If you read my personal blog, you know I am doing a 101 goals in 1001 days challenge. One of my goals was to get rid of 365 material items from my house. So far I am at 525 items and still counting! It is such a relief to get rid of extra blankets, toys we'll never use, books I'll never read, that third pizza stone, etc etc. I am pretty OCD now about getting rid of things that could clutter up our house. (Although our house is still somehow always cluttered... how does that happen!?!?)
Then I read this great article on a blog called Organizing Your Way, written by the author of a blog I regularly read (Org Junkie). It's called "Top 6 Clutter Excuses and How to Banish Them Forever". I wanted to post some of the main ideas for you because it makes some really good points!
1. I might need it one day. (I use this one ALL. THE. TIME.)
This might be true, but if you haven't used it in one year, chances are you won't need it anytime soon. You have to weigh the cost between the space it takes up in your house and the cost to replace it if you do need to purchase it again in the future. Or is it an item you can borrow from a friend if it turns out you need it? Is it an item you can rent if you need it in the future?
2. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by getting rid of it. (Again, guilty.)
Fair enough, but I would assume the person you don’t want to hurt is close to you or otherwise you wouldn’t be so concerned about their feelings. If that’s the case, then how much worse do you think this person would feel knowing the additional stress they’ve put you under?
If you’re keeping something to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, you’re essentially being a storage house for them. You are giving up storage space in your home to make them happy. I’m sure you can think of many different ways to effectively use your space. Do not be burdened by stuff you’re keeping for someone else.
3. I don't want to seem ungrateful.
It’s all about heart. If your heart is in the right place, the giver will hopefully understand. You need to do what’s right for you and your family. Remember, you don’t always have to tell the giver that you and the item are parting ways.
Re-gifting is a popular choice for new items, as is donating items to the thrift stores. Take it to the thrift store in the next town if you’re really worried about it. And don’t forget places like Craigslist, eBay or Freecycle. Whatever you do, don’t hang on to something out of a sense of obligation — it just creates frustration.
4. It was so expensive.
Ah yes, the big-ticket item we just had to have — and there it sits collecting dust. It happens to all of us. You know you’ll never get back what you paid for it, but remember, that item is taking up space in your house that could be better used for something else, which makes THAT piece of real estate more expensive than the item you are hanging on to!
5. The item could be valuable. (Not likely, coming from my house!)
It’s not worth anything if it’s just sitting in a box that you don’t have the room to store. If it isn’t something you love or use regularly, get rid of it and make some money on it now.
6. It brings back so many memories.
Oh, emotional attachment. This one is probably the biggest culprit that holds people back. Our memories are often so wrapped up in physical material possessions that it becomes unbearable to part with something.
I can understand that and I’m not opposed to keeping those things as long as you have the space available to store them. If you don’t, try taking a picture of the item and allow the picture to conjure up the memory for you instead. Another idea is scanning pictures your children have colored and other things like that. They won't take up the space and you can still look at them any time you want to.
Okay, it's me again. Another thing to remember is a scripture I have recently memorized. It is Proverbs 3:9 and says, "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase." Basically, is the possession making you a better person? Does it dishonor God? Does it come before God? (Particularly books, television, computers, or even coupons now, looking at the new show Extreme Couponing!) Just remember that when you're going through your collection of 500 movies or 160 bottles of mustard or whatever it is that you just have to hang on to.
Good luck in your efforts to declutter!! Anyone have anything to add?