When You Have More Things Than You Need

Look around your life and ask yourself if you have more things than you need. I have a wonderful problem to have. I have more than I need.  As we have all been inundated over the weekend with deals of the century and can’t miss sales, I have been facing a topic that has been on my mind for several months. I am blessed to  have it. However, I have more than I need.   My home is furnished. James and I laugh that my closet is the size of a tiny house. I own more designer purses than I actually use. My kitchen is stocked with food and the necessary (and unnecessary) appliances and my car is only a year old. Am I spoiled? Have I been privileged? As with everything, that would depend upon perspective. I was not raised to always expect what I wanted. However, I was the only granddaughter on my Mother’s side of the family and reaped the rewards of this status.  My family did teach me the value of waiting and wanting. I was  always lucky enough that my Santa and birthday lists were always complete. After my Dad’s death, we were fortunate enough to be financially comfortable and my Mom saw to it that we had everything that we needed. My brother and I were the teenagers who both received cars at 16 and neither of us had to work while we were in school. Although my brother and I were still taught to appreciate material items, I also realize that a pattern developed in regards to our wants. Items came more often and although we were missing our Dad, we didn’t have to miss out on other things. Like many in the world, I know the power of how acquiring a new item can improve a bad moment or day. Hanging in my closet is the dress I purchased after multiple failed IUI treatments (I remember standing in front of that mirror thinking if I couldn’t be pregnant, at least I could look good),  the Pottery Barn office chair came after the miscarriage (the office was meant to be the nursery), the beautiful green Coach purse and matching wallet was my purchase after my Mom’s death (truly one of my favorite purchase but certainly not needed) and there has likely been more than one shoe purchase that truly didn’t need to be made (but one can’t miss the sale). My husband and I have worked for the things that we have. The formal dining room was purchased with my first paycheck from adjunct teaching and we’ve waited and researched items such as our tv’s and electronics. We hope to someday complete the landscaping in our back yard.  Nonetheless, we have more than we need.  I was selective in what I acquired from my Mom’s and Nanny’s homes after their deaths. As our home was furnished, most of the items I chose were sentimental or smaller additions which added to a room. There were a few things I wasn’t ready to part with. Thus, I packed them up and placed them in storage. Many of those same boxes continue to sit where I placed them two years ago. They sit in the boxes because we have more than we need and they are not needed.  I regularly purge my life of items that are no longer used. I attempt to donate clothing out of my closet when I purchase something new and I’ve begun to go through my kitchen cabinets for items that simply sit and have no meaning or use. As I love to decorate, the problem has become my increased home decorating section in my storage closet. Some items I have been able to sale or donate but there are far more that I continue to hold onto because “Someday I might use it again.” As I have always practiced gratitude, I do not feel guilty in regards to the position that I am in. However, I am beginning to approach the way that I live in a different manner. My home is not cluttered but I am have become aware of the abundance. In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo encourages her clients to look at every item and ask the question if it brings joy. As I’ve begun to view my life with this consideration, it has helped me to let go of those items for “someday.”  My hope for myself as I prepare for 2016 is that I will fill my life with individuals and items which bring me joy. I have shoes that have been worn only once or twice and there are electronics that are no longer used. I’m certain there is a kitchen appliance or two that is rarely used.  The feel good emotions of those purchases has passed. It’s time I make changes. Don’t expect me to be moving into a tiny house or suddenly developing a capsule wardrobe (although I think both are admirable, I am being realistic about myself). Additionally, I do not feel I could take the challenge of not purchasing clothes for a whole year. However, I feel I can become more aware of  what I am acquiring. If I have more than enough, I DO NOT need more.  This is a topic I will return to in the coming month and I hope you will join the conversation.

So tell me, do you have more than you need? 

Sheryl Signature (1)

Joining Emily’s Grateful Heart Monday as I’m grateful to be able to state I have more than I need.

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41 Comments

  1. Meagan on November 30, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I absolutely have more than I need. So do my kids. I was raised never wanting – and although I know how amazing that is, it doesn’t help with shopping now. I’m interested to see where this topic goes – I’d love to change this part of me!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:51 am

      Let’s see if we can work on it together! I’m the same way as you and I know how fortunate I am. I’ve just begun to question how much do I truly need of the things that I do have.

  2. Crystal @ Dreams, etc. on November 30, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Great post! I have more than I need, too. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately and really trying to cut down on what I buy. I decided to work on a capsule wardrobe, and while I’m not as intentional about it as some people, I just keep numbers down. If there’s an item of clothing that I absolutely have to have, I get rid of another piece just like it to make room, so that often means I don’t buy new clothes unless something has worn out. I like it so much more that way and it makes getting ready so much easier! Less to choose from. 🙂

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:50 am

      I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and the reality is I only wear a handful of pieces over and over most of the time. I think that being mindful about it is the first step.

