The same thing is true in our fiction writing. A character picks up an object, won't leave the house without a talisman, needs to touch base with someone, plants a certain kind of flower, works hard to hold on to an object no matter what, has a comforting restaurant they must go to in times of stress.
Each of those character traits imbue the object with human characteristics " I have to plant lilacs in honor of my Mom" the woman says as she leaves her childhood home ringed with lilac bushes her Mom planted one by one. Or maybe its a dish, photo or keychain screwdriver.
It is these objects that tell us something deeper about a character: what they value, the meaning they imput to an object. A child might have a special blanket, or teddy bear - but adults have plenty of their own special, comforting things. Or, on the negative side, maybe objects they hang on to because they need a reminder of something terrible that happened to them so they can get even or seek revenge or defeat an enemy.
Look around you, somewhere you store things to sort out later, pick up an object and write about it - write fast for four minutes then see what you have written. Enjoy how your unconscious mind allowed your creativity to flow.
Now do the same thing for your character's object. You will be surprised and pleased about how this adds depth to your story. Only one or maybe two objects count in fiction/non-fiction - not a dozen objects or the reader gets confused and it brings an unnecessary clutter to the story. Like our basement and garage too many things does not a clear pathway make.
Non-fiction writers humanize their work through the inclusion of an object - "Fishing poles, especially the well-worn one given to him by his father, count."
This focus on one or two objects works for poetry too - for all you poets out there - choose an object and write about it - remember "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173742
Or "A Letter" by Amrita Pritam http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/242026