Do you ever find yourself afraid to get rid of items? I know I do. I have identified a few things that make me keep clutter around, when it really should be gone.
“I spent money on this.”
Buyers remorse is something I am sure we have all had at one point or another. I know I have bought things before that I later realized I didn’t really need, or maybe even didn’t like all that much. It is tempting to keep things because we feel guilty for having spent money on it. Now we need to try to find a use for it. From my experience, I have found that when I simply acknowledge that it was a bad purchase and get rid of it, I am more apt to learn from my mistake than when I keep it around the house. Money spent on a bad purchase is no reason to keep something. Acknowledge the mistake, learn from it, and move on. The memory of the pain of taking something to donate that you spent precious money on will probably keep you from making another bad purchase.
“It is sentimental to me.”
Sentimental things are good to keep, but not everything is truly sentimental. It is easy to think we need an object to remember the event. A seashell from vacation is nice, but you probably will not forget your vacation simply because you got rid of the seashell. These items rarely have intrinsic value. Their value is in the memory that you have attached to them. A few of these can be really meaningful. When you have too many in your home they start to lose even their attached value.
Other things have sentimental value and are definitely worth keeping. What I try to remember is that less is more when it comes to keepsakes. My kids will appreciate, and are more likely to treasure, one or two boxes of mementos from their childhood more than boxes and boxes of items. One or two items of my grandmother’s are far more meaningful than a house full of miscellaneous objects. The very fact that there are fewer makes it more special.
“I may need it someday.”
Oh, have I heard (and said!) this one a thousand times! If I have not used something in several months, it is a pretty good indication that I don’t really need it. Typically, if I do find a need for an item I have already donated, I simply become more creative and find ways to get by. I have a personal rule that unless I have needed an item several times in a short period of time, it is probably not necessary for me to purchase it. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” You might not realize how easy it is to be creative until you get rid of a few things.
“Someone gave it to me.”
The act of giving is what gives people joy. When someone loves you enough to give you a gift, they are motivated by the simple act of giving. As a recipient, you are thankful for the act of giving as well. It is not necessary to keep something for years that you no longer need or enjoy out of guilt because someone you love gave it to you. I love getting gifts. But I have learned that while I always love receiving gifts, I can’t keep everything. When something is no longer being used, it is time to get rid of it. It does not mean that I didn’t like it, or that I didn’t appreciate the gift. The feeling of joy that I had when I received the gift does not leave just because the object is gone.
One key thing in getting rid of clutter is identifying why it is you are keeping it. If something is not useful to you, and you no longer love looking at it, then you can get rid of it. Guilt is never a good reason to have stuff renting for free.
What are some of the reasons you keep things around your house?