  3. Kim Munoz on November 30, 2015 at 10:39 am

    If we have more of anything, its electronics. Its our downfall. I grew up watching all the other kids have new things, and I got handme downs. Not that there is anything wrong with that but one time my dad bought me boy pants because they were 2 for 1 and my older brother and I wore the same size. To this day, I have the minimum when it comes to clothes. I hate buying and trying them on. My boys have enough. They will tell everyone otherwise though! LOL

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Oh yes, children will always want more! I’m impressed that you can have the minimum and would love to have a smaller wardrobe (someday). My husband also has a variety of electronics and that is his downfall.

  4. Rachel @ STCL on November 30, 2015 at 11:42 am

    This is sucha great post. I definitely have more than I need! I’m planning to do a big purge at the end of the year and hope to be more mindful about the things I purchased and bring into my home in the coming year.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Thanks Rachel. I think the end of the year is a great time to do a purge and start the new year with a different perspective.

  5. Chrissy Z. on November 30, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Love this – and I guess most of us have so much more than we need! I just cleaned out all our closets and put together bags of clothes for the refugees that are located in our hometown at the moment!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:47 am

      I did the same thing with my own closet a few weeks ago and it felt so good. The sad thing is I could probably do more purging. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Emily @ Ideas of Emily on November 30, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve been hearing a lot about that book lately so I think I need to read it. I LOVE the idea of looking at each item and saying, “does this bring me joy?” It reminds me of what one of my friends’ moms would do. When my friend was having trouble deciding what clothes to buy at the store, her mom would hold up each thing and say, “do you love it?” And if my friend hesitated in saying that she loved it, her mom would say, “I don’t think we should get this then.” I’ve always tried to have that philosophy when shopping. But I still have quite a few things (especially clothes) that I don’t use. I’m getting ready to move to a new house, so I’m going to try to donate quite a few things that I don’t wear anymore. I really don’t want to bring that clutter to my new place if I can help it. That’s hard for me to do, because I’ve always struggled with the whole “maybe I’ll wear/use it again someday” thing. But I’d rather have things that bring me joy than things that cause me stress because they’re cluttering up my house. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:46 am

      I’m so glad you stopped by Emily! Moving to a new house is the best time to purge and let go of what doesn’t make you happy. I was able to do that during our last move (5 years ago) and I loved that at one time I had a few spaces and shelves that were empty. I have not completely read the whole book but I do love the part about asking if something brings joy. If it doesn’t at first, it probably never will!

  7. Kim on November 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I definitely have more than I need. I love what you said about “fill my life with individuals and items which bring me joy.” I totally agree with this!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Thanks Kim. I think many of us are not surrounded by joy and we need to think why we are not.

  8. Bourbon & Lipstick on November 30, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    You always know what I need to hear. I’m definitely one of those “shop on a bad day” kind of gals. In fact, I’ve purchased a Starbucks advent calendar, 3 candles, and two shirts for myself today… just being honest! We both work hard, too, and sometimes I try to justify that thought with having more. We could make do with less. I’d really love to purge my closets at the beginning of the year. We have a 3 bedroom house and sometimes it seems to small… and it’s just us. Sorry for writing a novel, friend!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:43 am

      You NEVER have to apologize!! I’ve done the exact same things that you did yesterday. I’ve also thought to myself “we work hard, we deserve it.” There’s nothing wrong with feeling that way, we just have to watch how often we say it to ourselves. I think sometimes I’ve said it more often than I should. I’m just needing to be more mindful of what I am acquiring. XOXO

  9. Heather Jost | Here & There on November 30, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I like the realist approach you have about this – normally I only see really extreme examples of simplifying but you seem to be thinking about it from a bunch of different angles.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Thank you Heather. I am realistic that I love nice clothes and shoes and I know I’m not going to stop shopping but I want to be mindful about my purchases. Additionally, I feel it’s important to acknowledge that I love my home and it makes me happy – thus, I have no desire to move to a smaller space. I feel iit’s important to be realistic. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Michelle on November 30, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I most certainly have more than I need. I’m not one that acquires things. It really has to be a need or something I wait a bit on then decide if I still “want” it. After you clean out the homes of relatives that have passed and see the unnecessary things, it makes you come back and do inventory of what we consider needs in our own homes. I think most people have to much stuff.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:39 am

      After dealing with two estates of homes that had been lived in for 30 years, I did start looking at my own lifestyle in a different manner. There are many things that bring me joy but many more that simply take up space.

