Why We Clutter, and What to Do About It
You may wonder why people like me and my friend’s mother collect so many things we likely will never need. Fear of running out is one reason I often buy in bulk, especially when desired products are on sale. A similar fear undoubtedly resulted in the frenetic run on toilet paper, pasta and canned beans at the onset of the pandemic. I never forgot what a neighbor said when, in the midst of a block party, she was asked where she kept her extra paper towels. “In the store,” she replied.
Some also feel compelled to hold on to the past, like a friend who keeps the programs of every event he’s attended over the last six decades. Out of guilt or sentiment, some find it hard to part with useless gifts from people they love or admire. “What if they come over one day and discover it’s gone?” is a common rationale.