By Kelly Corkery
Recently, I had a conversation about letting go of a piece of furniture that was a big ticket purchase several years ago. The individual was in the middle a housing transition from a large family home to a more modest accommodation.
There wasn’t room for the piece, they no longer needed it or truly wanted it, but they were struggling with how much money they shelled out on the initial purchase.
Monetary investment and perceived value of objects can be a big sticking point for many when decluttering and downsizing spaces. I tend to look at it like this: your money is gone when you buy an item, not when you let the item go. Don’t let guilt waste your space too because that money is sunk, it’s gone. So, with that mindset, you can let the guilt go too.
“But I spent a lot of money on this 5/10/20 years ago.” I hear you. If you spent $20/$50/$100 on something, it doesn’t make you $20/$50/$100 richer holding onto it. It won’t make you $20/$50/$100 poorer when you let it go either.
“I’ll just be wasting money by getting rid of things I might need later.” I hear that too. I encourage you to flip the perspective and ask yourself, “Am I wasting precious space, time and energy by keeping things I’m not using?” What’s more valuable to you? Your home is a living space, not storage space.
Decluttering, downsizing, and organizing are as emotional as they are physical. It often requires removing good quality things—expensive, useful, admired, and fancy things. Consider, are you spending more time doing something with your stuff than doing something with your friends or family?
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Henry Thoreau
Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you encounter a roadblock:
Does this serve its purpose-does it suit MY purpose? Everything has a cost. How much are you willing to sacrifice your time and purpose for your possessions? Useless things drain our time (and bank accounts), important things bring us contentment.
Can this be useful to someone else? When we hold on to good things we don’t need, we keep them from being helpful to others. It’s not wasteful just to give things away that were barely used or not used at all, especially if they weren’t cheap.
Would I leave this as someone else’s responsibility? What will happen to this when I’m gone? Do I enjoy it enough to leave it for someone to take care of? It will be my loved ones taking care of it someday.
How do I want to live my life? Keep your eye on the why. Do you want to live a life owned by your stuff? Remember, you’re giving up the good for the best-YOU.