Change Your Mindset
Give Yourself Permission
It can often be difficult to get rid of our things, even when you are determined to reduce the amount of stuff. Even when you have decided it is the right thing for you – and your family – and have gotten yourself psyched up for the change. Sometimes, you even start and then get discouraged. Or make real progress and then plateau. In those cases, it can help to shake things up and try something new – or return to something that has worked in the past.
8 Strategies to Make Letting Go Easier
Set a Timer and A Category
Give yourself a limited time (10-15 minutes is a good place to start) and identify a clear space (Nightstand, junk drawer, hall closet….) or category of things (books, coats, toys, craft supplies). Even when you don’t feel like starting, some constraints give you direction and the confidence to tackle it. It no longer feels like a endless task and you can get right too it.
Get Rid of Duplicates (not sets or pairs, of course)
Grab a box and gather up all the things that you have collected that duplicate something else. Things like extra spatulas or pink t-shirts or dish towels or holiday decor that you don’t use or need. Donate everything to a person or place that can use it.
Start With a Clean Slate
Instead of trying to select a few items from an area to discard, empty the shelf/drawer/closet/box and return only the things you need or want to keep. Get the rest out of your space immediately.
Create a Ritual
Have a routine that helps you release things to a new home. This might be as simple as moving things in a particular order or having a grace period of a few days, weeks or months before making the final call. Courtney Carver (BeMoreWithLess.com) suggests speaking aloud to your items to thank them for what they have brought into your life. Sometimes, I take a picture, print it and write a short description or story on the back. Find something that helps you feel comfortable to let go.
Take A Picture
If you have sentimental items that don’t suit your lifestyle, take pictures and write the meaning behind the item. Save the pictures in an album or in a frame as part of the process of letting it go.
Let Go of Gift Guilt
If you are holding on to things because someone gave it to you, remind yourself that someone who loves you would not want you to keep things that do not inspire you or make you happy. You can love the giver and the thought but release the gift.
Read more in my post Don’t Keep Things ONLY Because of Guilt
Ask for Help
Get a friend to help you reduce and make decisions. Have an accountability partner. Or even ask – or hire – someone to pack and remove things – with your direction. There are
Find it a New Home
Sell or donate items you don’t need. List them in marketplaces, post on Buy Nothing sites, take them out to the curb with a ‘FREE’ sign, or pack them up and take it to a non-for-profit or thrift shop (remember to call first to see what they need/want).
Donating your stuff to a good cause, or giving it to someone you know will love it, makes it much easier to release it and get it out of your home.
It’s a Journey
Some things will be harder to let go than others and some days you will be more in the zone or have a better mindset to clear more things. Recognize that things change, stuff happens and some days you will need encouragement. Celebrate progress and make a plan for days (or weeks) when you are not feeling it. Those can often be the times you need it the most. AND the times that it is most rewarding to accomplish even simple changes.
Questions for you
Do you find it challenging to let go of things? Why or why not?
What are your favourite strategies to let go of stuff?