There is nothing so liberating as throwing out junk. So why is letting go of things we don’t need as painful as pulling teeth? These tips will help you get over the initial hump of not wanting to part with your clutter.
Choose An Opportune Moment
Certain times in life can act as great catalysts for a good purge. Take packing up to go to college for example. When you’re getting your stuff together, look at what you’re leaving behind in your old room. If you’re not taking it with you, that probably means you don’t need it anymore. Getting rid of things you won’t miss while you’re away is a nice way to say goodbye to childhood and give your bedroom a little breathing space. Maybe your parents will decide to make your room into a spare room, and hey, that makes you an honoured guest! Another great time to throw out junk is just before you move house. When you’re packing with the removalists in mind, you’re unlikely to haul things you don’t need over to your new place. Take advantage of this opportunity and be as brutal as possible.
Remind Yourself That Memories Are Not Things
Letting go of physical objects can feel like letting go of the memories associated with them. When you’re clinging to something you no longer use, remind yourself that your memories are stored in your head—and heart!—and not in the things themselves. Go ahead and donate your grandmother’s suitcase to the charity shop. Just because you no longer have the suitcase, doesn’t mean that you will forget all the good times you had with your gran.
Declare War on “Maybe”
One of the biggest challenges to pulling off a momentous throw-out is the word ‘maybe’. Do I need this broken squash racquet? Maybe. Will I listen to these CDs even though I don’t have a CD player? Maybe. Will these rolls of old Christmas wrapping paper come in handy? Maybe. When you hear yourself uttering the M-word, stop and make a decision now. No prizes for guessing that the correct answer is usually a huge resounding NO, but if you like, give each bit of clutter it’s due by giving the question careful consideration… before throwing it away. If you simply cannot decide, allow yourself to keep a ‘maybe’ pile for exactly one month. If you haven’t restrung that racquet and taken up squash before the month is up, then you have your answer.
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Get Rich While You’re At It
There’s nothing better for staying motivated than the potential to earn a little extra cash. Remember that old squash racquet? Sell it on eBay to an actual squash player. And that old amp you’ve replaced with an iPhone dock but haven’t thrown out yet could fetch a decent price in a yard sale one of these Saturdays.
Whether you’re a chronic hoarder or have just let things get a little out of hand, having a good old clear out is a great way to refresh your home and re-energize your life. But nobody ever feels like doing it. These tips will help you seize the day.