Home Forums Unclutter Your Life in One Week Why Change? What matters most to you? Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

Viewing 16 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #160205
      Periwinkle
      Member

      Hey guys. This is more a rant than anything…I don’t get how I can have been consciously getting rid of stuff for several years (even though I’m only 19!) and yet STILL feel this frustrated by the amount of stuff I own.

      My family is pretty open to not having much stuff (our house is definitely not full of knick-knacks and tchotchkes!), though my mum does do a lot of art using found materials, so whenever you want to get rid of something, it means running it by her… Still, it’s not like I’m starting with ridiculous amounts of stuff in the first place.

      An aggravating factor is that my last grandparent recently died, and we’ve inherited a whole house full of stuff. 95% of it is going/gone, but I (and everyone else) have ended up with so much random stuff – for example, she’d just bulk-bought socks, and they’re all unopened and new, so I’ve ended up with them. Ditto shower gel and shampoo – stuff that you can’t give away and that we do need and use but man, there’s just so much of it all of a sudden…

      I’ve just come back from my first term at university, where my room is blissfully empty (I took about 3 bags of stuff with me and use far less than half the storage space in my room, which is BRILLIANT as it means I never lose anything). Every single thing I have is functional, apart from things like books to read for fun, of which there is a limited stock (the rest of the iceberg being on my shelves at home). And now I’ve come home to a room full of newly-inherited stuff AND all the other stuff that I just don’t use in term time, and it’s so frustrating!! Especially since things inevitably get lost in having to pack all your stuff and move it all the time (I have lockable storage in my room at uni, where I can leave my kitchen things and whatnot, but I have to leave the room completely clear, so my clothes, books etc. have to be moved across the country every 8 weeks). Just today, for example, I wanted to go swimming, but my swimming gear is *somewhere* lost in the general mess of moving everything…so I haven’t gone.

      Now I’m just sat here blindly throwing things into boxes trying to get rid of them because I JUST WANT TO OWN LESS STUFF. I don’t care if it’s an inconvenience not to own something…I get that all the time, being a student and not owning all the actually useful household items I’d like to have. No, I just want less physical stuff and I don’t really care how it comes about – it’s just difficult to justify getting rid of, say, books I probably will read again just because I want the space…

      /rant. Sorry. This whole mountain of stuff is getting me down a bit!

    • #225897
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      I can *totally* relate – you two are not alone!

      My husband and I also don’t have much stuff compared to our peers – but our house is also ALWAYS A MESS. And I always feel like I am drowning in stuff that I don’t really need, even though at this point, I can’t easily identify anything that should really be uncluttered. I’m at that point that you sound like you are at, Periwinkle, where I could theoretically get rid of stuff, but I would probably end up needing it or buying it again. And yet…ARGH! I am tired of all the drawers and closets being so full and the surfaces being so covered/cluttered.

      I spent a year of my life more or less living out of a suitcase – one pot to cook in, one bowl to eat out of, a couple mugs, etc. That would be impossible now, as I have to respect what my husband wants from a home and I am an “adult” who has to have appropriate clothes for appropriate scenarios, etc. But I miss living with the bare minimum.

      Anyway, we’re all working on this together – keep it up. And by the way, shampoo and socks and stuff *can* be donated if they are unopened, so maybe you should???

    • #225905
      chacha1
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      After years of decluttering, I’m at the stage where if there is something oppressing me, some “stuff” that’s in my way or invading my space, that I COULD buy again in case of need … I often get rid of it.

      This isn’t an option for everybody as it calls for a certain amount of disposable income. But I honestly haven’t regretted the two or three re-purchases I’ve made over the past 3-4 years.

      I guess it’s similar to having insurance. We buy insurance for things that are too expensive to easily replace or secure without the insurance payout. But things we can afford to replace without undue budgetary pain, we shouldn’t insure.

      That’s where I am on Stuff. I’m no longer insuring against the unknown future by keeping tons of stuff that there is only a *possibility* I might need.