  11. Liz Jo on November 30, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    I believe we all have too much and more than we need. I think that it’s good for all us to just sit down and really remove the things we don’t need in life. I’m trying to do that now in our lives. While I do wish we could live simply, we could definitely live simpler.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:37 am

      I agree with what you have said here Liz. I think we make our lives more complicated than they need to be and that we can truly live simpler with fewer things.

  12. Anne @ Love the Here and Now on December 1, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I think so many of us have so much more than we need and many of our purchases are simply done because we want them or feel we deserve them. I can’t wait to follow along with this as you delve deeper into it because I am 100% guilty of the same things you mentioned above.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:53 am

      I will be glad to have you along for the journey! Lindsay and I were just talking about how many of our purchases are because we feel we deserve them. I’m not sure where I will be going with this but I know it’s something I need to look into more.

  13. Kelsey Miklos on December 1, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I love this so much, and it is exactly what I needed today. I get into “shopping” modes when I am feeling unfulfilled, and today I am having one of those days, so this was a wonderful reminder. I have always been so grateful for everything I have, and work to serve others, but it’s so easy to get carried away sometimes. Thanks for the book recommendation, I think I’ll be looking it up here soon.

    Xox
    http://www.candidlykelseyblog.com

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      I’m so glad you stopped by Kelsey!! I so understand the “shopping’ mode and those days all too well. I can’t speak for the whole book (and some people think it is extreme) but I feel that there are wonderful parts to it, especially the part about asking if things bring joy. So glad to have connected.

  14. Jessica Hughes on December 1, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I definitely need to get rid of many things! Much needed post.

  15. Annette G on December 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Doing the same thing here. As a product of the 70’s and 80’s it’s a challenge to not want to “keep” but I am taking a cue from my minimalist daughter!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      I know it’s hard to stop “keeping things” but we have to remember that the memories are still there. We don’t need the items to access them. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Annette G on December 2, 2015 at 8:20 pm

        Absolutely! Thanks Sheryl!

  16. Chelle @ Blogs Like a Girl on December 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Loving this post. I used to be such a big fan of black friday but this year? I just went and picked up some cat food on sale and some small presents for love ones. I spent maybe four dollars on myself. It was nice.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 2, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Good for you! It feels nice to only buy what you need. We did go to the mall on Saturday but I found nothing that I wanted (or needed).

  17. Jess on December 4, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Great post Sheryl. I can certainly relate. Back when I had more free time, I used to shop to distract myself from my anxiety. Now I just do it online. I’m 100% more mindful of what I’m buying than I used to be, but I’m more aware of the shopping high too. That it’s just fleeting and that I really don’t “need” the things I think I do. Now it’s just a matter of putting that mindset into action I guess…

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 5, 2015 at 7:36 am

      It takes time to put things into action! I always state that being aware is the first step. Once we have done that, we can begin to make changes that we need. It’s a process.

  18. Emily @ Ember Grey. on December 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Great post. I have moved a lot in the last 7 years (6 times, to be exact) and have loved purging things in each move… it just feels good to get rid of all the stuff that sits in boxes or are simply taking up space without holding any meaningful value. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of what I need vs what I want.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 5, 2015 at 7:35 am

      I believe we all are becoming more aware. I was so happy when we moved into our current home 5 years ago and I have spaces in cabinets and closets that were empty. Sadly, that is no more and I want to go back to that time. Purging things can be therapeutic.

  19. Gina Soldano-Herrle on December 5, 2015 at 1:28 am

    This is a great post and a topic that has been on my mind frequently. I too like to sort through things and pare down what I have. I feel like I have too much sometimes. It’s a great way to look at it with that question “does it bring joy.” I might have to take a closer look at what I have and ask myself that as I think my husband and I will be moving to a smaller space next year. But, I like the idea of only adding individuals and items that add joy to my life.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on December 5, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Thank You Gina. I feel we all need to have more joy in our lives and acquiring material things are not and will not bring it. A move is a perfect time to sort through what no longer brings you joy.

  20. jackie jade on December 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I definitely feel the same way a lot – I can get caught up in thinking I need new stuff, but we definitely have more than we need. I have been trying to go through things a few times a year to give away or donate. It helps with the clutter but also helps me feel better being able to give back too.

  21. Rachael | The Rachael Way on December 6, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Great post and insight. I find myself thinking I need more, more, more, but really I don’t. Frankly, I need less!!

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