Have you ever wondered if you really have too much stuff? Go through 12 simple questions to determine if you have too much clutter in your home.
It’s 7:45 am and you’re racing out the door to get the kids to school on time only to realize you have no idea where your car keys are?
They’ve disappeared AGAIN!
Frantically searching through your purse, under the piles on the kitchen counter, yelling at your family to help you search, only to locate them ten minutes later in the pocket of your coat you’re wearing.
Does this look or sound all too familiar?
Think you may have a clutter problem but not sure? Determine if you do by HONESTLY asking yourself the following twelve questions:
1. Do I Have Any Clear Counter Space or Table Space?
If you must clear surfaces before you can do anything that can add a lot of extra work to your task. You should have clear surfaces that are designated for doing specific tasks each day. Too much stuff on flat surfaces gives the feeling of a cluttered house.
2. How Long Does It Take to Find Things I Need?
If you spend a lot of time, more than five minutes, searching for items that you need such as your shoes, wallet, keys, hairbrush, and so forth you may have too much stuff piled or cluttered together.
3. Have I Ever Bought a Replacement Then Found the Item Later?
If you’ve done this, it’s likely due to poor organization and an excess of clutter. This is wasting your hard-earned money and can cause a significant amount of anxiety, stress, guilt, and more.
4. Do I Know Where Things Should Be?
You’ve heard the phrase, “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” Everything in your house should have a “home” of it’s own, whether it’s in a specific drawer or in a particular room. You should be able to tell someone where most items can be found in your home.
5. Does Your Family Know Where Things Should Be Kept?
You’re not the only one who should know where things are.
If you have things the entire family uses, everyone should know where those things live. In addition, a firm rule should apply regarding returning items to their proper place immediately after the task or project is finished.
I know with two teenage daughters of my own, this is easier said than done. The other day I went to wrap a birthday present to find the tape and scissors missing. I knew EXACTLY where to look… my youngest daughter’s room. Just as I thought, I found them strewn on the floor next to a papercraft project she had been working on.
6. Do I Own a Storage Unit?
This is not necessarily a sign of clutter on its own; but, combined with other things it can be a huge hint.
Storage units are great for temporary situations like moving or a place to store excess product for a business. In addition, how well you’ve organized the storage unit is an important consideration too. Do you know what’s in there or is it a BIG mystery?
7. Do I Have and Use my Garage for My Car?
If you have a garage but you can’t fit your car in there, you might have too much stuff. Do you have large tools in the way or out-of-season items in there, such as lawn and garden tools or the Christmas tree? You may need to reduce your clutter or organize your items differently.
8. Do I Feel Embarrassed to Invite Company Over?
If your house is so messy and cluttered that you don’t have company over, due to the vast amount of work needed to get things ready and presentable, you may want to consider making decluttering and organizing a priority.
Life is not meant to be spent in isolation but in community with others. Having a decluttered home you’re proud of is a great place to start.
9. Do I Make Excuses About How My House Looks?
If you find yourself making excuses about how your home looks, you might need to address your clutter problem.
Be honest… has the thought crossed your mind about how embarrassed you’d be if rescue or first responders saw your house in this state? Would they even be able to get the gurney or stretcher to you?
It’s time to address your cluttered house and reduce your anxiety and connect with those you care about.
10. Is my Family Embarrassed by the Home?
Has your family expressed feeling embarrassed about their home? Is there an “understanding” among you that guests should be kept away from certain rooms or areas because of the clutter? Does your family play “hide the junk” by hiding things in closets, drawers, or unused rooms rather than putting things in their correct spot on a daily basis?
This is a sure sign that the whole family needs to make changes, which will probably include decluttering.
11. Is My Stuff Stored Carefully, Safely and in a Loving Way?
Many people with clutter will claim that they can’t get rid of the stuff because of its emotional importance.
When things are important, you take care of them.
The problem is that some people confuse valuing items with avoidance to change, so things are often just stacked together haphazardly, rather than carefully protected and stored.
12. Do I Feel Uncomfortable in My Home?
When you’re all alone in your home how do you feel about it? Are you able to get comfortable? Do you feel safe, cozy, and at ease? Or do you feel stressed out about all that needs to be done?
Next Steps if You Have Too Much Stuff:
So how did you do? How many signs can you relate to? These signs of too much stuff may not be cause for concern if you only have one or two of these issues.
However, if you have three or more, you may want to check out my Decluttering with Ease guide to help you get started with decluttering. It goes over my top three decluttering questions and addresses the emotional items as well.
Decluttering your home will improve your own life and possibly people around you, without even realizing it. Download my FREE guide and get started today.