Why Too Much Storage Can Be a Bad Thing and What To Do About It

It’s not uncommon for people to accumulate stuff faster than we can find uses for them. It’s just a part of consumerism and we’re all guilty of it at some point. But it’s not really a problem when we have big houses with lots of storage space, right?

From closets and cabinets to lots of differently-sized storage boxes, baskets, and bins, the market is flooded with options to help us manage our belongings. However, there’s a growing concern that our obsession with storage might be a bad thing. So in this post, we’re going to be talking about why too much storage is a bad thing and what you can do about it.

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Storage is kind of an illusion of organization

One of the most popular storage solutions is having shelves with drawers. It’s a neat and tidy way to keep all of our belongings out of sight, but what happens if we open those drawers?

Yep–that’s right. It’s full of junk, useless things that we probably don’t need, and it’s likely a huge mess. Leave those drawers for a few years and you’ll probably get lots of dust building up, they might have so much stuff that by the time you actually try to search for something, you’ll need to dig out everything just to reach the bottom.

This is hardly organization, but it’s something that a lot of people seem to do. After all, if something is out of sight and out of mind, then it helps us feel better about our organization and clutter. Storage furniture tends to encourage us to stash away items without really assessing what their value is or if they’re necessary. So instead of decluttering, organizational furniture like this is really just encouraging us to hide the things that we can’t be bothered to sort or find a use for. This ultimately leads to an overaccumulation of stuff–items that are stored away forever and often forgotten.

And as you might expect, when it comes time that we actually need those things, we can’t find them. This leads to purchasing the same things, and then we probably end up forgetting the new items we purchased too. We stuff those in a box or bin, and then we forget about it, and the cycle continues.

The need to fill every storage space we have

We also can’t ignore the inclination that everyone has to fill storage space. When we have a lot of storage, we find ourselves trying to fit things in those spaces. We’re compelled to hold onto things that we might not need because we have so much storage space, so what does it matter if we just leave a few boxes in a drawer or on a shelf? We might not need those items, but there’s no harm in keeping them around because we have the space–right?

This is sadly the pit that a lot of people dig themselves into. People often overlook that this type of thinking is quite destructive, leading to an overabundance of stuff in the house and building up bad habits that prevent us from truly departing with our junk.

The financial and environmental cost of too much storage

And lastly, we can’t forget about the costs of investing in storage furniture, boxes, and other organizational items. Not only does this start to take a toll on our wallets, but it also has an environmental impact that we can’t escape. Think about the production of the item, the transportation, and eventually the disposal. It all contributes to our ecological footprint, and it could potentially be avoided if we just avoided keeping so many items in the first place.

The psychological toll of too much storage

But beyond just the physical clutter that we see, excessive storage solutions can even cause mental stress.

  • A false sense of accomplishment is also a problem. When your space looks clean and tidy, you feel accomplished like you achieved something. But the reality is that there’s an underlying issue of having too many items that you haven’t addressed.
  • Feeling attached to your possessions can also foster an unhealthy attachment to your goods. Knowing that you have space to store things makes it harder to let go of certain items. This leads to a perpetual cycle of accumulation which leads to mental stress.

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Advice on how to manage your storage and avoid having too much

So how do you strike a balance between functional storage and overindulging? Here are a couple of helpful tips:

Invest in quality storage over quantity

Before you decide to invest in even more storage furniture such as shelves and boxes, consider getting something that’s more practical and higher quality first. A great example would be to look at shelving bays from Tufferman shelving and other similar stores. These are extremely sturdy, can be dismantled whenever you don’t need them, and come in flexible shapes and sizes to make them fit into any space that you have.

This helps you maximize the amount of storage space that you have, but it also gives you a quality solution that will last forever assuming you take good care of it. It’s not like a shelf that’s stuck in place in your home, and it’s not as susceptible to damage either. In short, you’re getting a fantastic product that will last a really long time, and it’s better than investing in wasteful storage furniture that will break apart in a year.

Be more mindful about what you buy

It’s really hard to be mindful about your purchases, but it’s important to at least try. Think about the necessity and value of items before purchasing. Do you already have something that can do the task? Do you really need single-use appliances? Is a small upgrade really worth the environmental impact?

These are the types of important questions to ask yourself. They can help you reduce the amount of clutter in your home, and they can help you save a lot of money.

Try to declutter on a regular basis

Regular decluttering is essential for maintaining tidy and organized spaces. Before investing in new storage solutions and furniture, take time to go through your belongings and remove items you no longer need or use. This helps you reassess the value of what you own and stops you from buying an unnecessary amount of things that’ll just end up being stored away in the future anyway.

A practical strategy is the one-in, one-out rule: for every new item you bring into your home, let go of an existing one. This habit not only controls clutter but also encourages mindful consumption, ensuring that your space remains manageable and your storage solutions are genuinely useful. You can even profit from this by selling your older unwanted items, allowing you to recuperate some of the costs of the old item if you decide to upgrade or buy something newer in the future.

Some final words

While storage solutions can undeniably help manage our belongings, an excess of them can ironically lead to more clutter, both physical and mental. By adopting a balanced approach and prioritizing mindful consumption and regular decluttering, we can truly create spaces that are organized and functional instead of routinely stuffing things in a self-storage container just to hide the clutter.

Just remember that less really is more when it comes to storage.

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