Too Much Stuff

Happy Friday, everyone!  As we settle into our new apartment, a feeling has been growing: we just have too much stuff.  It's rather sad considering how much we have gotten rid of this year, but after two moves and two garage sales, there's still not room for everything, but more importantly we're wondering why we have all this "everything" in the first place!

I imagine this is an issue for many thrifters and resellers out there, because we are constantly buying and selling awesome items, and we tend to hang on to our favorite things... and then our collection of favorite things becomes just too darn much.  For us, it seems to be mostly small things, so we end up with rows and piles of cool little items cluttering our space.

Exhibit A:

This is our kitchen windowsill.  It's not so bad, but must we really fill every little available space?  We often go though our things in an effort to pare down, but then when we consider each item, we love them all and can't bring ourselves to let very much go!

Exhibit B:

This is the top of Chris's dresser.  The boy has a problem.  He has been collecting small cool items for far too long, and as much as he wants to be a minimalist in theory, it's just not working in reality.  I'll be the first to admit that I tend toward maximalism--I call it organized clutter--but Chris definitely has a small things hoarding issue.  Let's put it this way: I'm right there with him in getting attached to all our awesome little things, but the majority of the stuff actually belongs to Chris :)

Exhibit C:

I'm looking at that shelf filled with random decor items (there's an older version of this picture with even more stuff in this post).  We sold a few things at our most recent yard sale (including our Fisher Price light up globe!), and I tried to organize it a little, but it still just looks like chaos. We bought this IKEA shelf for our last kitchen, where it stored all our dishes since we didn't have enough cabinet space; we were pleased to find that the shelf fit perfectly in this corner of the new apartment, but it is in desperate need of a better purpose, or at least better styling.

That's all I took pictures of, but there is more.  Oh, is there more... I'm mostly concerned with all the decor stuff, but there's also our whole second bedroom filled to the brim with storage.  I think most of that stuff is justifiable, though it could take some refining: we both have all our stuff from childhood--like school stuff, photo albums, etc that will go in our future attic or basement--as well as camping stuff, skiing stuff, other sporting stuff, art supplies, all our old paintings and photographs, winter clothes (we need to figure out how much of those clothes we actually need to keep now that we live in CA), Etsy items, packaging materials for said Etsy items, oof.  That's a lot.

So what can we do?!  Chris has decided that since we have so many more spiders here than on the East Coast, they would have fewer places to hide in our apartment (and thus be easier for him to remove) if we had less clutter.  I find that reasoning rather amusing.  But I do agree that we need to find a way to pare down.  I don't want to be defined by what I own, and though I don't think of myself as a materialistic person, I'm starting to feel that maybe I'm just fooling myself.

Ok, friends, we need advice!  How do you (do you?) pare down your possessions?  Do you have rules for how much of what you thift you can keep?  How do you keep hoarding tendencies at bay?  Let's brainstorm some healthy practices!


  1. I have this same problem! Some stuff I love, but I don't really use, or it's sentimental but it never sees the light of day. When I take all of that into consideration it makes it a little easier to part with stuff. But it's hard! And there have been several times when I suddenly realized the perfect use for something I'd already parted with!!

  2. Feel free to send everything on to Dallas! :)
    Ok, but in all seriousness, I have this problem too. I tend to buy things to resell that I love. But that's a problem, because I love them and therefore want to keep them! I've pretty much made a rule that if I find something and really want to keep it, I have to trade it out for something I own. It's working pretty well. My gallery wall in my bedroom changes occasionally whenever I find something new that I love. It keeps it interesting!
    I have a little bit of a harder time obeying that rule with knick-knacks though. When I noticed that they were multiplying I had to force myself to put a few in my booth. But I will keep things for awhile to enjoy before selling them! I figure that's the best of both worlds. Once I stop appreciating something or noticing it everyday, I sell it. Keeps the clutter at bay and I'm much less sad to see things go.
    I kind of feel like I'm rambling here - apparently I shouldn't try to type cohesive sentences when I'm sleep deprived, but hopefully you got the gist of it!

  3. I think you're totally right, it is a problem that all of us thrifters deal with. The compulsion to hoard is great! I just try really hard to make sure that only my most favorite things are out. If I only kind of love it, then its out of here! I also make sure that I rotate all the time. I'll keep it for a bit, then send it on it's way to the booth or to Etsy. It's really hard, but it is the only way I keep from being featured on an episode of Hoarders... or Snapped. : )

  4. Oooh, this is my favorite topic, practically an obsession lately. I'm going through every inch of the house, even tossed 75% of my wardrobe and I get happier and happier each time. You'll be shocked at how freeing it is. I didn't think I was materialistic, or that we had to much stuff, but I cringe at the thought of having even a portion of what we've tossed back.

    My favorite place for inspiration and advice is www.theminimalists.com, followed by www.becomingminimalist.com. Keep us updated!


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