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Breaking through the Emotional Barrier of Decluttering

Breaking through the Emotional Barrier of Decluttering

Decluttering and organizing are hard tasks, and breaking through the emotional barrier of decluttering can be almost impossible. A lot of times, you’re being asked (or asking yourself) to consider getting rid of something that either elicits a visceral response or is loaded with history. Even a piece of clothing (that doesn’t fit) can be difficult to part with if you’re emotionally attached to it. Sometimes people keep an item of clothing because it’s something special they wore on a date, or they’re trying to fit back into. People keep figurines because they were great grandma’s, not because they love it.

How to Commemorate Items So You Can Let Them Go

In order to honor our emotional bonds with the items we own but realize we don’t need to keep, we need to break through the emotional barrier of decluttering and find a way to commemorate them.

Take a picture

Whether it’s a box of concert tickets and other mementos or something larger, taking a digital photo of the item(s) can help you remember them without having to take up the space of storing – and dusting – them. Having the photo to keep helps you let go of the actual item, which in turn can make everything easier to sell, donate, or toss out.

Pass It On

Give the item to someone else in your family who will cherish it. You might be done with grandma’s teacups, but maybe your niece has always wanted them. Some things you may feel better about getting rid of if you are able to donate them to a worthy cause. Take your clothes to a homeless shelter. Donate collectibles to an auction for a non-profit organization. Do good with your decluttering efforts.

Picture Your Goals

Often, we begin decluttering for a reason. Perhaps the house is so crowded it stresses you out. Decluttering, then, can be about reducing stress and anxiety. Maybe you’re trying to sell your house – or you’ve just moved into a home you truly love, and you want the freedom to decorate it in your style. Maybe you just don’t have any more room for new clothes in the closet, but you’ve lost some weight and want to treat yourself. Whatever the reason, focus on the result of what decluttering and better organizing can mean for you, your life, your stress, and your home.

Ask for Help

Sometimes, moral support is all you need. Get in touch with a friend. Ask for their help, or just get some cheerleading to help you through. Sometimes, you need an expert to help you work through the emotional challenges that can come with trying to sort through the things you really do want to keep and the things you just feel morally obligated to keep or guilty for getting rid of.

Remember, it’s not about getting rid of everything you own and living in an austere environment. It’s about reorganizing your home, your things, and your life to feed your soul and bring you happiness.

Cris Sgrott

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