We all love a bargain right?
We love snapping something up.
And knowing we’ve got our money’s worth.
And some of us are awesome at stockpiling.
And saving money on every little offer going.
Because its great to buy what we want.
And shopping – a little lovely something extra at the store here and a few amazing finds online there – every week is fun isn’t it?
It gives us such a buzz.
I mean we’re human aren’t we? We like stuff.
And it’s wonderful so much these days is cheaper. And affordable.
The only problem is, it is NOT making us happy.
In fact, you know what?
Most of the stuff we buy is making us ALL unbelievably miserable.
I know this only too well myself.
We had so much stuff, it made me cry.
I mean literally. I stood in our kitchen and wept.
Because I felt so overwhelmed by our clutter.
And I screamed at my family.
And I had panic attacks.
I was broken.
And I thought I was being pathetic.
I discovered just how many other people pay this huge personal price for family clutter.
It’s NOT only me.
Many of us – most of us – are in this together.
Clutter is costing us a fortune!
We’re In It Together
And that’s NOT because all of us with a clutter issue are weak and messy and greedy and lazy.
Or just plain weird.
It is because big companies make huge profits from constantly selling us more stuff.
Than we could ever have time to enjoy.
And there’s the catch.
We don’t have time to enjoy what we buy.
So it does NOT make us happy.
So we buy more.
Because … those big companies have spent zillions on telling us that shopping for stuff and snagging a bargain will make us happy.
How do we break the cycle?
Well. I found something that truly helped.
And that was writing down what my family’s clutter actually cost me personally.
The Price Of My Clutter
I thought of it like an itemised bill.
And put everything down.
The yelling. The arguments. The shame. The tears. The anxiety. The grubbiness of the house. The resentment. The hours spent shuffling stuff around to clean even a tiny bit. The lost stuff. The broken stuff. The expired stuff.
All of those things were the personal price for me of buying more stuff. Or keeping clutter.
It has been so powerful.
When I spot a “bargain”.
Or something “lovely.
And I am massively tempted.
Or when I’m holding onto something I never wear, use, read, play with, admire, make.
I can bring that bill to mind.
And ignore what it says on the price tag.
Because the true cost of yet another little thing for me and my loved ones is extortionate.
So if clutter is making you beyond miserable.
But you can’t resist the buzz of shopping.
Or seriously struggle to let go of stuff, try it.
Write down your own itemised bill.
So you’re really clear in your mind of the true price for you and your family of clutter.
What’s The Price Of Your Clutter?
Everyone’s bill is going to be personal.
But to help you – I guess to make it OK to say how bad things are – I’ve shared below a big list of 100 problems that clutter causes us.
Lots of them are on my bill.
But I’ve also included loads that other people struggling with clutter have bravely shared.
Have a look through.
Find all those that speak to you.
Acknowledge any other personal extra costs.
And write them all down.
Then stick it to your fridge.
Or carry it in your wallet.
So next time you’re tempted to snag “a bargain” that will just become more clutter you remember how much it really costs you.
And how little happiness it brings.
I so hope this trick helps.
For more support do check out my free step-by-step declutter guide. It’s full of declutter checklists and challenges to clear clutter hot spots plus motivational support to help you declutter successfully.
