WHO’S REALLY THE BOSS?
We think we own our stuff but often times it really owns us.
If you’ve got plenty of space for all your things, this might not be obvious. But as soon as you find yourself pinched for space, this reality rears its ugly head. And thus begins the conflict between what we want or need to do with all the excess and what we think we ought to do.
There are many reasons we hold on to things we know we’d be better off without. These things are clutter.
Clutter is …
Anything unused or unloved
Anything broken and unlikely to be fixed
Anything easily replaced if necessary
Anything that exceeds the space available
So what are the most common types and how can they be overcome?
“It’s been in the family forever.” That might be true, but if the items in question don’t fit your lifestyle or your taste, you can and should find another home for them. Cast a wider net. If immediate family members don’t want the things, see if cousins, nieces and nephews, or close friends do. Beauty and utility are in the eyes of the beholder. What is clutter to one person might be treasure to another. It might sound like heresy, but family heirlooms can be sold or donated.
A gift, once properly acknowledged, belongs to the recipient. If you’ve been given something that you don’t want or need, you’re under no obligation to keep it. After a proper thank you, thoughtful re-gifting or donating can keep this type of clutter at bay.
Buyers’ Remorse Clutter
I paid a lot of this item so I’d better keep it. It seems wasteful to let it go. The psychological cost of holding on to mistakes is often higher than the dollar cost. Mistakes happen. Every time you look at the misguided purchase (particularly if it was an expensive mistake), you’ll feel bad about it. Let the item go and vow to not make that same mistake again.
Just In Case Clutter
This is closely related to buyers’ remorse clutter. How often do you say, “I might need this someday so I’d better hold on to it.” Or, “I’m not sure what this is or how it’s used, but I’d better save it, just in case.”
If “this” is something incredibly difficult to find and expensive to acquire, maybe you give yourself a pass. Otherwise, give yourself permission to let it go. The random hardware, key, computer cord etc are almost certainly clutter and can be discarded without any remorse.
Coming back to where we started, your stuff owns you, not the other way around. And paradoxically, the more we surrender, the more in control of our homes and our lives we become. Learning to let go of clutter is an acquired habit. The more you practice letting go, the easier it will become.
We would love to also share with you a special sermon given by JoeB Martin in Atlanta, GA, in regards to clutter. Click the link below to hear more about how to simplify your life!