use itHow many things do you have that you don’t use? I’m guessing the answer to that question is, a lot. Here’s a new mantra for you – ‘use it or remove it’.

Inherited items come to mind. Most of us have things we don’t use that were inherited from a family member or multiple family members. We keep them whether we want them or not just because they were Grandma’s or Uncle Ed’s. We associate these things with memories of the person they belonged to. These items fill up our storage areas and then we don’t have room for our things that we do use.

There is a lot of criteria to consider when we are decluttering to make the keep or remove decisions. Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it? Does it fit? Do I like the way it looks on me? What is the worse thing that will happen if I remove it? I could go on and on but you get the gist.  For many the decision to keep or discard an item is easy, for others not so much.  And by discard, or remove, I mean recycle or donate which is a means of recycling.

Even for those that make quick decisions, removing Mom’s set of china could be difficult. We all have attachments to some things and more so if it belonged to a loved one that passed away.  However, if you don’t use it, wouldn’t it be better to give it to someone that would enjoy it rather than packing it away never to see it again?

I recently read an article in the Denver Post about sentimental attachments.  It’s a wonderful story about a woman going through the things in her parent’s home to get it ready to sell.  She reached out to a few psychology experts to learn why we get so attached to our parent’s things.  They provided explanations and advice on how to handle these situations and the emotions that come up.

The benefits of ‘remove it’ if you don’t ‘use it’ far outweigh storing items that you don’t want or that you don’t have space for. As you begin a decluttering or downsizing project, keep the following benefits in mind to ease the pain of making those tough decisions.

  • Letting go of clutter is liberating and feels as though a weight has been lifted.
  • Clearing clutter saves time. Time saved searching for things you can’t find for all the clutter.
  • Out with the old brings in new experiences.
  • Clutter is stagnant energy that causes stress; less stuff equals less stress.
  • Clear spaces will promote a feeling of wellbeing.