Have you ever ambitiously started spring cleaning only to get discouraged as you hesitate over everything you’re trying to get rid of? Don’t fall into the “it’s easier to just keep everything” trap.
Let me address the two most common thoughts/fears that drive hesitation and cause you to hold onto things.
1. I Might Need This
This reasoning can just be an excuse, often avoiding the reality of a situation by not asking questions to get definitive answers. “I might need this” is not an answer, it is an all-encompassing true statement. You can say this of any object in the physical universe, and you won’t be wrong. But the truth is, you have a better idea than you might like to admit. After all, you do know if you’ve ever once “needed” an item. So ask- have I used this since I’ve had it? (Bonus points if it’s been within the past year.) You probably even have a hunch if you will in the next few years. So- do I see myself needing it in the next foreseeable year? Come up with real situations or purposes for the answers. If you have used it and/or plan to in the next 6 months to 1 year, then you have a good case to keep it! If you can’t think of a scenario, or even if you can- how likely is that really going to be your future? Keep in mind: does the cost outweigh the benefit. Paying to move another box or renting a storage unit can add up quickly. You could replace, maybe even upgrade, for about the same amount.
More questions could be:
- If you did need this in 10 years, will it still be in good shape?
- How expensive is it, could you buy one down the road, if necessary?
- Could you comfortably live without it, even if you did want one at some point?
- Are you just holding onto it for fear of future regret?
2. What If I Regret It
Many ask “what if I regret throwing it away” yet hardly anyone asks “what if I regret keeping it.” There’s a hidden cost to owning an item which isn’t normally considered. Having a bunch of junk, cluttering your home, adds negative energy. It costs you in time, space, mental resources, and influences first impressions of your guests. If something is not sparking joy, is it really worth keeping?
I can’t guarantee never having regret, but I can advise you to avoid making a rushed decision when evaluating. Luckily most don’t approach their possessions like this anyway. If you can think about it and get definitive answers, you should ultimately feel comfortable with your decision. That way, if something similar to what’s been given away is needed years later, you don’t have to second guess your past self (that couldn’t predict the future). All any of us can do is make informed decisions at the time. Besides, I’ve found more often than not what I had wouldn’t work right, leaving me to settle. As it is, I can fill the need with whatever suits the purpose perfectly. Therefore, even though I occasionally needed similar things, I never regretted what I no longer had in my life.
You’ll have to take my word at first, but the more you practice letting go, the more peace you will feel doing so. Your hesitation should dissipate and your comfort level will grow as you realize (with time) you don’t regret things as much as you feared and the need for those specific/rare occasions doesn’t come as often.
I’m here to tell you, alive and well, I’m perfectly content without the things I’ve given away. It makes me so much happier to have exactly what I need, surrounded only by what makes me happy and is perfectly functional. In fact, I’ve recently realized letting things go brings me more joy than holding onto them. Why not try it?Tags: Hesitation, Holding Onto Things, Letting Go, Regret, Top Fears