How Much Stuff Do You Need?



When I was growing up we lived in a very small house. I had six brothers and sisters and we didn’t have a lot of stuff.  When I say stuff I mean extra things like a lot of extra clothes, shoes, toys, etc. We lived a very simple life with simple pleasures and those were some of my best most fun memories ever.

Flash forward to today.  My house is bursting at the seams with “stuff” most of it things I don’t even use anymore. I am ashamed to say that I have found clothes in my closet with tags still on them. I had bought them and put them in my closet and forgot about them. What a waste.

I am blessed to have what I need and then some but do you ever find that the more you have the more stressful it becomes.  Clutter is something I hate. Too many decisions can cause extra stress. I have heard that 80% of women only wear 20% of their clothes and jewelry.  I really believe this is true.

Throughout the year I have tried to reduce the clutter in my house and life. See my post about clearing the clutter part 1. I have tried to be more selective about what I bring into my house. If you saw the things in my basement you might doubt this is true.  But I have been clearing, organizing,  donating, and getting rid of things I don’t need or haven’t used. It really frees my mind.  My husband is the worlds worst pack rat. He doesn’t want to get rid of anything. I found an old Linda Ronstadt T shirt in his closet that he has had since high school. He refused to give it up because he says its a collectors item. He has lots of things like that. Right now some of you might be saying “Linda who?”

I often push clothes that I don’t wear or can’t wear to the back of my closet.  After a certain amount of time if I haven’t worn them I take them out and get rid of them. Hmmm yes I admit sometimes it might be a few years. What???? Someone could be using those things.

I am starting with clothes and accessories and books. I have already donated things to a local organization several times this year and hope to do this at least once a week until some of this is out of my house and mind.

Here are some things I have found helpful to ask yourself when trying to decide if you should hang onto those clothes or other items

1 Does it fit?  If I outgrow something I really love,   I put it in a tub and store it in my basement. I will give it a time frame of 6 months or a year or maybe until the next season.  If I still can’t wear it then, I give it up.

2. Is this in style?  I am not one to go for a lot of trendy items but if you are, look  at those items and if it is not something you can make work then give it up.

3. Do I look good in it?  If you don’t like how you look in something then you’re not going to feel good wearing it.

4. How long has it been since I wore this? If it has been more than a year then chances are you don’t like this item enough to keep it in your closet.

5. Would I buy this again today?  Maybe your taste in that particular type of clothing has changed. Maybe you don’t feel good in a particular color that you used to like. So if you pick something up and say “why did I buy this?” You probably won’t wear it again.

6. Is it stained or damaged?  If it is and you can’t fix it you’re probably not going to wear it.  I had a pair of Sperrys, I dropped some oil on one of them. It made a huge spot.  I couldn’t get it off and I couldn’t bear to give them up, I had only worn them twice. They sat in a box in my closet for about 2 years.  I finally gave them up last week.

7. How many of this item do you have?  I have a type of shirt I love.  I tend to look for that particular type when I shop.  Right down to the same color.  How many of one type of shirt do I need?  How many pairs of black pants?  You see where I’m going with this.

8. Could someone else benefit from this more than I can? If you are holding on to it and you know you’re probably not going to wear it think of how it might benefit someone else.

These are just some of the questions I ask myself when I am trying to declutter.  It works on other items as well.

I guess one reason I hang onto these things is because I didn’t have a lot of extra things growing up and maybe it gives me security. But I know now that “stuff and things” can’t give you security.  It’s just “stuff”

So how much “stuff” do you need?

Love your day your way!!!



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