Buying things is easy.
Letting things go is hard.
You are cleaning your house, and you find yourself holding an item in your hand. You are thinking about tossing it out. But then all the “I can’s” come up. I can save this for Halloween. I can hold on to it for now. I can keep it for later.
Then the “what if’s” follow.
What if I get sick and I need this? What if I fit into it later on? What if I need this later?
We have all been there.
But I want to let you know; it’s okay to let things go — especially when they are no longer serving you.
Letting go is difficult for many of us, but why is it so hard to?
Why Can’t You Let Go?
You feel guilty.
Your loved ones gift you something, thinking you will LOVE it. But you don’t. And you feel bad for even thinking of tossing it out. Although that gift is not your style or your favorite, it remains in your home.
Recently, I was with a client editing her linen closet — we came across a brand new bedding set she received as a gift. She felt guilty for not using it. But then more guilty for wanting to donate them. Then she felt fear that the giver would discover she donated them!
We walked through the process of freeing up the emotional space that the bedding was taking. The person who gave her the bedding will NEVER inspect her bedroom to see if the bedding is on the bed. My client nor I will tell our secret that we decided to donate the bedding (I am sure the giver has done the same thing).
If it’s not your style, let it go. If it doesn’t make you happy, let it go.
You feel safe with your things.
Whether you have a traumatic or stressful event or lost all your belongings at one point in your life, everything felt out of control. And you hated that feeling.
But there is one thing you could control now — your things.
By keeping your items with you, you feel safe, secure, and stable.
As humans, it is natural to need our belongings to feel safe. But you don’t need everything. When everything is important, then nothing is.
Identify what you truly love and use and let go of things that don’t.
You might need it later.
People often don’t make a dent when they decide to declutter because they think they might need the items LATER. Some keep dozens of mugs in case one of them breaks. Some hold on to that one sock in case the other one ever decides to come back.
These “what ifs” and “just in cases” are an easy way to get out of tossing something away. If you haven’t used it in a few years or months, chances are, you aren’t going to need it at all.
But if you did need it, there is always somewhere you can get it from. Whether it is from a store or thrift shop, you can always add it back into your life when you need it.
You have an emotional attachment to your belongings.
Old memorabilia, items passed down from ancestors, clothes from childhood, and so much more. There are items you hold dear to your heart from people and memories you love. When you look through them, you cannot help but smile and reminisce about the old days.
But if these items are hidden in a box and collect dust most of the time, then it might be time to let it go.
These memories that you hold dear are not hidden in your items. These memories are in you, and you have them with you all the time. If these items no longer serve you, you can let them go.
Quick tip: If you are worried about forgetting it, you can always take a picture. It takes up less space, and you can carry it with you.
Now that we have gone over some reasons why you aren’t letting things go, let’s talk about the benefits.
Benefits of Letting Things Go
Reduce physical clutter.
By letting things go, you can reclaim your space and make room for items you love and need. You also have more freedom to move around as you please. Not only are you making your space more comfortable, but you can also spend less time cleaning. What a win-win!
Ease mental clutter.
Physical space is important, but what’s more important is your mental space. Your brain can get exhausted, thinking of all the clutter and keeping track of all the items in your home.
You get tired, and you cannot focus on things that matter.
For example, you have a new vacuum that you love. But you also have an old vacuum that you don’t. When you see it, you think of all the reasons why you don’t like it as much and sometimes think about getting rid of it. But you put it off, thinking you might need it later, and the cycle begins again the next time you see it.
Cut that cycle of mental clutter and indecision at the source by letting go of the vacuum. As a result, you focus on more important things.
Although some items no longer serve you, it might serve others. Let someone else have them—it will make them happy, and you will feel amazing too. So ask your family, friends, and neighbors if they want to take some things off your hands. For other gently used items, consider donating them before recycling or tossing them out.
Save money by letting things go.
How do I save money when I get rid of things? That doesn’t make sense, Jen.
Well, now that you have gone through all your items, you know exactly what you have and what you don’t need anymore.
When you go to the store, you don’t have to second guess yourself and purchase things you know you already have. Not only that, but you also know what NOT to get because you tossed out what no longer serves you.
Letting go may be challenging, but understanding why it's hard and the benefits are key to making that process towards a clutter-free lifestyle a little easier. And remember, it’s okay to let things go.
If you'd like help getting there, I am here for you. Whenever you are ready to get started, you can contact me here.