Quotes about Clutter & Having Too Much Stuff

Welcome to my page of quotations about clutter and having too much stuff. It’s become such a disease in modern life to own and surplus things — junk, and even useful stuff. And I include myself as having fallen into that tempting trap. But clutter makes me anxious, so sometimes I find myself compelled to domestic pruning when I’ve other matters to tend. It’s best keep our clutter to a minimum, for our own well-being. Except books, of course! You can never have enough books. 😜  SEE ALSO:  Decluttering & Getting Rid of Stuff, Mental & Emotional Clutter, Organizing & Storage, Good Clutter, Clutter & Simplicity  —ღ Terri

In any household, junk accumulates to fill the space available for its storage. ~Boston’s Irreversible Law of Clutter

Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire. ~Wendell Berry, “Prayers and Sayings of The Mad Farmer”

Ahmed told me they were expanding the museum so it could fit more tourists inside, but I think this will just encourage the museum people to put even more old boxes on display. It’s interesting to see that people had so much clutter even thousands of years ago. The only way to get rid of it all was to bury it, and then some archaeologist went and dug it all up. Humans have always been hoarders of tat. I think that’s why lofts were invented; it’s somewhere to stick all the crap we collect in our lives rather than bury it. ~Karl Pilkington, An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington, 2010

Having too many things about us is a certain confusion to the intellect. ~Oscar C. McCullouch, “The Piety of the Intellect,” sermon, Plymouth Congregational Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1890

“The fact is, wife, I’ve too much clothing!… the accumulation of years,” said Warmheart. And he is not the only warm heart that has felt dissatisfied with having too much when others have been in want and not had enough. ~“The Visitor: A Picture for the Season,” The Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star, 1860  [a little altered —tg]

Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing? ~William Shakespeare, As You Like It, c. 1599  [IV, 1, Rosalind]

Too much of a good thing is still too much. ~L. D. C., The Urologic and Cutaneous Review, 1938

Material possessions:  the more you own, the more they own you. ~Harry I. Phillips (1889–1965)

You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, 1996

Stuff, more stuff, and even more stuff —
modern life says hey be a bigger stuffer
we stash, we store, expand and puffer
acquiring, collecting more stuff every day
sorting, organizing our stuffed lives away.
~Terri Guillemets, “Stuffed,” 2016

Life is short and Death is continually advancing apace; what need is there then, of providing so much for so short a Journey? Why will you load your self with so many Riches, when the less you have the more free you will be, and the better able to Walk? and when you shall come to your Journies end, you will find no worse Entertainment for being Poor, than those that shall come hither Richer fraught. But you will be less troubled for what you leave, and will have the less to answer for. ~Rev. Luis De Granada (1504–1588), Provincial of the Order of S. Dominick, in the Province of Portugal, “Remedies against Covetousness,” The Sinners Guide, translated from the Spanish, 1702

Having too many things is a burden to the mind, an insult to the earth, and an obstacle to our spiritual well-being. ~Terri Guillemets, “At home,” 2005

Clutter is a weight that has built on top of you so gradually, you don’t even realize anymore that it is holding you down. ~Mary Johanson, creatingmaryshome.com, 2014

You can’t have everything — where would you put it? ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985, stevenwright.com

A way up in the mountain region of the West is a little animal called a Pack-rat. This rat obtains its name on account of its mania for carrying off to its hole any odd or striking object that may fall in its way. Each pack-rat’s home is in the middle of a vast accumulation of useless odds and ends. None of the objects, of course, are of the slightest use to the animal. Simply it likes them. The collector enjoys his possessions but worries his little life out night and day lest some other rat will steal from his pile. The larger the pile the more pleasure and the more worry he finds in it. Finally he becomes so bewildered by terror for himself and anxiety for his museum that he, perhaps, perishes with them. While the common, sordid rats of the neighborhood, with no property but the fur on their backs, and with no ideas beyond the getting of a living, escape without difficulty. ~Ernest E. S. Thompson, “The Pack-Rat,” The Quartier Latin, 1896   [a little altered —tg]

In a garden of clutter, nothing would grow
There would be no butterflies, only clutterflies
And heaps of disarray, every which way
No nourishment anywhere, not anything pruned
Just lots of useless stuff, everywhere strewn
~Terri Guillemets

Having Too Much Stuff Quotations
Original post date: 2005 Oct 8
1st major revision: 2016 Feb 20
2nd major revision: 2019 Dec 7
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