Four Reasons to Change Your Relationship With Stuff

We all deal with the material objects in our lives every day, and much of what we do is habit or routine. It needs to be, because our things are there to act as tools for living and enjoying life. However every now and then its helpful to take time to focus our attention on our belongings and how we are managing them. This allows us and create a fresh relationship with our stuff that is better able to support our current lifestyle.

A New Perspective

Even if we are generally fairly organised there are times when our relationship with stuff feels stuck or bogged down. Things my be running fairly smoothly, but bothersome clutter troublespots lurk unattended. Often these areas are out of sight, but not quite out of mind. They represent “unfinished business” with things that might be out of style, out of date, or just plain boring. A clutter troublespot might also build around things that are “too hot to handle” due to sentimental attachments or the strong emotions that they trigger. Tackling these tricky areas gives a sense of achievement and frees up physical and mental space.

A Fresh Start

Change is a natural part of life. Our belongings need to change with us so that they continue to meet our needs and reflect our current lifestyle and priorities. There are times in life such as marriage, birth of a child, divorce, downsizing for seniors, and death of a loved one, when the change process is particularly intense, and can challenge our ability to adapt. Feelings of overwhelm arise when we need to make a lot of important decisions quickly, while  feeling tired, confused and emotionally vulnerable. Working through the decisions about what to keep, what to let go, and how to move forward helps to restore a sense of balance and harmony, and paves the way for a fresh start in a new phase of life.

Creating Order

We aren’t all naturally good at organising and managing of stuff. For some of us its a challenge to get going on routine organising tasks and keep track of physical objects. Things get lost, appointments are missed, and stress builds. This may be more to do with the approach taken to organising tasks, rather than having too much stuff, but can still lead to a sense of clutter chaos. Traditional organising solutions don’t work for everyone, but customised organising strategies can help calm the chaos and restore order.

Letting Go

They say “its only stuff” but most of us develop strong attachments to at least some of our physical belongings because of their usefulness, beauty, or the memories they evoke. For people who have a strong appreciation for the potential of physical objects these attachments can be very strong, to the point where its difficult to make a decision to discard things. Letting go also evokes concerns about making mistakes and getting it wrong. The flow of objects into, around, and out of our homes is a natural one, and we each have our own ways of dealing with this. However holding on to too many things can become an obstacle  to getting on with our lives.

Generally if we are feeling bogged down and overwhemed with stuff we aim to navigate these challenges on our own. However if this approach isn’t working, and the situation is stuck or deteriorating, enlisting support from friends, family or a professional organiser’s can provide an outside perspective and help to restore order, balance and space.


One thought on “Four Reasons to Change Your Relationship With Stuff

  1. Clutter ‘trouble spots’; that’s a useful concept, thank you. I’m getting ready for some more clutter clearing and will watch out for the hot spots.
    PS I’m in the process of simplifying my website, as you did — another form of clutter-clearing. Your very clean and spacious site is inspiring me.

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