Learning to let go of things is not an easy task for most people. It does, however, get easier with practice. Here are the most common reasons our clients give for not wanting to part with an item and some strategies to overcome these obstacles:

  • I might need it later -- A major obstacle for letting go is the thought that you might need it later. You must learn to trust your own judgment. Yes, sometimes a mistake is made, but honestly, things are replaceable! Ask yourself, "What is the worst thing that could happen if I get rid of this?" If you are ok with the answer, then get rid of it and move on. Extra belongings are actually a drain on your time (you need to move them, store them, clean around them, etc.).
  • I received it as a gift -- Simply put, if you are not going to use it, find someone who will enjoy it.
  • It's sentimental -- I'm not advocating that you get rid of everything sentimental, but this can easily get out of hand. Remember, the most important part of life is the time spent with family and friends. Save the memories, not the stuff. Seek creative ways to save memorabilia. Many items can now be scanned. You can also turn baby clothes, sports jerseys, or other clothing into a quilt.
  • I paid good money for this -- That is water under the bridge. The money is gone. If you are not going to use the item, then don't continue to "pay" with your space (storing it) and your time (cleaning and moving it).
  • It might be worth something -- Either sell it, get it appraised or get rid of it. Do not hold onto it.

Learning to identify and prioritize what is important is the main challenge in this skill of purging. Think about your life as it is now and what you really need to be happy and healthy. We all love to hold on to sentimental objects, however, you must think about your goals and your space when saving keepsakes, mementos, pictures, etc. Pictures can be stored on DVD's now, recipes can be found on-line, magazines have archives, etc.

To get started, take it slowly. Identify the obvious things that you can easily get rid of and toss or donate these items. Haven't used it in a year or two? Ask yourself, "Do I really NEED this?" A day or two later, repeat this activity. How empowering is it to overcome that fear of not being able to give something up? The quicker you see the results of letting go, the better you will feel about yourself and your living space and the more confident you will be in your ability to let go.

Going forward, remember the process that you just went through. Focus on how free you feel without the clutter. Avoid purchasing things for "just in case" occasions, don't hang on to a gift that you know you won't use, and when it comes to memories...keep the memories and purge the stuff.

Author's Bio: 

Organized Office Solutions is a professional organizing firm dedicated to providing nonjudgmental and confidential services to business clients. We offer seminars, workshops, hands-on organizing and virtual organizing (anywhere in the world!) to help you manage your time, space and information. For more information, visit our website at www.OrganizedOfficeSolutions.com or contact us at info@OrganizedOfficeSolutions.com or (248)726-7096.