Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

Too many possessions



clutter photo

Too many possessions

I am moving to a new home in two weeks. The process of packing up boxes and preparing for the move has made me realise that I have too many possessions. It made me wonder why I have managed to accumulate so much clutter over the past few years. A lot of it unnecessary in life. It has been a good excuse to get of a few things and I am clearly on the right path to minimising all the junk I have around me.

Some of the purchases have been emotional buys – when I have been feeling down or lacking in some ways, it always lifts my spirit a little. Some have been practical buys – stuff I thought I needed but didn’t really use in the end.

Too much clutter confuses the mind and can exhaust you. Each day, as I have packed more things away into boxes, I have noticed nooks and crannies where I have forgotten to pack items. It sounds melodramatic but it is a draining feeling – the idea that I have to lug all this stuff around with me. It has helped me to aspire to living with less and being much happier for it.

What about your home – is it cluttered? Start doing a little every week – find 5-10 items that you can either sell, give to charity or take to the local dump and follow through with it. A clean simple house leads to a clean uncluttered mind.

Researchers at Yale  noticed two areas of the brain that are associated with pain known as the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula. These areas light up when we let go of items we own and feel a connection towards.

This is the same area that lights up when we feel physical pain from a pinch or from touching something that’s too hot. Our brain views the loss of one of our valued possessions as the same as something that causes physical pain.

It has been proven that clutter and too many possessions compete with your attention and make it harder for you to focus on one thing at a time.I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the amount of times I have gone to fetch something in between working and then realised the plants need watering, that some ornaments have dust (then dusting them and wasting even more time etc) or some other distraction has slowed my work progress down.

Too many possessions overload your senses, leading to stress and less creativity.

Having to-do items constantly floating around in your head or hearing  pings and  vibrations from your mobile phone every few minutes means that your brain doesn’t get a chance to fully enter creative flow or process experiences. When your brain has too much to process, it splits its power up and as a result becomes less efficient at filtering info, switching efficiently between tasks and maintaining a strong working memory.

Too much digital stuff has the same effect on your brain as physical clutter. Of course, if you personally love clutter and find that it stimulates you and works for you the that overrides any negative effects.

I think too many possessions is a bad thing for me personally and I will be working to decrease the amount of clutter I have on a regular basis…Here’s to a life free of baggage 🙂

Mandy X


Photo by spykster