You probably have heard the statement, “If you don’t need an item, love it, or use it regularly, you probably don’t need to keep it”. That’s great in theory, but when it comes down to actually parting with these things, it can be really hard. It is easy to come up with excuses to hang on to items. Do you any of these sound like you?
“I might need it someday” – You fear getting rid of something only to realize a few months or even years later that you might have been able to use it. You have probably held on to that item for a long time already, and it is either no longer in style or has been made obsolete. If it’s been around for a while, box it up and date it for 6 months out. If you have not needed it by that date, there is a good chance you will never need it again.
“I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings” – Guilt is a big reason for holding on to things. When you receive a gift from someone or inherit special item, you feel like it would be just wrong to get rid of it. However, your responsibility is to be grateful for their kindness and thoughtfulness but not to hold on to it forever. If the giver knew that holding onto this item was keeping you from enjoying life as you want, they would most likely support your decision to give it away.
“It was so expensive” – You bought an expensive item and have not used it as much as you thought you would. You may think keeping it longer will justify how much you paid for it. Items like this actually continue to cost you. Keeping them requires precious space and will bring back that dreaded sense of frustration every time you see it.
“It might be valuable” – You hang on to an item because it’s an antique or may gain value with time. You can’t fully appreciate the item, though, when it is tucked away in a box and out of sight. Get it out where you can see it for what it is or sell it someone else who sees its worth. Remember that often items have more emotional value to the owners than actual monetary value. For something to be considered valuable, it must be in excellent condition and in demand.
“I don’t want to just toss it” – You want to be responsible when you let go of items. It’s easier to say goodbye to items when you know they are going to be used and appreciated by someone rather than landing in our landfills. There are many places that would be happy to receive your items and put them to good use or recycle them so they can be used in another form. Old sneakers, leftover paint, old towels, and many other items are welcomed.
Don’t let your clutter or the excuses that come with them get in your way of making your space an organized one that you can truly enjoy.
© Beth Giles