I’m REALLY good at getting a lot of stuff to fit in a small space. I think it’s fun to find efficient space saving solutions to maximize your storage space. But at some point, having too much stuff can be really problematic for multiple reasons. In this post, I’ll talk about what’s wrong with having too much stuff, and what you can do about it.
- Having too much stuff can be dangerous. When you have so many things that you can’t walk without tripping over something, you’re always stubbing your toes on things, or you’ve got things stacked so high that you’re at risk for something falling on your head, these pose real health risks. In addition to that, when things are packed so tightly into a space, air can’t flow properly, which invites the dreaded mold to grow. Whether or not you can smell it, this highly allergenic organism can be causing chronic (yet silent) inflammation that can be the root cause of all kinds of other health issues. If you have too much stuff, you won’t be able to properly remove dust that has settled, which can also cause similar health issues. Plus, having too much stuff can be a real fire hazard. Put the health of yourself over your need to keep too much stuff around you.
- Having too much stuff creates energetic walls around you. Boundaries are great, but walls prevent authentic connection between you and others. Walls create a sense of severe emotional loneliness, which will lead to additional addictions and health problems. Learn how you can safely open your heart to others through working with a therapist, energy worker, or using self-help workbooks. Take workshops, sign up for classes, and take risks to put yourself out there from a grounded and centered place.
- Having too much stuff will keep you off balance mentally, emotionally, and physically. When you can learn to find your own sense of internal balance, your outside world will reflect this. When you are struggling to find balance, you’ll find yourself in a place of either over or under giving. You may have issues with over/under eating, over/under spending, over/under sleeping, over/under working. Practice your balance through yoga, physical therapy, or through other physical activity, and watch your home rebalance itself almost effortlessly.
- Having too much stuff will keep you stuck in the past. When you notice your thoughts’ they’ll probably be rehashing the past. Even if you’re rehashing positive memories, you won’t be able to be living in the present. This is particularly problematic because your ability to create conscious change comes from living in the present. Since the subconscious mind fears change, and wants to keep you the same, it will keep popping memories of the past into your mind to keep you from making any sort of meaningful positive change. Be very mindful of what percentage of the things you own are serving your present life and what percentage of the things you own are trying to keep the past alive.
- When you surround yourself with a lot of memorabilia or things that keep your attention on the past, this is a recipe for depression. Do you often feel sad or depressed? Have you lost interest in activities you once enjoyed? Do you have trouble sleeping too little or too much? Have you lost your energy or have increased fatigue? Have you increased purposeless physical activity? Do you often feel worthless or guilty? Do you have trouble making decisions? These are all symptoms of depression. If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, look around and see if you’re surrounded by a lot of old mementos.
- It may seem like it would be a good idea to keep dressing like you did when you were younger, but it’s actually the exact opposite. When you don’t acknowledge your age, your age will “get louder”. Think about a little kid who isn’t being heard. They say it louder until someone finally acknowledges them. Your body does the exact same thing! By wearing the same clothes you did 10 (or more) years ago, you’re not acknowledging that your body is 10 years older than it was. When you do this, your body will start acting older so that you will treat it with more compassion. By ignoring your age, your body will create more inflammation and aches and pains than it would if you brought your awareness into your present body. It’s 2022. If you have any clothes that you wore back in 2012 or older, please take these clothes to Goodwill or to be consigned. They’re doing you a major disservice to your health and wellbeing.
- Make space for new things to come into your life! If you have too many books on your bookshelf, and don’t have room for anymore, you’re telling the universe that you’re closed to new ideas. Do you have a box of awards that has no more space? If so, you’re closing yourself off to being acknowledged for your great work. Do you have so much finished artwork that you don’t have room for any more? You’re closing yourself off to creativity. Is your schedule so full with work and other obligations that you don’t have time for friends? You’re closing yourself off to building relationships. Dedicate time each week to continue to grow your friendships, and watch to see how your life will expand.
- If your house is full of stuff, it causes a stagnation of energy. This will be reflected in your body. When energy stagnates in the body, discomfort and disease occur. When we don’t process emotions in a healthy way, they also get trapped in the body. “Procrastination is more about postponing an uncomfortable feeling than it is about putting off a difficult task.” -Sara Kuburic. Clutter in the house is often caused by unprocessed emotions. Work with a therapist or energy worker to learn how to process emotions in a healthy way. Through working with therapists and energy workers, I have learned about the amazingly beneficial way sleep helps the body process emotions. Set yourself up for a good night sleep by going to bed before 10pm. This is particularly important so that you can align your circadian rhythms to the natural flow of life. According to Chinese medicine, by making sure you’re sleeping deeply before 11pm, you’ll be able to get much more deep and REM sleep than you would if you went to bed later. I know this is true because I track my sleep every night and I can see how much better sleep I get when I go to bed before 10. Make sure to set up the conditions so your dreams are very vivid. This will help you process your emotions almost effortlessly. By drinking alcohol or smoking pot before bed, you’ll be dulling your ability to process emotions, and it will be harder for you to move through your emotional blocks. I find using therapeutic grade essential oils to be another way to help process emotions while I sleep.
- If you surround yourself with too much stuff, your life will get stale. When you want something different, you’ve got to do something different. If you’re surrounding yourself with a bunch of the same stuff, you won’t be able to expand and change. When you see good taste around you, it allows your own good taste to evolve. Practice letting go of things that you cling to. It’s like holding your breath and contracting your energy. Clear your space to set powerful new intentions. Surrounding yourself with old clutter will deplete you rather than nourish you. It prevents you from being truly present and saps your time and energy. Allow for the things around you to move and change.
How else have you seen having too much stuff hold you back in life?
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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