As an organiser, I think I have heard most of the objections now as to why someone does not want to get rid of something. However, there are some that come up time and time again, so I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you and see how many you have said to yourself before to justify why the clutter needs to stay.
I might need it one day
Might is the key word here. Will you though? Be really, really, honest with yourself. Unless you have a specific planned event or project in mind within the next 6 months you probably won’t. Or (which is even worse), you will forget you have it, or can’t find it, and end up buying it again anyway so now you have two items in your home that you never use.
As a rule of thumb, I try to ask, if it would cost less than £15 to replace if you did need it again, would that be such a terrible thing if it means having more space for the things you use all the time and love?
It was expensive
This is a tough one as I understand the thought process behind it, especially if it has never been used and so don’t feel like you have got your money’s worth yet.
Think of this though. Is keeping the item in your home isn’t making you any richer? Will letting go of the item make you any poorer?
You could instead sell the item and use those funds to purchase something you need, want and love or even better, perhaps a day out to make more memories. That way the item and the money spent is actually providing some value to your life.
It was a gift
Another tough one here but one that we should not feel guilty about. I won’t spend too much time on this one as I have actually written a whole blog on this subject. You can read it here.
For a quick tip though, ask yourself this question. What would you want someone to do with a gift you gave them that they didn’t like, no longer used, or grew out of? Would the answer really be keep it forever?
I am going to fit into it one day
There is absolutely no problem having one or two goal items of clothing. If you are looking to lose weight and would like some visible progress shots and a physical non scale goal to hit, absolutely go for it. Those goal jeans for example have a purpose and are being used.
However, you do not need a whole wardrobe of clothes that don’t fit you. They are probably making you miserable every time you look at them and that is a lot of money being spent storing clothes you are never going to use.
Let’s face it, when you do reach your goal, will your body shape still be the same? Will the types of clothes you enjoy wearing have changed? Will you actually rather go out and treat yourself to some new clothes instead?
Clothes can be easily donated and sold so there is no reason to hold onto them.
I am saving it for (enter name) when they have kids
I know you have the best intentions, but you will probably know from when you had children if you are fortunate enough to have been gifted a lot of clothes from friends and family, especially if it is your first child.
So, although you mean well, the likelihood is that they will also be given many clothes when they are born too.
If you have a specific person in mind who is currently pregnant, and you have already discussed with them then of course this is perfectly fine as you know they will be passed on in a specific timeframe. If not, you cannot assume that anyone will have children. You could be waiting forever.
Instead, you can donate baby clothes to some really worthy causes. Do some research as to the type of organisation that would fit right for you and donate to a project where they will be really valued and needed.
Oh, but this one is from when we (enter memory here)
We all keep items for their memories. It is a great way to re-live the moment and share with future generations, but we need to be careful that we don’t tip over into keeping clutter for the sake of it.
The best tip I have here is to designate a box to each family member. Then, when you go to add an item, have a look inside and decide if you can remember what each item relates to and if that is still a really special memory you would like to continue to live on.
If you do have some special items, you can also consider putting them on display too and making them part of the décor in your home. There are always creative ways to re-purpose items to something you will love and use. Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration.
Finally, you have to think about whether you need the whole item/ box etc. Do you need to keep every single baby toy or would their absolute favourite 2 or 3 be sufficient? Remember, the memories aren’t for you, they are likely for someone else. What will they think when you give them 10 boxes of their childhood compared to just 1 really special box with notes about each item and why they are special?
Be intentional with what you keep and think about who the items are for and what you want to pass on to future generations.
I inherited it
Inherited items have a lot of emotion attached to them, so I understand the difficulty in letting go.
If the item is a family heirloom or likely to increase in value in the future, then that is absolutely ok to keep and many people have a certain element of this. Again, a memory box of the really special things about that person is also Ok and a way to remember them by.
If though you are storing all their furniture and every item they ever wore etc, then this is the time to really decide what is important to you.
If the person in question was still here and there was a fire, what would they grab first, what was special to them. I am sure that random wardrobe in your garage probably didn’t hold emotional value to them, so you have to be hard on yourself and ask why is it important to you? Letting go of a piece of furniture will not make you lose any memory of them or remind you of any specific time. Choose to keep things that have a story behind them.
I have space so it can stay
Just because you have the space doesn’t mean you don’t have to declutter. The whole purpose of your belongings is to either serve you a physical purpose in your life or an emotional purpose i.e., it makes you happy or brings back a special memory etc.
Just because you have the space, why would you want to be surrounded by things that make you feel guilt, stress, or cause you not to be able to find the things that you actually use.
Think of it this way, if you have the space, it means you have the luxury of using it intentionally with the perfect system for you. Make proper categories and have designated homes without struggling.
Plus, one final note here. With this attitude eventually you will fill the space and your home will be full. Then you will have a much, much bigger project on your hands. Save yourself the trouble and declutter as you go.
I hope this was useful. I would love to know how many excuses you have used.
If this has inspired you to tackle some of your clutter, I am currently running a declutter challenge over on my Instagram page which you can find here. Why not join us and get involved?