Our society has a clutter problem. At least one study reveals that the average size of the American home has nearly tripled over the past 50 years; it now stands at 2,349 sq. feet, and every inch of many homes is filled with lots of stuff. Larger homes are being built every day to house greater and greater amounts of stuff.
Whether it’s a mansion in the gated neighborhoods or a cozy house in the burbs, the move towards larger homes and more stuff has been accelerating for years. But does having a bigger house and more stuff translate to a happier life? Unfortunately, pursuing more stuff has a reverse effect on people’s happiness. There is a direct correlation between clutter and being overwhelmed with anxiety, depression and isolation. Instead of making us happier, more stuff seems to drag us down in the pits.
Read on to learn about what we do for stuff and why it’s about time we learn to share.
The Stuff Problem
It may be controversial to say out loud, but advertising messages and marketing manipulation is why most people are consumed by stuff. Jen Heard, a Professional Organizer and Owner of Clean Sweep Consulting, Inc., says that while working with an ad agency in her early career, she was amazed at how much marketing research and focus group testing was done for one measly product. She says that ads were invented to manipulate the buying process and impact people to a high degree, so they would be hoodwinked into buying things they don’t need or even want.
Not only do people have too much stuff, but they are also attached to it. In 2018, when Jen was delivering a presentation to a local active senior group, she met a lady who disclosed that she was frustrated because of her partner. The lady said her partner wouldn’t travel with her, not because he didn’t want to, but because he had to take care of his “things”. This situation was sad for her and him. The lady went on to say that she realized later that the man struggled with a fear of intimacy, fear of fun, and fear of the unknown. Jen says that this particular man’s excuse was one she got to hear repeatedly from one client after the other.
Learning to Share
Jen has a concept known as #Lovebigger (™). She teaches others that you can love bigger by taking action and donating your unused stuff to charity. When we share, we declutter our homes and minds from items that distract us from our vision for our lives.
Giving away unused stuff is more than just purging your closet or pantry. It’s about service, and Jen is an entrepreneur who’s all too familiar with the blessing of serving others. She says, “I know what it’s like to need help and receive help from the community at large, which is part of why I’m passionate about serving my community with Love Bigger.” The concept of love bigger is about sustainably giving away unused stuff to charity. This action helps you find clarity about what you value. You get to create a vision to support that value, act upon it, and help others in the community win the battles they’re facing.
If you want to help others while at the same time clarifying your priorities and figuring out your relationship with things, the best way is by reducing your attachment to stuff. Are you ready to get started? Check out the Clean Sweep Consulting website for organizing and consulting support. You can also click here to become part of the Love Bigger Movement.