The Emotional Toll of ‘Stuff’

For a moment, imagine that there is string connecting your body to every single thing around you. Seriously, look around you. If you’re in your office, allow yourself to see every piece of furniture, trinket, picture, file, electronic device, and piece of paper. Think about your kitchen, bedroom, living room, dining room, and storage spaces, and all of the stuff in them. Think, if you dare, about the hundreds of little things in your bathroom.

Now, visualize the energetic connection between every single one of those things and your body. There’s a hook in you and a hook in each of those things, and the invisible link between you is very real… and it makes a huge difference in how you feel every single day.

We are connected to our stuff. Our environment affects us in very tangible ways–most importantly, in our energy levels. Every minute of every day, some part of our brain power is being used to keep tabs on that stuff. On some level, we are always remembering that it’s there, wondering what’s going to happen with it, worrying about finding time to tend it or use it or put it where it belongs.

Even if it’s not something we have to “do” something with (like pay a bill or make a phone call or run an errand), it has to be maintained (cleaned, dusted, organized, etc.). This stuff takes up space in our heads. And this stuff takes up space in our hearts, too.

There is little in our world that has a neutral affect on us. Almost everything either lifts us up or drags us down. We experience either an energetic boost or a drain because of what we have around us. It affects the way that we feel.

For example, when I go into my kitchen and see my rice cooker, I get a boost. I use it regularly to prepare life-affirming foods for my family. But when I go into the kitchen and my awareness settles on the fondue pot, it resonates differently. We’ve only used it once, and it’s sitting there taking up very coveted space in a tiny kitchen. The only things I know to make with it are fun, but they aren’t so healthy, and that’s always on my mind.

My point is that our stuff affects us, directly, and it’s time for us to start recognizing it. Recognition is this week’s theme in my Clean Slate: Moving From Chaos to Clarity class and I’m inviting you to accept the challenge, too.

Spend this week noticing the way your stuff makes you feel. I want you to open your eyes and your mind and your heart and really feel the way you experience your environment. If you’re away from home, notice your energy level before you go back, then check in again when you walk in the front door. Does “home” feel good to you? Does your bedroom feel restful and relaxing? Does your kitchen feel like you want your body to feel?

Notice the way your space makes you feel.

Of course, we’re also taking lots of action this week, but this journey is not just about cleaning the house or making things look pretty, it’s about freeing ourselves. We are freeing ourselves from the endless to-do list, from the indecision and overwhelm that used to leave us paralyzed. That old, stuck life is over. We are taking action. We are stepping into our power. Everything is different now.

By making decisions about the stuff in our space–releasing that which no longer serves us–we go beyond aesthetic improvements. We cut ties with those things that hold us back, that drain our energy, that are no longer supportive of who we are today. And in doing so, we allow our environment to align with our current selves, and we make space for more of what we need and desire to flow into our lives.

The connection between our inner world and our environment is real. If your life doesn’t feel like you want it to, now is the time to release, release, release.
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Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe2 years ago

My problem is that I need the energy to get things ready and have a huge yard sale to get rid of some of our stuff.

Deborah W.
Deborah W.2 years ago

This is how hoarders began. "Stuff" is what memories are made of. At annual housecleaning time you may be surprised, on digging in, to see what was once thought important can now be tossed, having been replaced by better memories or no longer useful to your current flow. Worth revisiting ...

Suzanne B.
Suzanne B.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing this!

Denise Morley
Denise Morley2 years ago

Thank you so much!

Aileen P.
Aileen P.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal2 years ago

Releasing---letting go----decluttering sure frees up clarity! I am ready to move to another location and I sure don't want to pack all my stuff with me that will stay in boxes or brings my energy level down.

GGma Sheila D.
GGmaSheila D.2 years ago

Ahhh - back to my organized chaos. For the most part my stuff makes me comfortable - maybe not visitors, but who cares about their comfort?? I have to live with my fabrics, threads, yarns, books, and more books. My dust bunnies seem just fine.

The only thing I HATE is having to dust all my cat knick-knacks. That's where my good feelings are lost. Several times I thought about boxing them all up - where to put the boxes?? Of course, when I see an adorable little kitty statue, or bookmark, or pin, or....yup, have to get it! Just added a new stuffed baby tiger with those big eyes. Couldn't leave it in the store to languish, wishing for a home with others just like it!

Lynn C.
Lynn c.2 years ago


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener2 years ago

It can clutter up the mind.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)