This month, we’re focusing on helping you (and some of us) with our featured New Year’s resolution for this year: learning to separate emotion from “stuff.” Somewhat surprisingly, this is a habit that many people don’t even realize they have. That in and of itself is a statement on just how heavily indoctrinated society is with the idea that “things” can fill an emotional void. To get you started on identifying how relevant this New Year’s resolution is (as well as to help you overall on your journey into Postconsumerism), we’ve put together a little quiz.

How to Take the Easy Quiz

For each question, you’ll be given three possible answers. The more honestly and candidly you pick the one closest to your reality, the more useful this will be. At the end of the quiz is a key where each answer is assigned a point value. Use that key to add up your points and then refer to the ranges of points given in the Scoring Summary to assess how much you assign emotion to “stuff.”

Question One: When you feel bad, how often do you make yourself feel better with “retail therapy?”

  1. All the time! When I’m blue, I shop to feel better.
  2. I prefer to take a run.
  3. It all depends on the overall situation.

Question Two:  How often do you clear out “clutter” and discard items that you haven’t used in over a year?

  1. At least once a year. One annual big clean.
  2. I make trips to Goodwill multiple times per year.
  3. Uh, never. Or infrequently. My stuff is mine.

Question Three:  I have some items that I would describe as family heirlooms.

  1. I have a few things. Meaningful items that have lasted a few generations.
  2. I wish I had more! But I only have a few things.
  3. Boxes and boxes! Most of my heirlooms have to be stored because I just have so many of them.

Question Four:  When you look at an item you think of the emotions, occasion or person who purchased it for you.

  1. If the occasion or person was particularly special.
  2. All the time. My home is full of so many things that have special memories or meaning!
  3. Very rarely, and usually that experience fades over time.

Question Five: When I buy a gift for somebody…

  1. I pick something practical.
  2. I make something instead.
  3. I think deeply about the emotional reaction of the gift recipient.

Question Six:  I feel most comfortable…

  1. Out in the world experiencing it.
  2. Surrounded by my favorite things.
  3. In my home after it’s been cleaned.

Scoring Key

Question Number Your Response Assign Yourself This Many Points
One A 5
One B 1
One C 3
Two A 3
Two B 1
Two C 5
Three A 1
Three B 1
Three C 5
Four A 3
Four B 5
Four C 1
Five A 1
Five B 1
Five C 5
Six A 1
Six B 5
Six C 3


Scoring Summary:

1-10 Points: You actually barely assign emotional value to stuff at all. Bully for you! You don’t need this month’s content that much, but it would be great for you to share it with others.

11-20 Points: You assign emotional value to “stuff,” but not more than the average person. You’ll be happier now that you’ve recognized this and can start to decrease how often you do it, but you aren’t in the danger zone.

21-30 Points: You assign emotional value to “stuff” a lot. We really hope that we can help you to change this habit because we want you to be truly happy and satisfied in life.

Confused about the scoring or have a question we missed? Tell us about it on the social media channels below.

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Photo Credit: Harald Groven via Flickr