Why we keep thingsThere are a lot of reasons why we keep things. Some of them make sense, others, not so much. However, the reason why someone is keeping something may make perfect sense to them. I hear these reasons a lot when I’m working with clients. Some of us have no issues with discarding things. They realize the value of having open and clear spaces and they don’t feel tied to their stuff. Others may realize that they need to do some purging, yet they hold onto things all the same. What they don’t realize is that they will feel so much lighter and at peace, when they remove excess things that are weighing them down.

Below are 4 common reasons why we keep things that I hear a lot from clients, and how to get past them to keep your stuff to a minimum.

I’m keeping these clothes until l lose weight: This is the most common reason I hear from women about clothes. Ok, it’s possible that you may lose that weight so you can once again fit into those clothes, but when will that be? When you do lose the weight, those outfits that you once loved, may be out of style or not look good on you anymore. Right now though, they are taking up space that you could use for the clothes you wear now. If your closet is stuffed with clothes, you may not even know what you have to wear that fits. We typically wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. That may be in part because we can’t actually see everything we have. If you purge the clothes that don’t fit, you will be able to see what you have and save time getting ready in the morning.

I may need it someday: When I hear this, it prompts me to ask them, ‘when was the last time you used this?’ If they can’t remember, then I ask them to give me a scenario when they may use it in the future. Chances are, they haven’t used it for quite awhile, and if they can think of a scenario where they may use it, that opportunity may never come to fruition. And then I ask, ‘what’s the worst thing that will happen if you get rid of it?’ They usually say they will need to buy another one. Ok so is that really so bad?

This was a gift and if I get rid of it, it will hurt someone’s feelings: If you are given a gift, you are not obligated to keep it. I know that sounds a little mean, but it’s not. You don’t want to keep things in your space that you don’t love, use or want. Pass it on to someone who will love it, use it and want it. I’m sure the gift giver would want their gift to go to someone who really wants it anyway.

It was my _______ (relative) that passed away: This reason is likely sentimental and could have a very strong attachment. We have all gone through this and it’s not easy. If you have the space to store all of your loved ones things, great, if not, they have to go. Determine which of their things that you want to keep, will fit comfortably in your spaces. For the others, you can always take pictures of these items and put them in an album with your loved ones name on it, or put on your computer to save space. Then sell or donate the actual items.