I’m a person who likes background noise while I work, so I tend to turn the TV on when I’m writing. One of my latest fascinations is the show Hoarding: Buried Alive.

For those who have not seen the show, each episode profiles two people who have a problem with hoarding. These people’s homes are basically uninhabitable, because there is stuff piled everywhere. The homes are health hazards, as there is no way to effectively clean around the junk, not to mention the fire hazards the piles of stuff create. And most importantly, these people are losing their relationships with their families, as the families can’t handle the hoarding problem.

Hoarding is an extreme example, but even on smaller levels, “stuff” has a price. Too much stuff can cost you in several areas.


Financial Costs

Stuff costs money. First you have to buy the stuff. Then you have to store the stuff. When you add it all up, how much does it cost?

Eight years ago we moved 100 miles down the road from a small house to an even smaller duplex. For the first couple of years we rented a storage unit for our excess stuff. And for what? We never went to the storage unit. We never used our stuff. Fortunately we wised up and downsized our stuff, and at the same time downsized our monthly expenses.

Cost of Time

Stuff takes time to manage. When you have stuff cluttering your house, it takes longer to clean and dust your house. When your stuff is unorganized, it takes time to find things.

Too much stuff can also cause trouble with decision making. For instance, if you have an excess of clothing, how long does it take to figure out what to wear? To properly care for the clothes?

Health Costs

In serious situations, too much stuff can cause health problems. Clutter can provide a safe haven for bugs and rodents, neither of which you really want living in your house.

For those with indoor allergies, too much stuff can exacerbate the problem.

Relationship Costs

Finally, too much stuff can put a strain on your relationships. Couples can argue over the financial problems caused by buying too much stuff or the state of cleanliness in the house with too much stuff.

I tend to be a bit of a clutterbug, and at one time or another I’ve experienced costs in time, money, and family harmony. Getting rid of the clutter and leading a simple life saves more than just money. It saves time, unneeded stress, and day to day sanity.

Photo by Disposable Dreams.