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How to Get Rid of Your Things

If you find yourself with a overload of things and you don’t know what to do, you probably need to declutter your home. But that’s easier said than done, especially when it comes to figuring out how to part with stuff.

In this article, I’ll give you practical tips to help you figure out exactly how to get rid of your things and how to deal with the difficulty that ensues.

It’s not as hard as you might think. If you’ve be wrestling with decluttering for a while, then you definitely need to keep reading!

I’m here to walk alongside you as you tackle your clutter.

But First, You Must Change Your Mindset

Decluttering is not an easy task. I know it’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth. 

It carries with it many emotions. That’s probably why we all let things pile up in the first place, right? It’s hard to get rid of things. Even harder when those things are difficult to let go of.

In order to make decluttering easier, you must change your thinking. It will make all the difference.

Start thinking about the freedom you’ll feel once you’ve decluttered your home. Realize that your resources won’t be tied up in all of your things. Embrace the fact that you will be in control of your stuff instead of your stuff controlling you.

It’s gonna be amazing! Just start thinking of it as a win instead of a loss!

Next let’s look at some practical ways to declutter when it’s hard to let go.

Letting go of your stuff isn't easy. These helpful tips will point you in the right direction!

First You Need to Think of the Freedom You Will Have When you Let Go of Things

Having more things than you need or use can actually be stifling to you, rather than freeing. If you’ve letter clutter build up, then your stuff might be managing you, rather than you managing it.

If you’re overwhelmed by too much clutter, then it’s hard to live your life to the fullest. Even life’s simplest tasks can be difficult if your home is overrun by clutter.

Think about it…how easy is it to pick something out to wear if your clothes are splattered all over your room?

On the other hand, when your things are decluttered and are neatly organized, you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

If your kitchen is overrun with stuff, it’s next to impossible to cook dinner. But now imagine a clutter-free kitchen with clean, fresh counter tops and an empty sink. Everything put away, nothing pour out of drawers or cabinets. It’s pretty amazing!

When you clear out the clutter you also free up your mind. Having too much clutter makes it hard to focus. ****link to post

The freedom you’ll gain will be well worth it. Just keep reminding yourself when it’s hard to let go of your things.

Here's how to get motivated to clean when you're overwhelmed by the mess.

Don’t Compare Your Situation with Others

It’s easy to look at other peoples’ lives and compare them to your own. Almost certainly, comparing your situation to others’ will cause discontentment.

Maybe your best friend’s house is much more organized than yours. You feel like you could never achieve the level of organization your mom had. Your neighbors house never looks overrun by junk. 

Your situation is your own. You are the only one who can make a change. That change can’t and won’t happen if you’re comparing what you have with others.

It’s also tempting to compare yourself in the reverse. It’s easy to say, “I can’t declutter my house because…(insert reason)” or “No one else understands how difficult my situation is.

Perhaps you don’t really know how to let go of things. There are many variables that can make you feel inferior to others if you’re not careful. Keep your eyes on your own situation and you’ll find it’s easier to get rid of things.

Don’t compare yourself one way or another. Just get to work and start decluttering!

It’s Ok to Realize that Your Things Have Sentimental Value

After all, they are your things!

There’s something about this minimalistic rage (fad) our society is in that makes people feel bad for holding on to their things.

Now, I’m obviously here to help you declutter when it’s hard to let go, but I also don’t want to overlook the fact that your things hold a certain value to YOU!

And that’s ok.

My idea of decluttering can’t and won’t be the same as yours (remember we’re not comparing each other’s situations! 🙂 )

Having said that, there are some things you just won’t be able to let go of. (Not everything, though!) In those cases, just make sure to choose what you keep wisely, and then to find a place to keep it that is neat and organized.

How to Overcome the Fear of Loss

What happens if you get rid of your favorite dress and you suddenly find yourself needing it? Sometimes when I’m decluttering, I can really overthink this one and it makes me afraid to declutter. 

But the fact is, most things have been lying around your house for quite some time. Am I right?

Truthfully, if you give it an honest evaluation, you probably haven’t used some of your things for a long, long, time, which means you likely won’t need them in the future.

It’s not a good idea to store things because of the just in case scenario. You could make up a million reasons why you might need something again.

Instead, take the step to get rid of it and realize that the freedom that brings is worth it!

Then, if you ever have need of it again, you’ll figure it out! You’re smart!

How to Deal with Items People You Love have Given to You

Some of the hardest things to let go of are those items that people you care deeply about have gifted you.

