Getting Rid of Stuff, Guilt-Free

April 30, 2010 | 20 Comments

My recent interest in the tv program Hoarders:Buried Alive has inspired me to clean out my own home. I can really sympathize with people not wanting to part with “sentimental” items, but that show is just plain crazy. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch to see what I mean. Quite interesting. I thought this post from was a great start for any of you so-called “hoarders” out there….

meditate It’s not unusual to form attachments to your possessions for one reason or another. Here are the five most popular attachments and some solutions to help you get rid of your clutter guilt-free.1. Memories attachment:
These are the items that often come with a story. ‘I remember when I bought this with Aunt Norma.’ Those stories can often make it difficult to part with the item.
* In most cases, the memory is the valuable piece and the item itself simply triggers that memory. Take a photo of the item and create a scrapbook page to journal the story. Then, relieve yourself of the actual item.
* Find someone else within your family who not only loves the story for the item, but could also put it to good use on a regular basis, instead of it cluttering the back corner of your basement.

2. It was expensive attachment:

The expensive attachment applies to things that you no longer use, but simply can’t bear to part with because they cost you a great a deal of money at one point or another. It might be the children’s bedroom furniture set or the special tool only needed for the project you completed years ago.

* Don’t just give it away. Use the Internet to get the best resale price possible. Many sites exist to help with sale of such items. The money in your pocket will be put to far better use than the money once spent on now unused furniture.

* Locate a store near you that offers trade-ins. This will give you the opportunity to get something useful while still removing the clutter from your house.
3. I might use it attachment:

Often times, the ‘I might use it’ attachment rears its head around seasonal items or those great finds for organizing your home office.

* Try using it once. You may find that the bulky parka that you’ve been holding onto is incredibly uncomfortable or is perfect for you, but if it is still hanging in your closet after two years you will never know. After trying it, if it doesn’t work for you anymore, send it off to the thrift store. If you still like it, determine if it is something that you can use more than once in the next six months. If not you may still want to consider sending it on to a new home.

4. Gift attachment:

Too often gifts are the thorn in the side of the recovering clutter-holic. After all, what do you do with a gift for which you can’t find a use, but also can’t get rid of without feeling guilty?

* Try to repurpose the item. Can’t use a stand for a layer cake, because you can’t bake a layer cake? Use it on your dining room buffet as a place to house and show-off your beautiful china plates.

* Feel better about giving the gift away by finding a home that would truly value it. Check with the local women’s shelter or social services agency to send it in the right direction.

5: Novelty/It might be worth something someday attachment:

Novelty items are great conversations starters, but only if you have found a tasteful way to display them on a constant basis. So what do you do with all those beanie babies you ‘invested’ in 15 years ago?

* Consider how much it will cost you in others areas of your life to maintain your investment. Is this investment costing you peace of mind by causing you to live in clutter? How many times have you had to move the item from house to house or room to room?

* Is there a child in your life that might enjoy beginning a collection of their own? Taking the time to share the joy of your collection with the next generation and giving that child the chance to enjoy your investment may help you to let go of keeping that item in your house.




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