living better with less: why i hate stuff

To start us off on the new year, let me remind you why I hate stuff.

I’ve always been neat and organized but when I realized I was a shop-a-holic living in a cycle of consuming and purging, I forced myself to see things in a new way: whether a shirt, phone, tape measure or a piece of furniture, all things are tools to help you do something. Seeing things this way makes consuming more conscious and meaningful. It forces you to think about how you want to live and present yourself to the world. I used to get a high from shopping, now I get a high from using and reusing the things I have.

The tag line for this blog “it’s not about having a lot of stuff, it’s about having the right stuff” came thru the lessons of my own experience and countless encounters with clients over the years. If something doesn’t add to you life it directly takes away from it.

Things can control how you feel and behave, even prohibit you from living the life you want to live. Cluttering up your space and mind with the thought ‘deal with me!!’. 
Think about the areas of your home that you dread going near. It’s no coincidence those areas have things that you don’t want to deal with, fix, or make decisions on. 

All things are made up of energy and like us, they want to feel useful and loved. When you have things in your home that you don’t love or use, over time they emit a negative energy which has a profound effect on your space. This is why after doing an edit you and the space feel better, as you’ve cleared out the negative energy.

My clients are not hoarders or pack rats with rooms full of things. Most of them have put together spaces that you would think were just fine. You don’t have to have an exploding space to have too much. You just have to have 
enough to weigh on you physically and mentally. You keep a mental inventory of everything you own which you take with you everywhere you go. Think about how exhausting that can be, even on your subconscious. 

Everyone has a number. A number of things, whether books, coats, dishes, that is the right amount for your space and lifestyle. The number that if you go over, suddenly makes things difficult. Difficult to store, difficult to decide what to use, difficult to keep track of. When you have too many things that aren’t adding to your life, they take away from it, and can take control of you. Everyone’s number is different and the number of specific things can be different. For instance, I have about 8 pairs of dress pants (counting all seasons) and 18 belts. If those numbers were reverse it wouldn’t work for me but the way it is now is perfect for the way I dress. 

Many people are overwhelmed by their things which can make them sad and feel out of control. I encourage them to get angry. Sadness inhibits action while anger fosters action. Anger gives you control and the biggest lesson I try to teach people is that YOU have control over your things. You have control over your things. Once more, you have control over your things. It’s a mantra you should repeat when going thru your things and start to feel anxious. I think it when working with my clients and in my own home.



6 responses

  1. It had been a while since your last post, but it was worth waiting. Loved it !

  2. Happy you are posting again! Fantastic post! Beautifully written. Very inspiring.