They carry sentimental attachment that’s difficult to overcome.

There are two options:

  1. Keep it. It’s totally ok. If you can’t get rid of it, or you really feel like you might not get over it if you did give it away, then keep it. You can decide whether to declutter it another time. (Again, just be careful how many times you use this reason to keep things or you’ll end up right back where you started!
  2. Be grateful you had it for a time, take a picture, and then let it go. (I will not start singing Frozen here – I refuse!) The first time I ever heard of taking a picture of something I was getting rid of, I thought…that’s an amazing idea! Because especially in this digital age, it costs you virtually no space to keep a picture. (Ok, I’m not arguing gigabytes here!)

Take My Grandma’s Advice!

My grandma, who I love dearly, has gifted me many things over the years. Things that I hold very precious to my heart. One day she said to me, “Amber, if there’s ever something I gave you that you don’t want/need anymore, then get rid of it!”

What a treasure it was for her to say that to me! I felt released. I often recall her saying that when I’m decluttering and trying to figure out how to let go. It’s true freedom! I’ve enjoyed using the gifts she’s given me, and now I’m done!

While you may not have the privilege of someone doing that for you, take my grandma’s advice, and don’t hold onto something just because someone you love gave it to you.

Then, if you’re done using it, get rid of it. Otherwise it defeats the purpose!

However…

Allow Yourself to Keep Some Sentimental Things

But keep them in a special and organized place. Stay on top of that space and don’t allow it to become overrun with things you can’t let go of.

I keep saying this, but I think it’s so important. When using this reason to keep an item, please be very careful. It would be so easy to keep many things just because they’re sentimental.

You’ll have to draw the line somewhere. Make a good decision!

You Have to Get Over the Money Lost

When you’re trying to figure out how to let go of things, you cannot count the sunk cost. That is, the cost of something that can’t  ever be recovered.

What’s done is done. If you spent unwisely and now you don’t need it, use that as a motivation to help you make better decisions in the future.

If it helps, you can try to sell your decluttering items on eBay to hopefully regain some money,*** but you’ll likely never recover what you put into it.

You just have to move on!

Let Go of the What If Mentality

The what if mentality is quite possibly, one of the biggest hang ups next to overcoming the sentimentality of an item.

You’ve been there, right? Those times when you’re pondering whether or not to get rid of an item, and all of the possible (and sometimes impossible) scenarios come to mind.

You never know when you might need that item you’re thinking about getting rid of. So you set it down, deciding not to get rid of it, thinking of the million things that could happen where you might need it again.

Don’t do it!

I could imagine a what if scenario for just about anything and I’m sure you could too!

Having said that…

Don’t Take Too Long to Think About It

Sometimes it’s best to go with your first instinct (cuz otherwise, you know…those what ifs start to come to mind)

Usually, whatever comes to your mind first is the real decision that you truly want to make.

If you give yourself too much time to think, you’ll likely decide to keep the item in question.

Don’t Touch Whatever You’re Trying to Get Rid of

This works well if you have someone who’s willing to work with you. Ask a friend or relative to help you by holding up the item in question while you decide whether or not to keep it.

Once you decide, then have your assistant place the item in the appropriate pile. Don’t even touch it.

There’s something psychological about holding an item that makes you want to keep it. Therefore, if you’re able to work with someone, you might actually end up getting rid of a lot more than you expected.

Stop Letting the Sheer Amount of Decluttering You have to do Stop You from Getting Rid of Stuff

Sometimes you just get so overwhelmed you don’t even know how to start decluttering. ****

You need to stop looking at the amount of things you have to get rid of, and just start getting rid of them.

If you’re wondering how to let go when you’re decluttering, don’t look at the huge mountain you have to climb, just go for small victories and ignore the rest until you can tackle it!

Realize that Decluttering Takes Practice and You’ll Get Better with Time

Decluttering is not easy. I think I already said that once before, right? And like anything, practice makes progress.

Decluttering is no different. As you keep practicing decluttering, you’ll learn how to let go of things much easier. It won’t always be hard. The trick is to keep going. Keep at it! You’ll learn how to let go!

Think About Decluttering Differently

One of the problems with decluttering is that you feel like you’re losing, rather than gaining. That makes decluttering mundane and uninviting. You feel like you’re being robbed of something. It’s easier to look at decluttering as a negative rather than a positive.

Instead of thinking about what you want to get rid of, think about what you want to keep. This will lead you to feel more like you’re receiving a prize.

