Decluttering your home is the first step to moving. It helps you save time, money, and stress down the line. While some things will be easy to get rid of, others may not be so simple. Experiencing guilt is common for many people when they face the decision to get rid of certain items.
If you are experiencing guilt when decluttering, here are some tips to help you get past those negative feelings and get rid of what you no longer want or need without reservation.
Tips on Getting Rid of Decluttering Guilt
Guilt over the money you’ve invested
When you’ve invested a lot of money into something, it’s not uncommon to feel guilt over “getting rid of it” when you decide you no longer want it. To get past this guilt, think about all the times you used it and the joy or convenience you got from it. It may even help to do the math and figure out how much it cost you per day over the time you’ve owned it. If you’ve had an item for a few years, it has probably boiled down to just a few dollars a day for you to have it. Definitely worth it. And if you sell it, your costs go even lower.
Guilt over gifts you’ve received
Getting rid of gifts you’ve received can bring up a lot of guilt. It can feel like it will hurt the other person to get rid of something they went through the trouble to give you. However, that’s not a fair way to look at it. That person gave you the gift to make you happy, so if it’s no longer doing that, it has done its job and it’s time to move on from it. You don’t give gifts to other people to burden them when they no longer want it, so there’s no reason to feel guilty about the ones that have been gifted to you.
Guilt over sentimental objects
Items can hold sentimental value for a variety of reasons. It may be something from your childhood, an item a loved one used to own, or something that has a positive memory attached to it. In some cases, it’s easy to hold onto these items, but you may find yourself in a situation where you no longer have space for the item or you simply no longer want it to take up space, but you feel sad parting with it. Remember that this item is not the person or memory you have associated with it. Getting rid of it does not get rid of what’s important. If you find yourself wanting to get rid of it, it’s for a good reason, so focus on what you will be gaining instead.
Things you might use “someday”
It’s in our nature to want to prepare for the future. This can manifest through items that we have never used or rarely used, but are afraid to part with in case we may need it in the future. Look at the item and think about the last time you used it. If it was over a year ago, it’s time to part with it. Your life is happening now, so use the space you have for things that are relevant to your present rather than cluttering your home and life with stuff you don’t need. If down the road, things change and you do find yourself in need of that item, you can always purchase another one.
Focus on the positives
It’s easy to get caught up in what you are “losing” when you are decluttering, but focusing on what you are gaining is the key to getting over guilt. How will you feel when you have more space? Whose life could you be improving by donating it? What can you spend the money on after you sell it? If you’re downsizing, what will you gain when you move into your new home – more amenities, a better location? Keeping these things in mind will help you part with the old so you can look forward to the new.