When They Won’t Get Rid of Anything
We get asked this question a lot: “What do I do with my mom / dad / grandparent? They won’t let go of anything!”
Our things are all attached to other things – a memory, a moment, and sometimes guilt. We hear comments such as, “I can’t get rid of that! My mom gave that to me on my 16th birthday, and I know I never use it, but I can’t just throw it out!”
Instead of feeling guilt over an item that is adding to your clutter, we suggest that you give yourself permission. Give yourself permission to hold the item, to appreciate that your mom, or best friend, or long lost uncle gave it to you. Then, remind yourself that it really is something that you do not use or need, and therefore it probably needs a new home. Next, you can kindly, sensitively, release the item from trappings of guilt or obligation and pass it along.
If this seems too hard to do, try the following tips:
- Give yourself a break! Sometimes we are trying to downsize but we’re not able to get rid of things that are special to us or that we think we might use in the near future. If you really aren’t ready to get rid of something, set it aside and keep it in a pile that you label “essentials”.
- After you have finished sorting, take another look at your “essentials” pile. Are the things in it all still essentials? If so, put them away or pack them to prepare for your upcoming move. If the things aren’t really essential and you decide that there are some that you can part with, add them to your donation or rubbish pile.
- Are some items more essential than others? Which ones are your absolute must haves? Do all the items fit nicely in your new space (if you are moving) or fit in your existing space? If not, are some items in good condition so they could be useful to someone else? (Sometimes, knowing that the items could be useful to someone else can make it easier to pass them on.)
Downsizing is not an exact science, and there is no way to make it easy for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be painful. We can help you make it easier.