14 Major Signs That You Own Too Much Stuff

Gabe Bult
by Gabe Bult

Do I own too much stuff? If this is a question you have been asking yourself, the answer is probably yes, but let’s get a little deeper into that.

There are clear signs that tell you it is time to say goodbye to some of your belongings. Here are the signs of owning too much stuff.

1. You are scared of your stuff

If walking into your home after a long day makes you stressed out instead of calm, this is a red flag.

Getting rid of a bunch of things that used to be in my house really changed how I felt on a day-to-day basis.

I could walk into a room and feel relaxed in that open, bright and clean space.

Decluttering drawers

2. You are scared of decluttering

If the idea of going through your closet or decluttering a single cabinet is daunting and you have been kind of putting it off, that might be a sign that you have too much stuff.

Have you been debating inviting a friend over to help? Great idea! Getting other people is always helpful because they have no emotional attachment to your things and can look at them more critically and realistically.

3. You hate people dropping by unexpectedly

Having people drop by means you want your house to look presentable, and if it takes you three hours each time to pull your house together, clean up, and shove all the stuff underneath the bed, and your house still looks like a wreck, this obviously does not make for an enjoyable experience.

Since we have started getting rid of things and using simple habits for a clutter-free home, people can stop by and it is actually nice.

4. You consistently lose things

I used to lose stuff all the time, including keys, wallets, and even clothes, leading me to wear stuff I didn't really like.

Once I got rid of most of my stuff and found a home for everything remaining, there were no piles of stuff that things would get lost in, so I do not really lose things anymore.

Opening kitchen drawer

5. Your counters are never clean

I used to walk in the door and put some stuff down on the counter right away, and over the course of weeks, I could not see the kitchen table anymore, because I never picked any of that up.

Does this sound familiar? Putting stuff on every flat surface around the house is a really hard habit to change, and the best solution is to only bring in things that you actually need and use, and get rid of everything else.

6. You clean on saturdays

If you had to allocate a separate day or a good part of it to cleaning, I have bad news. The less stuff you have, the easier and quicker you can get things back to baseline, the less ends up getting left around, the less there is to pick up, dust or put away. Getting rid of things will save you so much time in the long run.

Cluttered table

7. The 17 minute rule

If you cannot clean up a room or most of your house in 17 minutes, you probably have too much stuff. In my house, it takes us five minutes to pick up everything throughout our house, including our kids' toys. A couple of years ago that would not have been the case, even though we had no children.

8. You cannot park in your garage

Statistics say that almost half of us cannot actually park our cars inside our garage because of all the items inside it. When your garage becomes a dumping ground, you cannot actually use it for its intended purpose.

This is true for your attic and your basement as well - if you cannot walk freely through those, time to throw some things out.

9. You do not know what is underneath your bed

There is nothing wrong with storing stuff underneath your bed, but there is a line. Once you realize that you just shove things up there and do not even remember what you store there, and definitely do not use any of those things, it is time to revisit it and throw some stuff out.

Decluttering closet

10. You have to get rid of some clothes to bring in new ones

My closet used to overflow with clothes I did not wear, so much so that I could not fit any new items in there if I wanted. In the meantime, I only truly wore and liked 20% of the clothes I owned.

Once I got rid of that 80%, my closet feels so much more spacious, it is so much easier to pick out an outfit in the morning, and I actually like all of my clothes.

11. You have credit card debt

People get into credit card debt to buy stuff that they cannot afford with money that they do not have to impress people they do not even like.

If you have consumer debt because you cannot stop buying things, it might be time to ditch the credit card. Try a spending fast, or a no-spend period.

It is not always enough to just get rid of stuff, you actually have to stop the source of the stuff coming into your house.

Shoe rack

12. You have options for everything

Do you have six jackets, 17 pairs of shoes and 12 different fuzzy blankets? You might think that options give you freedom, but it is actually the opposite.

The constant need to make a choice and the constant chase for the better alternative is exhausting and does not contribute to your quality of life. Pick your favorites and let go of the rest.

13. You do not have systems

Most of us instinctively buy more and more stuff, making our houses more and more messy. This is why it is crucial to have systems in place to buy less and keep your house clutter free, whether it is the 30 day rule, the 1 in 1 out rule, or any other rules.

14. You feel like you have too much stuff

Trust your gut feeling. If you feel like it is too much, it probably is. Start small: pick a room, fill a box, and start this journey towards a more simple life.

Owning too much stuff

If you have just realized that you own too much stuff, do not panic. Welcome to your decluttering journey, you are going to have a blast.

What other signs did you notice in your own life? Leave a comment below.

Next, check out 10 Minimalist Rules That Have Improved My Daily Life.

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2 of 19 comments
  • Jos33312310 Jos33312310 on Mar 27, 2024
    Certainly know I have too much stuff. Have 4 Sheds filled Halloween plus a loft. Have 4 bedrooms either have Halloween in 3 of the rooms plus hanging around the house everywhere. My clutter trying to declutter. People bring donations of clothing furniture as I give lot away to people who need it yet I still have a cluttered house.Hubby tells me bring something in one thing goes sounded good at the time just doesn't happen as much as I try. Hopefully will re read you 14 statements and work on it. Thanks for the advise has been a help
  • Linda Linda on Apr 21, 2024
    Loved the way it was written. Instant gratification is what most people want. Shoping can become an addiction. Shoes too many, along with coats. Have downsized completely.Less is more