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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Barlow

The Psychology of Stuff

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

Emotional attachments and aversions to all things tangible.

Maya Angelou famously said “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote does so well to show how long and how deeply we hold #emotional attachments in life.

Curiously, we do the same to the many items that we keep within our spaces. We rarely take the time to listen to those feelings about our #stuff or to identify how much they could be affecting our moods. Just as you can feel joy wearing your grandmother’s heirloom pearls, you can also feel guilt, disgust, anger, or sadness when you walk past a gift from an ex-partner or a shirt that you wore the day you suffered a loss. Be sure to look around closely the next time you suddenly go from feeling joyful to angry, for you may not be aware of the quick changes that objects can have on your wellbeing. By simply walking past them, you can be triggering memories that hang with you all day. When you return home and see the stuff again, it triggers it anew. By processing these tangible emotional #triggers, aka your stuff, you can learn to filter and only bring into your space the items that instantly bring you #joy, #calm, and #happiness.


Your Joyful Space provides a method of decluttering that is fundamentally different from others in the way that it addresses the cause--emotions. The emotions that are attached to your tangible goods, emotions that cause repetitive buying decisions, and the emotions that prevent you from taking the action needed to improve things on your own.


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