    • #225906
      lucy1965
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      Periwinkle, call your nearest women’s shelter/homeless teen outreach center and ask about their donation policy. Many would welcome socks and toiletries.

    • #225916
      Ella
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      Ditto what lucy said. Those items would be gratefully received by a womens’ shelter especially at this time of year, and you’ll feel good about it, guaranteed. There are endless people in need in this world, and you can effect a balance in your own small way, by sending your excess to some of those needy places.

      FWIW, the stuff I had in college I no longer have… because it was mostly cheap, low-quality stuff, and in later years it was gradually replaced by higher-quality. As you grow, you will learn to be more discerning about surrounding and supporting yourself with things that are functional AND beautiful AND that you love. Right here and now, you have the amazing gift of having an unclutterer’s mindset. So you can fearlessly reduce your unloved or unneeded possessions now, knowing that you’ll be able to wisely choose as you go into the future.

    • #225921
      bandicoot
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      i’ll second/third/fourth that.
      women’s shelters cannot get enough of that stuff.
      they will be happy and you will be happy!
      get rid of excess socks with them too.
      just because they are there is no reason for you to feel obliged to use them up.
      you might be storing them for years and it is clear that you do not want to do that.

    • #225969
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      @chacha – I am getting closer and closer to your mindset, but you are right that it requires a bit more income certainty than I feel like we have. Definitely, though, I consider whether things can be repurchased and that becomes part of my decision making process about whether to get rid of them or not.

    • #225992
      Meglet
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      Oh, I can TOTALLY relate to the frustration of owning too much stuff. About four years ago now, I spent 6+ months doing a *massive* sort/clean out of the house I shared with my dad, while he was out of the state (and thus out of my way :D)for most of the year. I sent an entire pickup-truck load of stuff to my mom’s yard sale, numerous car loads to donation centers, and got rid of tons of garbage. 6 months after that, I *still* had to rent a 2-bedroom apartment for myself, because I owned so much stuff there was no way to fit it in a 1-bedroom.

      Three years later, I am *finally* almost down to being able to fit my stuff in a 1-bedroom apartment, but it has taken literally years and a lot of work, and getting used to the fact that I may indeed get rid of something I need and have to re-purchase. Fortunately that’s been very rare, as I’ve gotten much better at telling the difference between things I’ve kept “just in case” and things I’ve kept that I do/will actually use and are worth the space they take up. I’m pretty sure the folks at the nearby donation center recognize my car now due to my weekly drop-off trips.

      I’ll second what was said above re: the socks & toiletries – there’s probably a shelter nearby that could use them. And if not, maybe the Red Cross or even some friends/fellow students.

      It also sounds like books are one of your biggest “collections.” As a fellow book-lover, and someone who at one point had 7! giant bookcases, I recommend you take a serious look at e-readers. Thanks to my Kindle, I was able to empty 5 and a half bookcases, because I was able to get the electronic versions (check your books before you donate them, not all are available!) By replacing the general stuff with electronic copies, I was able to keep all my “special” books that I still like to have in physical form. That made a HUGE difference in the feeling of the weight of all the “stuff” around me, not to mention saving me nearly an entire room’s worth of space!

      Just remember to take a breath, step back, and remember that you own the stuff, it doesn’t own you.

    • #226023
      Xiro
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      Something I have noticed is that even if you hardly own anything and have little room to figure it out it can make it seem like a lot more. Having desks with no drawers sure does not help so alternate methods must be found (converted entertainment center) There are times just doing things can be annoying because there is such a lack of workable area to do so.

      With a little tweaking it can start to work correctly.

    • #226035
      Xiro
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      “””And the budget is getting tighter so I don’t want to have to re-buy.”””

      And there is the reason I still have a couple pairs of pants, my reason is because they magically have gotten a bit smaller and I want to wait until they increase in size in the future. =)

      The budget is tight and if it can work next year I am just hanging on to them for now.

    • #226066

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      Periwinkle: it sounds like people dumped things in your room while you were away at uni. Just because someone thought you’d find them useful doesn’t mean you have to keep them. An empty room is just an invitation for “storing” things there, meaning they could have dumped them to avoid making a decision or because they honestly thought you’d want the stuff (I won’t ascribe any particular motivation to them).

