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It's just so hard to let it goooooooo

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm such a "junk collector" -- well, to me it's not junk that's what makes it so hard to get rid of.
What's your secret to getting rid of all the stuff you rarely use? I don't want to get rid of things just to have to buy them again in the future. But, there is so much clutter at our place,.... but I "NEED" all those things,....grrrrrr

Why do I find decluttering so painful?

I need help!

You ladies really do motivate me!
post #2 of 9
Take pictures of all your junky rooms and take an objective look at them. Picture your house uncluttered and clean think about that feeling you get in a clean and tidy house and imagine having that feeling all the time. Set some rules for yourself when going through your stuff.

1) Have I used this in the last 6 months?

2) Will I use it in the next 3 months?

3) Does someone else need it more?

4) Is hanging on to it worth the hassle of having it around until you need it?

5) Ask yourself why you're keeping it.

6) Ask yourself what kind of example do you want to set for your kids? Do you want them to be minimalists or hoard things.

7) Ask yourself what would happen if you died and others had to clean out your closets? Would you want that burden on them?

You just have to get the ball rolling and DO IT!!! Most of the stuff we have we don't use on a regular basis!! We simply don't need it!!!
post #3 of 9
Wow Stayseeliz...what a great list of questions. I like it. For me...you just have to come to a point where you "get over it".

I had things that I was doing that same thing with... "well, I might need it"..."or I could let so and so use that so I better hold on to it". I have a nice DH who helped me see the stupidity in those statements.

I guess with the bigger items like my bread machine, my cookware, etc. I kept it if I knew I would use it, like Stayseeliz said, within the next 3 months. If not, it was given away. When in doubt, just get rid of it. Even with my bread machine, if I gave it away, I could get another one down the road. And probably for $5 at Goodwill! So I ask myself that question a lot...if I did need another one, could I get it?

You asked why decluttering is so painful...and for me it was because I felt that certain things represented me at different parts of my life. Like that picture frame someone gave me for my wedding. I didn't even like the frame, but it reminded me of the feelings I had at that time in my life. Or the figurine that my mom gave me when I miscarried...I think the figuring itself is kind of funny looking and I never even displayed it, but I kept it because it reminded me of the emotions of that time. So I did what several people have said to do, and that is to take a photo of that special belonging, file it away, and then give the stuff away. It was very freeing. You really have to examine your heart and find out why you are keeping things. Was your family poor growing up? Are you keeping things to show that you do have "stuff" now? Does being a packrat run in your family? I know it does in mine...I'm trying to break the cycle!

Don't get discouraged...once you start getting rid of stuff, you will instantly get motivated and start getting rid of everything. It becomes an addiction!

And just keep saying over and over as you clean:
"I have no emotional attachments to my material possessions...I have no emotional attachments to my material possessions..."
post #4 of 9
I was just about to start a thread on this very subject. I'm packing boxes of books to give to some grad students at my old department (I quit my Ph.D. work to take care of my autistic son years ago), and I'm looking at boxes of my maternity clothes and one box of baby clothes that I've been saving for my next child...except that I haven't been able to get pregnant again and DS just turned 5. I feel so sad about those dreams...I'm having quite a pity party here.

On the bright side, I loaded up my car with toys, clothes and car seats and brought them to an acquaintance who is adopting some special needs kids, and I felt so great about it that I did it again for another mom who is adopting even more kids with disabilities. Giving away stuff is addictive fun -- I walk around the house thinking, "What else can I give away?"
post #5 of 9
Originally Posted by Fay
Giving away stuff is addictive fun -- I walk around the house thinking, "What else can I give away?"
I know! I do that same thing now! I walk around thinking..."who could really use this?". I love it. Giving stuff away is so emotionally and spiritually cleansing!
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
What a great list of questions....
I'm really trying to be less materialistic - it's not very easy for me because I see all these nice things and want everything (gosh writing it out like that sounds awful_ I'm not really a snobby person I just think part of it is my generation) my parents and inlaws tried to give DH and I most things/opportunities and now we tend to give our kids everything (it's not that my kids want it thought, it's me buying the toys and cloths and stuff all over the place...

Ack, I'm going to get my place in order, one room at a time, little by little.

Less is more! (I just have to keep repeating that)

Keep the ideas flowing!
post #7 of 9
I say to myself 'it only hurts for a minute' and throw it in!
post #8 of 9

Great topic!!

I occasionally teach an online course on havingness levels and making peace with money and in the course we do this big purging of our junk. I tell everyone to hold everything in their hands and ask, "Is this mine?" And if it isn't, ask, "Then whose is it?" and then give that to that person. Sometimes it is a friend, most the time it is just a vague answer like, "give it to goodwill and it will find who it belongs to." I've had amazing luck letting go when I realize I'm hanging on to things that aren't mine/don't suit me.

Good luck with this. I've been working on it for months and months and months and months.

post #9 of 9
such good advice!
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