Possessions galore: How much stuff is too much?

Whether you’re an avid traveller knee-deep in souvenirs, a collector of things you find interesting or a hoarder who can’t stand to let anything go, your home may be looking rather cramped. There’s a difference between having possessions that are meaningful and simply hanging onto bits and bobs for the sake of it. But how much is too much – and what’s the solution? Let’s delve deeper.

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Problem: You’re running out of storage space

If every shelf, cupboard, drawer and box is full of items and you’ve no more room at the inn, it might be time for a good old sort out. There are several things you can do.

Firstly, belongings you don’t want to get rid of completely but aren’t being used on a daily basis can be put into off-site storage units. These units provide a safe, affordable way to hang onto stuff you love without clogging up your living environment. There are different storage options available depending on the space you need, so it’s a good idea to do your research.

Secondly, a good clear out might be in order. Anything that doesn’t hold sentimental value or hasn’t been used in years can either be thrown away or recycled. If you hate throwing things away, there are many charity shops that are constantly looking for donations too, so this could be a preferred option if you’ve quality belongings such as toys, clothes, jewellery or furniture.

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Problem: You’re constantly buying but never sorting

If you’re a self-confessed shopaholic, that’s all well and good but it’s important to only buy things you really need to avoid waste and overspending. This might seem boring or ‘too sensible,’ but if you’ve already got a modern laptop that works fine, why do you need a new one?

If you can’t resist, make sure you have a plan for existing items – whether it’s to sell them online on a site such as eBay or to give them away. The same applies to clothes. There’s only so much you can keep in your wardrobe, so before you go on that next spree, perhaps work out exactly what you do and don’t need. Of course, impulse purchases here and there aren’t going to clutter your home, but if you’re always filling up shopping baskets, it might be time for a new strategy.

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Problem: You want to keep everything and anything

If you feel the need to hold onto anything and everything, even if it serves no direct purpose, you may be suffering from a hoarding disorder. Approximately 1.2 million people in the UK have this condition and feel distressed at the thought of getting rid of stuff, even if their house is full to the brim.

Excessive accumulation of items can make properties hard to clean. It can even lead to anxiety and frustration, so it’s important to keep hoarding under control. In extreme cases, cognitive therapy can help to address certain hoarding habits.

Personal possessions can bring lots of joy, but if you start to gather too many items, taking stock of the situation might be necessary.

Author: Courtenay

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