6 Emotional Ties to Your Junk

Retro Typewriter Machine Old StyleMost of us hold on to things we don’t use, want, or need far longer than we should. Why? Here are six common reasons we refuse to let go of junk and how to overcome our fear of letting things go.

It Has Sentimental Value

We tend to assign sentimental value to our stuff so we have a reason to hang on to them forever. There’s nothing wrong with keeping things with emotional value unless they become unnecessary clutter. Do you really need it, or are you keeping it just because your great-grandmother gave it to you? If you’re not ready to part with it just yet, let go halfway: give it to a relative, friend, or neighbor so you can enjoy it part-time.

It Was a Gift

We sometimes receive gifts we dislike or can’t use. Are you keeping a gift simply because you don’t want to hurt the giver’s feelings? It’s likely the giver has rarely thought about whether or not you use it. If you’re asked about it, be honest, apologize, and explain it’s not your style but you appreciate the sentiment.

It Represents a Dream

Maybe you’re keeping a treasure trove of blank canvases and beautiful paints, but it might be a great time to sort through your stash. Organize your paints and brushes, ridding of any that have dried up, or get rid of canvases that are unusual and unusable sizes.

It Was Expensive

Keeping something just because you spent a lot of money on it won’t replace the money you paid, nor will it make you feel better about that money. Forgive yourself for wasting money, vow to make better financial decisions, and let it go.

I Might Need It Someday

Realistically, you could make this claim about everything you own and don’t use. But if you haven’t used or even looked at an item for more than a year, chances are you never will.

It’s Too Much Work to Declutter

It’s human nature to avoid overwhelming tasks, and decluttering a house filled with junk is one of those. Break the project into manageable chunks. Start with one room, a corner of one room, or one type of item; for example, your vintage record collection. Even minimal progress inspires you to sort and purge until your whole house is organized.

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