10 Signs You Own Too Much Stuff
The story we are told, from almost the moment we are born, is that “more is better.” More money, more gadgets, more clothes, more house, more toys.
But the reality is, all this “more” often leaves us with less—less fulfillment, less freedom, and less peace.
The stuff we accumulate affects us in countless ways. It influences the rest we find at home and the role we get to play in the world.
But in a world where consumerism seems to progress unchecked and is even promoted by many of our leaders and mentors, how can we know when we have given in? How can we know, on a personal level, when we own too much stuff?
To help, here are 10 signs you might own too much stuff.
1. You are unable to park in your garage.
This is a common occurrence for many families. In fact, some studies show that 75% of American households can’t hold the full amount of cars they are designed for because of storage.
The garage, intended originally as safe shelter for vehicles, has become a storage unit for things we don’t use or don’t even remember we own. If you’re constantly shifting stuff around to make room or parking outside because there’s no space, you probably own too much stuff.
2. Rooms are left untidy at the end of the day.
An untidy room might seem normal, especially if you have children. But if every room is constantly messy and you find it challenging to tidy up at the end of each day, it’s time to consider whether you have too many items in your house.
If you want to test this out, try a before-bed evening routine. If it’s too much to handle, even after embracing an intentional approach to it, you probably own too much stuff.
3. You can’t figure out where all the money is going.
Stuff costs money. The more we buy, the more we spend. If you find yourself wondering where your money is going each month, take a look around. The answer might be sitting on your shelves, in your closets, or packed away in your garage.
We waste more money than we think on nonessential purchases.
4. It takes longer to clean your house than you think it should.
Cleaning is a necessary part of maintaining a home. However, if you find that it’s taking up an inordinate amount of your time, it might be because you have too many things to clean, organize, and maintain.
I’m not saying you’ll fall in love with cleaning. But if you constantly finish up thinking, “I can’t believe this took so long,” you probably own too much stuff.
5. Your children consistently presume you’re going to buy them stuff.
Our actions teach our children about life and priorities. If your kids constantly expect new toys, clothes, or gadgets, it might be a sign that the value of possessions has been overemphasized in your household.
Sorry to sound harsh, but it’s always wise to look inward first to see how well we’re modeling contentment.
6. You feel stressed in your own home.
Your home should be a sanctuary, a place where you can relax and recharge. But if you feel stressed or anxious every time you look around, it might be because the clutter is overwhelming you.
7. You’re constantly organizing and reorganizing.
Organization can only go so far. If you find that no matter how much you organize, things never seem to have a permanent place, it could be a sign that you simply have too much stuff.
As Courtney Carver once said, “If you have to buy stuff to store your stuff, you might have too much stuff.”
8. You don’t use a significant amount of the stuff in your home.
It’s natural that we don’t use every single item in our homes daily. However, if a substantial percentage of your belongings gather dust and are rarely or never used, it’s an indicator that you own too much stuff.
Unused items not only consume physical space but also mental space as they add to the clutter around us and contribute to a sense of disorganization. Remember, the goal is to fill your home with items that serve a purpose and add value to your life, not items that sit idle.
9. You’ve ever said to yourself “I really need to declutter” but haven’t taken action.
If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “I really need to declutter,” but then did nothing about it, consider this a clear sign you own too much stuff.
The reality is that objects never declutter themselves. On the contrary, we tend to accumulate more over time. Inaction only allows the clutter to grow—making the task of decluttering appear even more daunting.
Remember, decluttering is a process, not a one-time event. Start small and start now – your future self will thank you.
10. You often lose items and spend valuable time looking for them.
In a cluttered home, things get lost. And looking for lost items can be a frustrating and time-consuming task. If this is a recurring scenario in your house, you likely have too much stuff.
Recognizing these signs is the first step towards a minimalist lifestyle.
Owning less stuff means more freedom, more space, and more peace. It allows us to live our lives more intentionally and focused on what truly matters.
It’s not always an easy journey, but it’s one that is undoubtedly rewarding.
Remember, the goal isn’t to live with nothing, but to make room for everything that truly enriches your life.