Do you take the time to reflect on the reasons for your actions? Is it possible that we have a tough time understanding how our subconscious mind at times directs our daily life?

As a professional home organizer, I help people get their homes in order and stop at that point. However, I was always curious about why people unknowingly allow clutter to form and what is the resistance in letting go.

I took the time to research this subject and decided the best and easiest way to present these findings to you is by discussing the top 5 Excuses disorganized people make for keeping unnecessary items.  I will also offer a rebuttal using reasoning that can encourage behavioral change.

Excuse # 1
I will use or need the item one day, so I cannot get rid of it

What are we most likely saying is that an item that can receive use, such a pair of scissors or hammer, is a useful thing to keep. Practical people will have the hardest time getting rid of things that have a physical function.

Studies find that people struggle the most in parting with possessions that fuel their self-worth. A person who values monetary success will have a hard time parting with expensive items. A person who values personal relationships with friends and family will struggle with letting go of keepsakes and family heirlooms.

Recognizing the type of person you are can create the kind of awareness you need to come to terms with and understand while you declutter your belongings.

In the logic, What you need to ask yourself deep down inside is whether “you” will use it or have you been getting by using something else in its place.  Often it is hard to let go of the practical. However, in this case, your inner self knows the truth, so tap into feelings. You must be able to recollect a time when you used it recently and especially be able to envision yourself using it soon.


Excuse #2

I am being wasteful and not resourceful by getting rid of things.

Here we most likely struggling with a deeply-rooted conviction ingrained in us in childhood. Perhaps our aunt or mother lived through a recession or hard times and projected these feelings onto us. “Eat everything on your plate; people are starving across the planet, so do not be wasteful and carefree with your food and belongings.”

In these situations, you need to ask yourself if repainting the old table that you dislike is going to make a difference. Are you going to reuse your items differently? Do you honestly have the time and inclination to work on repurposing something?

Perhaps, adopting a new attitude about possessions is in order. Do things add to your happiness, or are they weighing you down? The millennials have moved on from this trap and decided to rent and not buy. They cherish moments and experiences and not things. They are moving into tiny houses and tight spaces and enjoying freedom.

Changing your thinking is possible, but you need awareness.


Excuse #3

My items are worth a lot of money.

What people are usually feeling when they think in terms of monetary worth is guilt. They do not want to let go of something expensive because they may have overpaid or spent a lot of money on something. The problem is that holding onto it won’t get their money back.

Most people also think that their belongings hold a higher value than they are worth. They can usually remember what they paid for something, and this is where the problem starts for them.  However, what they are not taking into consideration is depreciation. After tags get removed from merchandise,  the value drops. In most cases, used items are worth one-third of their original cost. Even like new articles resell for half-price.

It is essential to rationalize with an actual value of your item when you declutter, so you make sound decisions on what to with your stuff. The only way to determine value is to find out what your article is currently selling for in today’s resale marketplace. First, devise an accurate, thorough product description and then look around by contacting a brick-and-mortar resale store or search online.


Excuse #4

If I get rid of this item, then I will have to replace it with something else.

What people could be saying is that I don’t want to spend money. It is essential to recognize that if an item is not receiving use, then it is probably time to replace it with something that can accept the use. Or, it could be that you should get rid of the item and not replace it because you have gotten by without having to do so.

People also think they will have to replace something in the future because they project hope onto the item. For example, they cannot get rid of their small clothes because they hope to lose weight or hold onto books for they can catch up on reading. It is imperative that you acknowledge that any costs involved in the possibility of the need to re-buy are worth a clutter-free home.


Excuse #5

If I get rid of my stuff than I feel like I will have nothing.

I have heard people say this with deep conviction — a feeling of emptiness links here where a void needs to get filled. There are many reasons why we experience voids but recognizing the possibility that you have one can be the start of the recovery process.

In this situation, it is important to reflect on the benefits of reducing home inventories and see all the meaningful things that come from the act of decluttering.

First, you gain peace and minimize stress by getting rid of weighted clutter. You help the environment by recycling, which helps future generations since we are running out of natural resources. Donating is rewarding. Knowing that you are clothing the homeless or that your donated items can help fund community programs is a feeling like no other.

We all have attachments to particular belongings, and a limited amount is reasonable and healthy.  However, recognize a situation where you have trouble letting go of many things. It is at these moments that we need to try to discover more awareness of our feelings. Perhaps, a new way of looking at stuff with the help of a family member or friend can be the perspective you need. Start small, getting rid of some items, and then see how you feel.  The next time around will get easier because the more you begin to get rid of things, the more motivation you’ll gain to keep going.   Lastly, focus on the positive feelings you will experience in a peaceful uncluttered environment. Look at your unwanted clutter as the stumbling block in the way.

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