Your Relationship with Stuff (and how to change it)

When it comes to relationships, one of the most important and least considered is our relationship with stuff.

Stuff is all around us on a daily basis. Buying new stuff is easy to do and we have become increasingly desensitized to it. We place less and less value on the things we already own and often purchase more than we need which contributes to the endless cycle of consumption and waste.

I recently read the popular book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. In her book, she describes a step-by-step method to organize your stuff and how it can change your life.

Your Relationship with StuffThe KonMari method encourages you to go through your stuff and ask yourself “Does it spark joy?”. It may sound silly at first but your reaction to each item tells the story. If you feel joy or have a positive reaction, you should keep it. If you have a negative reaction, it should be eliminated. This way, you will be surrounded by only positive things that create positive energy.
Her method encourages you to take a closer look at your relationship with stuff. Why bother hanging onto something if it does not serve a purpose or bring you joy? As you start attaching feelings to your stuff, it becomes more than just stuff. If it is in your space, it should be useful or be something you love.

When you do decide to let go of something, Marie Kondo also says that you should thank the item for serving and supporting you. This is an important step in the process because it forces you to make it personal. It also supports recycling as much as possible since your stuff may still be useful to someone else.

The next step is to organize your stuff so that it evokes positive feelings in your space. When you do not take care of your stuff, or leave it in piles on the floor, it can cause you to feel overwhelmed or out of control. Marie Kondo even has special folding techniques to help keep items visible and make your drawers look tidy. If you treat your stuff well it will bring joy for years to come. If you treat it poorly it comes at a cost, both physically and emotionally.

By going through this process you start to radically improve your relationship with stuff. When you are out shopping you will think twice before bringing more stuff home and are less likely to make impulse purchases. It starts with feeling better about yourself and your surroundings, then moves into other areas of your life as well. Your home will feel more serene and comfortable and you will truly feel the “life-changing magic of tidying up”!

About Author: Linda Andersson
Executive Organizer and Microsoft Office Specialist Master

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