Dealing With the Sadness of Letting Go of Your Favorite Clutter

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There are some things that we hold on to even though we never use them. For example, you may be holding on to a stack of papers that you wrote in college because they represent your achievements. Items like this are what I like to call your favorite clutter.

They occupy both our space and hearts. They are very hard to get rid of because every time you go to throw them away, a memory related to the object comes back to you, and you can’t bring yourself to get rid of it.

Today, I’m going to share a few simple strategies that you can use to get rid of your favorite clutter when it’s emotionally difficult.

How to Get Rid of Your Favorite Clutter

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1. Realize That the Item Has Served Its Purpose

The first step towards letting go is knowing why you’re holding on to an item in the first place. Let’s say you’re holding on to papers you wrote in college because you’re proud of your achievements. Because these papers helped you accomplish a major goal in your life, maybe that means the item has served its purpose. Perhaps it’s okay to let it go.

Recommended Reading: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

2. Take a Picture of That Object

Sometimes letting go is easier said than done. If you’re having trouble letting go of something, take a picture of your favorite clutter before getting rid of it. That way, you can always look at the image whenever you miss that object. To save physical space, you can keep your pictures saved on your hard drive or via cloud storage.

3. If the Memories Are Too Strong, Do This Instead

Sometimes an image of the object is not enough for you to let go of the item. At this point, you could consider creating a memory book. Attach the picture of the object to the book, and then write a story about it. Put your thoughts into words and don’t leave out a single detail. That way, instead of looking at a single image, you have a detailed recollection of all your favorite items. You can read that book whenever you feel like going down memory lane.

4. Give Your Favorite Clutter to People That Will Value Them

If you have an emotional attachment to your favorite clutter, consider giving it to a good home. When you do this, you’ll feel good knowing that someone else is enjoying something that brought you joy.

5. Set a Deadline

If you have a bunch of clothes that have special meaning to you, set a deadline for the de-cluttering process. You can get rid of a quarter of the clothes on a certain day. Then, give away the other quarter on another day. Keep donating the clothes slowly until you finally get rid of them by a deadline you set for yourself. As you do this, give yourself small rewards. You can buy some ice-cream or watch your favorite movie. Rewards motivate you to reach your targets.

6. Get Bored With the Object

If you try the above methods, and they don’t work, you may have to choose unorthodox methods. A smart way to get rid of the object is to have it with you all the time, especially if it’s something small. Every time you are doing something, you will see it or touch it. With time, the presence of the item may frustrate you because it serves no purpose at all. Consequently, you will get rid of the item without having any emotional attachments.

Use the above strategies to let go of clutter and make room for the things that matter in life. Even though it’s hard to let go of some things, it’s not impossible. It all comes down to your mindset. Happy decluttering!