When you declutter an area, remove everything from it. Then begin to place back only those items that you want to keep.

It makes a big difference in the way you think about decluttering. It will help you learn how to let go.

Realize that You Could Touch Someone Else’s Life with the Things You’re Decluttering

Think for a moment about everything you have and how it could make a difference in someone else’s life.

  • Do you have duplicates of something?
  • Are there things you’re not using?
  • Could someone else possibly use what you have?

Sometimes if you realize that you’re going to help someone by getting rid of something, it makes it a little easier to let go. Your clutter could make a world of difference for someone! Imagine that!

Imagine How Your Life will Be Different Once You’ve Decluttered Everything

Once you let go you will actually feel freedom. It’s just getting over that hurdle. Living clutter-free*** is an incredible feeling.

Imagine your house, devoid of all the things that rather than bringing you joy, are actually overwhelming you, making it hard to live life freely.

Decluttering your home will give you more space, more focus, more time, more of a lot of things! Funny how getting rid of something actually gains you more in return!

You’ll be amazed at what you gain by getting rid of stuff!

Start Decluttering the Items that Aren’t as Critical

To help you get into the mindset of decluttering things you’re not sure how you’ll let go of, start with the easy things! Here’s a list of things that typically don’t hold sentimental value and can easily be decluttered without much thought.

  • Duplicates
  • Junk Drawers
  • Old cosmetics
  • Clothes you haven’t worn for a while
  • Things that were given to you
  • Items you’ve wanted to get rid of but haven’t

If You Aren’t Sure, See What it’s Like to Live Without Something for a While

If there’s something you just aren’t sure about getting rid of, then try a practice run. Put the item in question into storage and don’t take it out at all.

Then let some time pass, and see if you really do need it or miss it. Does it make a difference in your life by not having it?

If you really can’t live without it, then take it out of storage and you’ll know! If you don’t use it after a set amount of time, then you know what to do!

Get rid of it!

Just make sure how many items you do this with. Reserve this exercise for those items that you’re really having a hard time deciding on. (Otherwise, you know by now, right?? You’ll just end up with another pile – now, in your storage room – that you’ll eventually need to declutter!

When Decluttering, Ask Yourself…Do You Want to Take it With You Into the Future?

I wish I could claim this as my own idea, but this comes straight from Marie Kondo.

It’s brilliant!

Because we always think about keeping things that we have a hard time getting rid of, but do we ever stop to consider the future impact keeping that item will have?

Do I really wanna lug around old trophies from when I was in high school just because they once meant something to me?

The answer is…NO! I do not! And I did not! (I got rid of the trophies just in case you were wondering!) I really didn’t want to bring those things that used to be so important to me into the future. I enjoyed them while I had them. Their time just came to an end.

Consider that when you have a really hard time letting go of something.

Be Thankful for the Use You Got Out of that Item

If you’ve had something that’s served you well, then be grateful. Just because you get rid of it, doesn’t mean you didn’t appreciate it!

Be thankful for the time you got to use it and move on! Keep the memories, not the item!

Make it Fun and Not a Drudgery

Who says decluttering has to be a burden? This website has fun ideas for how to actually enjoy the process of decluttering!

You really can make a game out of it and have fun while accomplishing a great goal! And who knows, if you work the right angle, you might even be able to get your family on board! That would be even more fun!

Only Keep the Best of the Best

When you declutter your house, you want to be thinking in terms of making sure what you have is really nice.

The ultimate goal is to have a clutter-free home and live in a peaceful haven. When you take the time to declutter your home and you learn how to part with stuff, you’ll set you and your family up for a much nicer future.

Keep the best of the best and be proud of what you have. You’ve done a lot to get to this point! I’m proud of you!

So when it comes down to several items, choose quality. If you have several items you’re trying to decide between, choose the best one and move on.

Only keep the best!

How about you? Is decluttering hard for you? Do you find it difficult to know what to let go of and what to keep? Comment below and let me know!

Related Organization and Decluttering Articles:

Wondering where to start decluttering? Grab your FREE Decluttering Binder mini pack and get started right away! Click on the link below for your instant download!

Here's how to get motivated to clean when you're overwhelmed by the mess.

When you don't know how to let go of your clutter, you'll never start. That's why this list of helpful ways to let go of your clutter is an absolute necessity!

Letting go of your stuff isn't easy. These helpful tips will point you in the right direction!

Decluttering {How to Let Go}

 

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