100 Ways Clutter Causes Mental Health Problems And Debt
I Feel Ashamed …
- I feel ashamed of my home
- I am too embarrassed to let visitors in
- I hate going into the basement / garage / attic / spare room because it makes me feel so bad about myself
- I feel rubbish about myself because I never get round to decluttering
- I hate myself for putting off decluttering
It Makes Me So Unhappy …
- I feel totally overwhelmed by clutter physically and mentally
- I have cried about our clutter problem
- I am depressed about my clutter
- I just can’t see an end to the clutter and it’s really depressing me
- I feel just exhausted by all our stuff – it’s so hard to get rid of it and weighs me down
- I feel over anxious a lot of the time
- I feel out of control and panic massively about all sorts of tiny things
- Some days I’d just like to walk away and leave all the stuff behind
- I feel broken by all our stuff
- I find it so hard to get rid of anything even though I am not happy the way we are living
- I spend whole weekends decluttering but still feel totally overwhelmed
- I feel guilty that I am passing on so much stuff to my kids they won’t want
- I hate the idea my kids will just throw all my stuff away when I’m gone because they will have no idea what’s worth keeping
- I tried to declutter but I made a bigger mess
- I desperately want to declutter but it’s so overwhelming I just hide in my bed
Our Finances Are A Mess …
- Money’s really tight but I can’t stop shopping
- I keep buying more stuff for my hobby even though I still have loads I haven’t used
- I have got into debt with my spending habits
- I feel like I’m in a never ending cycle of buy-purge, buy-purge, buy-purge
- I secretly buy stuff online
- We struggle with debt from buying too much
- I pay money every month for extra storage
- I find it hard to buy just one of things
- I work so hard only for half our money to go on stuff we barely use and then throw away
- I sneak things into our home and lie to my family about what I’ve bought
- I’d love to travel more but most of our money seems to go on stuff we don’t need
Our Home Is Filthy …
- Cleaning takes ages so doesn’t get done
- I takes hours to vacuum because I have to pick up and move so much stuff first
- Our home is super dusty – full of dust balls
- My home just feels dirty
- We have a pest control problem because it’s so hard to deep clean
- I spend hours every week to make the home even vaguely presentable and I feel resentful and mad about it
We’re Living In Chaos …
- No one in my family ever puts things away
- We can’t fit our car in our garage
- I have no idea what’s in my garage
- We have a room full of boxes
- I don’t have room to cook because there’s so much stuff everywhere
- No one ever puts things away properly and it makes me hopping mad
- I spend a lot of money on storage solutions
- I spend money on storage for my storage
- We have overflowing boxes everywhere and I have no idea what is in most of them
- We can’t fit everything in our cupboards
- I need to downsize but have too much stuff
- I need a week off work just to declutter
- My hobby’s taken over our home so there’s barely space to cook or sit down
- I keep everything anyone ever gave me so it’s all piled up in boxes and I never look at it
- I have stock piles of random stuff like batteries, razors, coffee machine capsules and medical supplies. I don’t know why.
Family Rows & Arguments
- I yell at my family about clutter
- I argue with my partner about clutter
- I threaten my kids I will throw all their toys out – I really scare them
- I explode over little things because I feel so mad about our clutter
- Sometimes I just want to scream at all the people buying my kids stuff
- I argue with my partner about my collections taking over our home
- I argue with my partner about their collections taking over our home
- I trip over my kids stuff – over and over again – and scream at them
- When I argue with my partner about clutter I go and buy more
- I feel like I’m nagging constantly because our home is always such a mess
- Our clutter is hurting our relationship
We Waste So Much …
- I often buy things we already have
- I often buy clothes I never wear
- I don’t wear most of my clothes
- I waste a lot of time looking for things
- I often buy books I never read
- My kids don’t play with most of their toys
- I snap up lots of bargains I know I’ll not use
- I can’t see the back of my fridge and have no idea what’s in there
- I throw out a lot of food every week
- I have no idea what’s in my freezer
- I often buy things on offer that end up getting thrown away
- We have presents in boxes from Christmas
- I stockpile to save money but stuff expires before we get round to using it
- I stockpile cleaning stuff but don’t use it
- Lots of food we buy goes off before we get round to eating it
- I feel guilty about all the stuff we throw away
- I love buying craft stuff but I don’t use it
- I don’t have time to enjoy all the things I collect
- I spend lots of time collecting stuff but I don’t spend any time enjoying the collection
Grief & Ingratitude …
- I can’t let go of my parents things but they don’t help spark wonderful memories – they just make me depressed
- We have a lot of things but I don’t feel happy
- I feel I’m drowning in grief & all the inherited stuff is pulling me under not helping
- I dread Christmas because it brings clutter
- I dread birthdays because it brings clutter
- I find it hard to be grateful for gifts because there’s no where to put anything
Lost & Broken Stuff …
- No one in my family can ever find anything
- Lots of stuff in our home gets broken
- I don’t know where key documents are
- I worry about things I may have lost
- I have lost valuable things in our home
- I have panic attacks about things I have lost
- I panic about things I may have lost
- I keep secret from my family stuff I’ve lost
- Toys often get broken on the floor or rammed in cupboards
- We have moths in lots of our clothes
- We have stuff in the attic that’s been eaten by mice and squirrels
- Stuff in our basement is damaged by damp
The pain our clutter causes can feel so overwhelming but it truly is possible to declutter successfully and enjoy life free from the burdens of clutter.
For step-by-step support clearing your clutter do read my free declutter guide. It will give you simple, sustainable declutter methods and motivation plus checklists and challenges to clear clutter hotspots and keep clutter out.