Regulars and Shorts


By Staff

Your relationship with stuff—and how the stuff affects your relationships!
by Marla Dee

Let’s get real right now. I challenge you to be honest with yourself as you read. Then get ready for a change to happen. I am here to tell the truth – your stuff will either support your personal growth and relationships, or drain you and stress your relationships. It is that simple. However, dealing with the stuff is never simple. So let’s start with taking a look at where you are now.

What does your stuff say about you?

Let’s begin with a mental tour through your space. Imagine you are at the front door of your home and entering for the first time. As you wander from room to room, what do you see? Notice with a stranger’s eyes. Keep going until you have been all the way through. Then choose one room to hang out in for a while.

What story would you imagine about the person living here? What are you feeling? Does the space inspire you? Would you want to invite your best friend to come spend time with you here?

Or you may have a feeling of heaviness. Do you see year’s worth of “buildup”? Do you find yourself wondering where it all came from? Does sadness come up? What would you want to say to the person living here?

What is your stuff saying to you? If you really want insight or healing, write about what you’re thinking and feeling. Let your space share with you what’s been going on in your life that you may have been too busy or distracted to notice.

Your space and your stuff are simply a reflection of who you are and what’s going on in your life!

Yes, you are in a relationship with your stuff. It physically holds memories, stories and family history. Your space reflects what’s going on inside of you. Each thing holds a story and a choice.

You can decide this year, this month and today to make a change. Even setting the intention that you will keep only the stuff that supports you will transform your space over time. You will see things differently and letting go will become easier. You can also make a simple start with one room or one type of stuff, like your clothes or books or jars or towels. The key question to ask when you are holding the stuff is—Does this support me or drain me? Be willing to let go if it is no longer serving you and celebrate what stays.

Does your stuff support or stress your relationships?

Once again, stuff is seldom neutral. It is either supporting your relationships or creating stress.

As a professional organizer for over 16 years, I’ve witnessed many miracles. I’ve been in hundreds of homes and offices and seen people transform their spaces. I’ve also worked with couples, families, bosses and employees who experience conflict over stuff. The amount of energy that goes into these conflicts can be heartbreaking.

Here’s a simple version of a story I hear all the time:

I’m worried about what will happen when my mom dies. There’s so much stuff in her house. It will take years to go through it all. I can’t bear the thought of dealing with it myself but she won’t let go of anything. What can I do?

I often hear the line Choose people over stuff. If only it were that simple. I believe physical things represent people, relationships and the longing for connection that we hold on to so tightly.

However, I have also seen the power of one person taking ownership over her own stuff, her space. What you ask of others, do for yourself. The effect of loving your space is contagious for those close to you.

What you can do this month that is simple

I would suggest sitting down and having a chat with a good friend or your partner. Ask each other and then share, what is one change you could make today with your stuff so that it better supports you and your relationship? Find one area of your home or office that is ready to shift. Or share how your space and your stuff really do support you. Trust the answers that come up in you, ask the Universe for support and give yourself this month to let it happen.

Marla Dee is a speaker, author and the creator of Clear & SIMPLE. For further insight and support in letting go of the stuff that is keeping you stuck, she offers the gift of her eBook, The ART of Letting Go (Acceptance, Release & Trust); download at

This article was originally published on March 1, 2016.