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What is your “stuff” costing you?

We are living in an age where we own loads of “stuff” Our belongings can easily clutter up things if we’re not careful.

We all seem to have all the gadgets to make life easier, and along with these come an array of DVDs, CDs, Games, Clothes and loads of other things to clutter up our homes and our lives.

Items are becoming more and more inexpensive and therefore more disposable, and we have really become a nation of spending and living in the now – rather than necessarily safeguarding the future. Its a scary thought – but what exactly is the cost of owning all this stuff?

What is your clutter costing you? Do you realise that your things cost you, not just financially - find out more here

© Petarneychev |


In previous years people had a lot less. They were still happy, got loads done each day, and life was a lot less fast paced. White goods didn’t exist and there was little technology to speak of.

It was definitely a simpler life, and although technology has helped in making our lives easier (who wants to wash clothes by hand!), we can learn a lot from days gone by.

And it’s not just the obvious financial cost of owning all this stuff, there are so many ways that you are paying for them – have a look through this post and think about what your possessions are costing you – can you afford to have them?

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“Stuff” costs you: Time

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With technology, as said previously, although some items are invaluable at saving time (washing machine, microwave etc..), there are also items that really add to your time wasted as well.

Think about your TV/Stereo/Computer etc… – How much time do you spend on researching a product, buying it, setting it up, learning how it works, maintaining it, cleaning it, fixing it, replacing it etc…. (I’m tired just thinking about it!). Doing all this for every bit of technology in your house – I have roughly estimated we have 30+ – soon adds up.

What else could you have been doing with your time?!

Also, think of all the time you spend simply using technology – Facebook/twitter/watching TV etc… are all mostly wastes of time unless that’s your goal of course and then its time well spent…

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Clothes shopping is usually a mammoth event. Taking days to find the perfect outfit for an event, or simply browsing to find a bargain in the sales.

Fine if you love shopping and it makes you happy – but again you need to ask yourself whether this really is the best use of time for you. As with technology, there are many time sapping events AFTER you have purchased clothes to also think about:-

Washing, Ironing, Mending, Adding more to go with it! etc…. all take time and energy from you every day.

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Everything else

In fact, everything you have takes time to clean, to purchase, to maintain etc…

Did you know that getting rid of excess clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in the average home?- National Soap and Detergent Association.

Sobering thought hey!

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“Stuff” costs you: Space

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Your possessions are also costing you space – both head space and physical space.

Head Space

Having less will create more space for you to breathe.

You will feel calmer, and not have so much TO DO!

Even just having a pile of books on your bedside table that you want to read but haven’t got the time to do so will start to eat away at you over time. Its a constant little voice in your head saying you have failed, even on the tiniest scale, and who wants that in their lives?

Give yourself space for the important things in life instead.

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Physical Space

One of the main reasons people move home is to get more space. They feel that they have outgrown their current house, and that the only way forward is to move.

This is a slippery slope. We usually grow to fill the space we are in, so not only are you spending A LOT by moving house, but you are also spending money moving items that you probably don’y want or need anymore as well.

In my business I stage homes for sale and offer decluttering services also. I have found time and again that once people go through what they actually have in their homes, a lot of it is not required anymore. Once these items are taken away, the house feels so much more spacious, and people can often see that they don’t need to move after all.

As William Morris once said:-

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful

A simple task is to go around your home and ask yourself whether each item is useful, or you love it – and if the answer is no to both, really question whether you should have it in your home after all. You’ll be amazed how much falls into this category! (Also great to ask when shopping to stop you in your tracks!)

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“Stuff” costs you: Money

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Now it kind of goes without saying that your stuff costs you money. Of course it does – every time you buy something you are spending your hard earned cash.

However, what about the less tangible costs of your things? For example – it costs money to:-

  • dry clean your clothes
  • clean and maintain your stuff
  • update and replace items
  • buy storage for your things
  • insuring your items

Just to name a few.

Although some items are cheaper than ever people tend to buy even more as a result – adding further to the clutter in their homes. And as people buy more, they feel they need more, and therefore spend more time at work to pay for everything – its a vicious cycle.

A great eye opener is to look at your non essential spending over a month. Look at what you have spent on items, and what you have also spent on maintaining items that are non essential. What is your figure?

Often its enough to actually spend on something that will make a real difference in your life. Money towards a holiday, to a change of career, to starting a new hobby etc…. – so next time you say you don’t have the money to do something – do you really?!

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So, what’s the solution?

Now, I’m not saying you should live in a white box, all minimalist with nothing to do. Far from it. What I am saying is that actually taking a look at what you are spending your valuable money, time and energy on could well be misplaced.

So, next time you go out and buy some more “stuff” ask yourself the following questions:-

  • Can I afford it?
  • Do I have the time and energy to look after it?
  • Will I use it?
  • Do I really need it?
  • Do I have space for it?

If you have answered “No” to any of these then chances are you should walk away from the purchase and move on.

If it helps, have a list of your goals in your bag/wallet. Take a look at what you could be spending your time, energy, space and money on instead.

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Life doesn’t have to be about “things”

It’s much sweeter when you have what you need and what you love around you – and when its full of experiences, memories and fulfilled goals.

Will you look back and think about your “stuff” or will you think about what you have achieved in your life?

And of course – the last bonus is that with less stuff in your life, you’ll be able to be that bit more organised! (had to get in some organising didn’t I!)

And as William Morris said – if its not useful or beautiful – why is it in your life?!

Your stuff costs you - not only when you buy it - but for so many other reasons - find out more here...



Do you spend too much time / effort / money looking after your stuff? I’d love to know what you think so please leave a comment below…

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