      Others have suggested where to donate. Get in the habit of donating things you don’t want, it is a lifelong good habit.

      For stuff you do want to keep, such as a favorite toy, a cardboard box on the top shelf of your closet is great. Try to keep boxes off the floor – clear floors make for easier cleaning and fewer termite invasions.

    • #226217
      adragon
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      Periwinkle, please forgive the assumptions here, but is your family giving you the socks and toiletries because they think “poor college students need these things?” Are they putting things in your room in case you’d want them as keepsakes? Do they know you’re frustrated with having too much stuff? I don’t know if you’ve communicated with them, but I think a conversation is definitely in order. Especially if the answer to all these questions is no, and they’re just shoving unwanted things into your space.

    • #226407
      Periwinkle
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      Ah, it’s so good to see that I’m not alone on this one! I guess you’d expect a forum dedicated to getting rid of stuff to be filled with people who think they have too much stuff, but still, it’s amazing how you can get rid of so much and still be left with…so much.

      I have contacted our local women’s shelter, particularly about sanitary items (we used to order prescription medicines from an online chemist, and you needed a certain amount for free delivery, so bulked it out with tampons and things…then I started using a mooncup and now they’ve all become clutter!) but despite endless phonecalls, I’ve got nowhere. They’re very keen for donations but the address is apparently private, and they always tell me someone will call back with information about collection or where I can take stuff…and nobody ever does. Sigh…

      Yes, stuff very much was dumped while I was at uni. To be fair, the amount of stuff that’s been gotten rid of is STAGGERING, and we’ve had pretty much no choice but to empty everything (at least temporarily) into our house as hers is now on the market. My mum sent me some photos while I was at uni of the state of my room, which was literally a storeroom and filled to the roof with boxes! So a great effort has been made to get rid of things.

      Conversations have definitely been had and the frustration at the amount of stuff is mutual. Having thought about it more, I think what’s getting me down is the lack of a *system*. For example, packing for uni, I needed some t-shirts, so I took 4 white and 4 black, and that’s the system: all my shirts are black or white. And that’s fantastic. Ditto, I happened to need socks before I went, so I bought some, and then all my socks were the same. It’s a system. Now, I’m back with all the stuff that doesn’t fit the system – like shirts I own, I like, that fit, that are perfectly serviceable in every way except that they don’t fit the system. And aside from the physical clutter, it’s mental clutter – in my uni wardrobe, I select [white or black shirt] + [is it cold enough for a vest today] + [one of two pairs of jeans, or one of the same skirt in multiple colours] + [tights/leggings/socks] and that’s it. And yes, I could get rid of all my other clothes and just go out and buy more white shirts, but it just feels like such a waste…especially when the stuff I have right now is perfectly fine.

    • #226409
      Periwinkle
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      You know what? Screw it. So what if it’s radical to get rid of this stuff….just because it *is* perfectly good doesn’t mean I have to keep it if I don’t want to.

    • #226412
      Swede
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      @Periwinkle – As long as you donate it to a charity or thrift shop you shouldn’t feel bad about the waste… Someone else gets to enjoy it. You have to do what YOU want to do!

    • #226414
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      Agreed – the waste is if the clothes sit in your room with no one wearing them until they goes out of style or moths eat them or something. If you donate the clothes now to a charity that will use them, you are helping others, not wasting!

      I really like what you wrote about having a system of getting dressed – if that is working for you, stick with it and donate the rest!

    • #226422
      Periwinkle
      Member

      Frustrated at the amount of stuff I own

      So I bit the bullet and tackled the socks. Kept only the new ones and ditched the rest (half of which are odd ones anyway). They’re worn-out and can’t be sold or anything but my local charity shop recycles textiles and gets money for it – now all my socks match and the drawer is a lot emptier!

      (Also, if anybody needs any tights, let me know. I had no idea I owned so many pairs!!)

Viewing 16 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.