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We all have them – stuffs that are just lying around the house untouched and collecting dusts in the closets, garage, or even in plain sight.
At the time I’m writing this post, I am working on table in a makeshift home office/ storage room. This is my view across the desk every single day… 2 luggage and 2 stacked, unused chairs.
The bags were from years ago when my family had to move across the continents leaving behind a life they had built for more than a decade. Instead of donating or selling the clothes, they decided to keep them in a “maybe we’ll need them someday” line of thinking. They paid a hefty shipping fee to move them across the ocean along with other household goods. Years later, those bags are just still sitting there in the corner of the room. Untouched…
The chairs are new additions to the storage room. Recently, my sister had the impulse to replace the perfectly fine and functioning dinning chair set with a new set of chairs that don’t even match the dining table simply because she found a good bargain.
Somehow we have this tendency to accumulate things.
Take a look around you. How do you feel about your living space? Are they clean, tidy and spacious? Or do you feel overwhelmed with stuffs all over the kitchen counter or in the corner of the living room?
Ways we get clutter all over our house
Let’s take a look at some ways on how we end up with all these stuffs that are just lying around in our house.
- Bargain offer
When we go out to the stores, we are bombarded with “Buy one, Get one FREE” or “HUGE discount” offer that play on our FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). We buy the stuffs even when we don’t need them.
- Hand-me-down articles
Well-meaning family members or church community might pass along hand-me-down clothes, books or toys when they find out that you’re having children. I certainly see this within my lovely church community.
Other times, a family member might pass away and you are left in taking care of the material possession left behind.
- Having kids
Having children is the most wonderful phase of our life. It’s probably also the time when we accumulate things at the fastest rate in our life. From preparing for the birth and as they grow, they go through tons of diapers, different sizes of clothes & shoes, toys and other knick knacks.
- Stocking up mentality
There is nothing wrong to be prepared for emergency. Sometimes, though, we take it to a whole different level by playing every “in case I need it” scenario in our mind.
- Unused gifts
We love to give and receive gifts on every celebration. Most often than not, those gifts are unused. I have in my closet, among other things, a set of fancy glassware, dining cutlery and wedding photo frames given as a gift for my sister’s wedding several years back that have never been used.
- Aspirational stuffs
Sometimes we buy things for the person we want to be in the future.
We want to be more adventurous so we buy the rock climbing gears and shoes. After a year or two, we might lose interest and we’re left with the gears collecting dust in the closet. (True fact: I have these in my closet.)
We love books and want to be seen as educated, so we buy the books and build a bookshelf to show off our collection. Quite often, most of those books are left unread.
- Holding on to memories
Some stuffs have sentimental values and we have a hard time of letting them go. Do you still have that movie ticket or other trinkets from your high school years? Or do you still have your first born clothes tucked somewhere in the garage even though she is now in college?
The REAL cost of clutter
Living with clutter costs us our lives. It affects our lives negatively in so many aspects.
Do you ever wonder how many hours we spend looking for keys (or other specific things) lost in our clutter over the course of our lives?
Every minute you spend looking through clutter, wondering where you put this or that, being unable to focus because you’re not organized costs you: time you could have spent with family or friends, time you could have been productive around the house, time you could have been making money.” – Jean Chatzky
We spend lots of money in purchasing the stuffs in the first place. Then, we also spend money in maintaining them or storing them. When we have overflow of stuffs, we tend to rent storage space.
But, storage is not fixing our problem.
It’s human nature to take the easy route and leap at storage methods that promise quick and convenient ways to remove visible clutter. Putting things away create the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved. But sooner or later, all the storage units are full and the room once again overflows with things. – Marie Kondo
When we have lots of stuffs lying around, we are giving ourselves more housework to tidy them or to keep them free from dust. We could have spent those time and energy on something we love to do – like hiking, reading a book or creating arts.
I don’t know about you, but clutter is giving me anxiety. It’s making me feel sluggish and claustrophobic.
Clutter can be a good hiding place for mouse, cockroach and ants. Lots of health problems can stem from this living condition.
You can be butting head all the time with other family members about the clutter around the house, and if you have a cluttered house, you are less likely to invite friends over to hang out.
What to do about it?
Most likely, you’ve experienced first-hand what clutter is costing you in life. What’s stopping you from taking that first step to de-clutter your life?
We’ve just been talking about physical clutter. There are also mental, emotional and spiritual clutters. But, that might be a good subject for another post.
For now, let’s take baby step and focus on clearing our physical clutter.
When we clear the physical clutter from our lives, we literally make way for inspiration and “good, orderly direction” to enter. – Julia Cameron
The Chinese has the concept of Chi energy. Clutter in your home is creating blockage for this Chi energy to flow freely. They believe the blockage affect the people living in the house to feel confused, sick or stuck in a rut.
I can see how that might hold true.
Well, spring is here. What better time to start de-cluttering our lives than now? Let’s get started on that spring cleaning project.