Decluttering is a chore no one really wants to do.  However, if we want to have more organized homes and lives then decluttering has to be part of the equation.

Just as it is with exercising , we are pretty good at coming up with excuses reasons why we can’t declutter, or why we won’t get rid of the items we are no longer needing, using, or wanting.  I’ve heard tons of reasons why someone believes they need to hold onto something, but there seem to be a few that are constantly being offered as a reason to hold on.

Why we can’t let go

Here are the top 5 reasons we feel we need to keep something rather than letting it go:

The misbelief that you will need it/use it again someday. If you’ve been holding on to that pair of jeans that you are certain you will wear again after you drop a few pounds, then you fall under this category of reasoning.

Most of the stuff that you “think” you will need or use again can be decluttered because odds are you haven’t used it in several years, and the truth is you probably won’t.  Even if you were to use the item in the very near future, it probably wouldn’t fit, wouldn’t work properly, or wouldn’t be in style anyway!

Emotional or sentimental reasons.If you are holding on to an item because it holds a special memory for you, then perhaps you can find a different way to cherish the memory.  The macaroni artwork that your child made for you in preschool can be photographed or scanned and placed in an album, rather than taking up space and inviting rodents into your home.

Guilt. If you feel guilty discarding the hand sewn blanket your grandmother made for you, although you never really liked it and you certainly never use it, you need to understand that she gave that to you to bring you joy. If it isn’t bringing you joy, then you need to release the blanket and the guilt by giving it away.  You’ll find much more joy knowing someone else is getting use out of it.  And that would make grandma happy!

You paid a lot for the item and can’t bear to part with it because of the cost. It’s hard to part with items that you doled out a lot of money for, I know. But it’s probably costing you more to store and keep the item than it originally cost.  If you don’t want to give it away, perhaps you can recoup some of the cost by selling it to someone else.

The idea that you can pass it down to your children/grandchildren. If you are holding on to something with the intention of passing it on to the next generation, you are probably holding on to something they won’t want.  Storing and caring for items that may not be appreciated in the future is a waste of your efforts.  You might want to consider giving it to them now, or giving it to someone who can use it today.

While these aren’t the only reasons we don’t declutter, they are the most common.  If we could internalize our reasons and understand what holding on is doing to us, we might be more willing to let go.

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Why we need to declutter

There are so many benefits that decluttering and letting go of our stuff can bring to our lives, including:

  • Less stress/Not feeling overwhelmed by all the stuff
  • More energy not having to maintain and keep up with so much
  • Being able to see and enjoy the things we do have
  • Blessing someone else with the things we no longer need or want
  • Easier to organize less stuff
  • More time/more money
  • Peace of mindIt is hard to declutter and let go of the things we may hold near and dear to our hearts. Yet the benefits far outweigh any temporary satisfaction we may gain from material things.    We have to remember that our goal is to gain a life, not more stuff.  We can only begin to do that when we begin decluttering.

What keeps you from decluttering?

What benefits of decluttering motivate you to start letting go of your stuff?


180 Challenge

Looking for more decluttering help? Join the 180 Challenge, a decluttering challenge that offers you the focus and motivation you need to get rid of the things you no longer want! To sign up or to get more details about this life-changing challenge,  click here.

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