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We all have “stuff.” It’s our clothes, shoes, papers, thank you cards and old cd’s. Over time, we grow attachments to the items we collect, for one reason or another.

Facing the challenge of deciding whether or not to part with items that hold such strong emotional attachments can seem overwhelming. I have a few tips below I practice myself and use with my clients to help when facing those hurdles.

Justification

A lot of my clients will quickly try to justify to me why they should keep something. Majority of the time it is a sentimental justification. I always have the same response, “If you have to justify keeping it, it probably means you shouldn’t.”  There is a distinct difference between knowing in your gut it’s something you have to keep vs. quickly giving into the sentimental justification that is blocking you from rationally knowing what to do.

One in, One Out

Unless you are filthy rich and live in a mansion, you most likely have a certain amount livable space. Which can quickly fill up. A rule to put in place to help you is: one in one out. Which means, if you buy something new you then have to throw something out. So if you have to have that new pillow or pair shoes, prepare to part with something to make room for it.

Talk it Out

I am a big promoter of talking to yourself while you organize. Whether it’s an internal dialogue or out loud, do not be afraid to talk to each item you are sorting through.  For example, you pull out a random gift you received but forgot about for well over a year. The first thought might be that you are pumped you just found it! But continue to ask yourself some questions, how long was it hidden away? Had you ever thought about where it was? Was your life significantly worse because you didn’t have it? As you ask yourself these questions you begin to see and understand whether or not you’re trying to justify keeping it or it being something you absolutely can’t live without.

Digital

Thank you cards, save the dates, baby announcements and get wells. They can quickly add up and usually do for many of us. Paper is a big issue for a lot of people and there are great resources out there to help combat with the overflowing amount of cards and paper keeps sakes we have. If there are a few cards that you can’t part with, take a photo of them and upload them to your cloud service or dropbox. There are also tons of apps to help you store, choose archiving dates, upload kids artwork, and more.

 

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