardboard, water damaged books and threw away countless items that were no longer good. While a much better storage system was indeed in order, like a waterproof shed or plastic bins and a far better tarp system, the problem started far before this.

Both of these ladies has a mother who has too many things and both her daughters inherited this issue. A side yard filled, a garage filled, a house filled with too many things that can have no real meaning or value for there is far too much of it to appreciate, see and use. It saddens me to see this compulsive collecting, this holding on for too long and then the inability to maintain the well being of these things that are now mostly trash. We throw tons of this stuff into the landfill everyday and every year with no concept of what these things once were and what they are now.

Ultimately, these things have no inherent value except the value we ascribe to them. When we buy something, it often has an emotional meaning to us or perhaps a functional one that serves a specific need. Things our children, spouses, family members give us are filled with a lot of meaning because we give meaning to them. We find those things the hardest to get rid of. Seeing this heap of boxes that were decaying and destroyed from the elements and many of the contents no longer usable, it seemed sad and unsettling to me that there was so many things that were forgotten and remorse at how they had been treated.  The lesson here is for us to think carefully before we buy and buy and buy. To be mindful of the things we have and to ascertain if they still serve a purpose and if we still need to keep them. Our lives are not defined by the things we own, while advertising would have us think differently. They can’t fix us, fulfill us or make us feel whole.

Take stock of a garage full of things we have. Are we keeping our children’s toys even though they are grown? Are we holding onto boxes of mementos, photos and other belongings that we no longer look at or see? Do we have the foresight to clear and eliminate what we no longer need or use so we can be free of it and create more space in our lives? At Creative Space Organizing we can help you make the decisions to sort and contain what you need and make space for your mind and eyes to rest.