I Have Too Much Stuff - Do You?

Mon, Jul 18, 2011

decluttering, goals, random

Last night I decided to take control of the laundry disaster going on in my house. With all the drama at work lately, everything else in my life has kind of been on pause. I admit I haven’t been doing as much housework as I should any housework. And it shows. I brought up SIX laundry baskets full of clean clothes to fold and put away, did three more loads, and my hampers are still overflowing. It’s a hot mess around here and I can’t take any more.

Anyway, as I was searching all my closets for more hangers, it occurred to me that I’m always saying I have nothing to wear, yet the huge metal rod in my 8-foot closet is bending under the weight of all my clothes. And there are lots more clothes that need to be washed. And my dresser drawers are full. And I have an entire closet just to hold all my shoes.

I had a horrible thought at that moment - Do I have too much stuff?

It’s funny how we accumulate things and don’t realize it. 19 months ago, I moved into this house after my divorce with a dining room table, my clothes and personal items, and my son’s clothes and toys. I had to buy EVERYTHING all over again. And every day I think of something else I haven’t replaced yet - my George Foreman grill, bedroom furniture (high on the list), a clock for the bathroom (I have an obsessive need to know what time it is), a blender….

Despite all the things I think I need, my house is pretty full. My house is equipped with a living room closet, a hall closet, a bathroom closet, and an 8-foot closet in each of the three bedrooms. And a basement and garage. Are all of them full? Yep, pretty much. So what the heck is filling up all this space if I’m going without so many things?

Maybe I wouldn’t need so much storage space if I got rid of some of my junk. For example, I’ve been trying to figure out a solution for my books ever since I moved. A $90 bookshelf isn’t going to cut it - my book collection has killed several of those over the years.

Exhibit A (just part of the collection)

I love to read. But do I really have to own every single book I like? (In my defense, I’m an extremely fast reader and read all of my books many, many times.) These days, though, I do most of my reading on my iPad, phone, or computer. I don’t need all the textbooks I kept from college because the information is already outdated. I’m fairly sure my son could give up most of his baby/toddler books since he’s going into 8th grade. There are simply too many books in my house.

So I’m thinking I should go through some of my junk in an effort to decrapify my house. I want to focus on these categories:

  • Clothes/shoes
  • Books
  • Movies (I don’t even remember the last time I watched a DVD)
  • Papers - I have about 10 boxes marked “Important Papers.” Yet I’ve never needed any of them in the time I’ve lived here.

The week of August 1, I’m off work between jobs and I plan to do some major cleaning. I’m also adding a goal of going through each of the categories above to decide what I can sell, donate, or trash. I will actually get rid of the stuff by the end of August, with updates along the way. And I expect all of you to drive me nuts if I try to pretend I forgot about it. With any luck I’ll get rid of a lot of this stuff and make some money in the process.

Do you have too much stuff? Have you ever purged your home of all the unnecessary junk you’re collecting? Any suggestions for where to take all this stuff? I have a feeling I’ll need your stories for motivation!

21 Responses to “I Have Too Much Stuff - Do You?”

  1. Sumaya says:

    Hey, I am sure you are doing a great job trying to unclutter your house.  And working.  And raising a son.  I have two kids and a HUGE lot of things in my house.  I am absolutely going crazy. So keep up the good work :) i'll try to do the same :)  

  2. Miss T says:

    I find I am constantly going through a purge process. I hate clutter and I like things to be really organized. I am hoping that I will eventually finish and then can just keep it up by buying less. My next project is to go through our storage room. 

  3. Ashley @ Money Talks says:

    I did a huge decluttering project this summer.  I got rid of two minivans full of stuff.  I love it. 

  4. JT says:

    I have too much stuff, especially books.  I tend to buy them rather than borrow them, and most are resource or reference books so I have easy justification.  The problem is that this also extends into periodicals…if I add up all my magazine subscriptions it works out to something like 200+ magazines a year. Insane.
    Showing the inner-nerd, I have to confess that my collection is probably 98% non-fiction.  I just can't read fiction books, no matter how hard I try.  It's easier to get rid of those after one read. 

  5. Alex | Perfecting Da says:

    Yes, I have too much stuff.  I am so inspired reading some blogs where possessions were eliminated until they basically fit into a backback!  Stuff sucks.  It's a weight on the psyche.  In my house we have tried to limit stuff intake.  We just moved, so we're starting from much less, and things will be different.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Are you saying I don't "need" all this stuff!  You are right, I need to get rid of the suits I don't wear, and so much more.

  7. Kevin Yu @ Debteye says:

    I have too many clothes as well.  I usually clean out my closet 1x/year and head to platos closet.  Anything that they don't purchase I just take it to the salvation army. 

    • I've wanted to try Plato's Closet, but I have a feeling my clothes aren't trendy enough. The radio ads always mention NAME BRAND CLOTHES LIKE ABERCROMBIE a million times, and I'm afraid my Abercrombie days ended about 30 pounds ago. Do they buy stuff that doesn't cost $100 new?

  8. Robert says:

    Man, if I was you, I'd sell all of that stuff on Amazon.  The books and movies are all super-easy sells, and you could move through your stuff quickly and make some money!

  9. Victoria-Ozarks Cres says:

    Love the name of your blog.  I saw your comment over on Serena's blog and so I came over to check it out.

  10. Insomniac Lab Rat says:

    We actually got rid of quite a bit of junk when we moved halfway across the country in just our car and my parents' van…but I still feel like there is a lot of stuff we could get rid of! I have a big pile of clothes waiting to be donated…and could probably still get rid of some as I update my wardrobe to be more "adult". 
    And I don't even have an excuse for the fact that we have 2 loads of laundry piled up waiting to be done…I just haven't done it yet! boo laundry! Good luck, even making a little progress on decluttering makes me feel good, so hopefully you'll be rewarded too :)  

  11. jode says:

    Love your blog!  and like you, I'm trying to focus on decluttering  the house.  I've got bins of clothes that my kids have outgrown.  Must get rid of them!!

  12. Tim says:

    Hey Andrea, great blog!  Found it through Khaleef's blog. 

    I asked myself the same question about STUFF.  We're moving and realized that we have quite a bit of stuff…  It might be a good time for a garage sale soon :)

    Great looking site!  Hope to read more of your articles soon!


  13. Emily says:

    Check out half.com!  I've been using it for years to sell books, CDs, & DVDs that have become clutter.  

  14. FB @ FabulouslyBroke says:

    I do this often. Every time I go through my wardrobe, or I clean up an area, I touch each item and decide to toss or keep it. In the end, with just a little light cleaning, I have an overflowing bag of clothes I want to get rid of.

  15. FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com says:

    I do this often. Every time I go through my wardrobe, or I clean up an area, I touch each item and decide to toss or keep it. In the end, with just a little light cleaning, I have an overflowing bag of clothes I want to get rid of.

  16. FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com says:

    I do this often. Every time I go through my wardrobe, or I clean up an area, I touch each item and decide to toss or keep it. In the end, with just a little light cleaning, I have an overflowing bag of clothes I want to get rid of.

  17. optionsdude says:

    Yeah, we have too much stuff.  The basement has a large area full of absolute junk that should be eliminated from the house.  I am hoping that we can get rid of a bunch this summer.


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