There are so many reasons why we gather and keep “stuff” in our lives. It can be for valid reasons such as you need and use these items and that’s totally fine. Or it can serve another purpose that may not serve you well.
I’m talking today to those who have “stuff” and their “stuff” is not serving them well. It’s causing stress, anxiety and even family issues.
In my 7 years of business, I have seen many reasons for people’s stuff. But the sum of all those many reasons is usually one main reason. The many reasons are just a dressing that is covering up a main reason that usually runs deep. It’s so deep and so gone from the conscience mind that many times it’s hard to uncover.
But deep in their soul is the cause and over the years they fill it with excuses, reasons or “stuff.” They’ve stuffed it for so long that they then start making excuses for their “stuff.” There ends up being stuff upon stuff upon stuff.
What can be some of those “main reasons” for the stuff in people’s lives be? Check out this list and see if any of them apply to your life.
- Your stuff is replacing something in your life that “is not enough.” Was there something in your life at one time you desired to do. It was your passion. It was in your blood and it was in your heart. But someone or something prevented you from moving forward. The pain is deep, and the regret is overwhelming. That void in your heart is growing like a cancerous cell. So now now fill it with stuff.
- You have unfulfilled relationships like a spousal relationship that is not fulfilling and covered with many problems. Or a child that has wondered from the family and the stuff is filling that empty void.
- You are in a job that is mundane, boring and not up to the potential that is in you. You need the job because you need the income and you are full of fear to step out and make a change. So, you fill your time with buying “stuff.”
- Your stuff acts as a sense of protection. I’ve seen this in hoarding situations. There is serious trauma in someone’s life and the stuff acts as a protection (or so they think) because it’s covering windows and doors and most walkable space in the home. They somehow believe their “stuff” is protecting them from any predators.
- Perhaps you have a partner that controls you especially in the money arena. So as an act of spite, you shop and shop and shop.
- Or you had an addiction to a substance, and you are now clean from that substance. But you aren’t really doing the recovery work that is needed so you’ve turn from the addiction to substance to the addiction to shopping.
- Or maybe you grew up in a very poor family and went without much of everything all your young life. Now you are an adult with a fairly decent job and income and you make up for all that you didn’t have as a child. The only problem is you are going too far.
- You just keep bringing “stuff” in year after year but never take the time to pare down and remove items no longer serving a purpose. I tell my clients continually that we cannot live in our homes year after year bringing items in but never taking items out.
So, I ask do any of these reasons fit into a possibility for the abundance of “stuff” in your life?
Take some quiet time and dig deep to undercover what your “stuff “is doing for you? Get beyond the excuses like:
- I need these …
- I might need these …
- I might never find this again …
- It is hard to find …
- My mother/father gave it to me (yet you never use it)
- I love these …
- So, on and so forth
As you come upon each excuse, put it aside and dig deeper until you reveal the real reason for your holding onto so much “stuff.” It might take some time because you took time to bury it deep in your unconscious. But that’s ok. Keep pushing through. Don’t give up. Keep digging. Keep asking yourself and if you are a believer in the Lord, ask for Wisdom. He will give it to you.
Once you come to the root of why you are using stuff to replace this issue, write it down in a journal or somewhere you can continue writing. Write about it if you feel led. If not put aside. But do come back to it at another time sooner rather than later.
Continue writing about it. If it’s your relationship with your spouse, then come up with ideas of what can be done to strengthen and heal your relationship. Discuss it with your spouse and see if the two of you can come up with ideas to build your relationship. If they are not open to it, then consider seeking a counselor or Pastor to talk to on what you can do independently to rebuild your relationship. If it’s beyond repair, then you have a decision to make. But holding onto “stuff” is not going to be your answer.
Do you have a lost child that may not be living the life you dreamed for them? If your child is still under your roof, then you need to think about your parenting skills and perhaps speak to someone so you learn new techniques. If your child is an adult, there is not much you can do … other than pray. Praying is powerful and I’ve had answered prayers for years now. But gathering stuff will not help that child come back to their roots.
Or are you in a job that is totally unfulfilling, and you dread each day as you go to work? Then this is the place you have total control over because it involves you. You may have a supervisor that you have difficulty working with. Well you probably can’t change them, but you can change jobs. “But I love this job,” you may say. Well you will have to decide whether working under someone who causing much stress in your life, is worth it. You can find another job that you love also, or you can do a paradigm shift in your thinking towards this supervisor. Look for the best in them.
Or are you in a job that isn’t fulfilling because you have so much more to offer and it’s not utilizing your potential. Then again, this is in your control. Find another job. One that meets your potential. “Yes, but it’s hard to find a job these days” you might say. You are making excuses. Have you even tried? If yes, keep on trying. Something will eventually fall into place that meets your needs and fulfills your abilities. But gathering stuff is not going to replace this void in your day.
Is there something in your life that is deeply your passion. But you’ve let circumstances, or another person stop you from moving forward. Well your life is in your control. You and only you can make that change.
Why do people think stuff works for them to fill a void? Because of the initial moment (and I say moment) of acquiring it. It releases dopamine in your brain and gives you a sense of excitement, which we think means we are fulfilled. But that’s a lie. It only fulfills us for that moment. But when you look at all your stuff, it probably leaves you feeling shame, embarrassment, frustration, confusion, anger, disappointment and so on and so on.
Take some time and get to the root of your “stuff.” If you feel overwhelmed trying to get the answer, then reach out and get some help. We as Professional Organizers are skilled to help you get to your deep-rooted issues for your stuff. This is something I can help you process.
Reach out. Take that first step. You are worth it!
Your Health, Wellness and Organizing Expert … believing in you!