Help with Letting Go of Clutter

I've heard all sorts of psychological reasons and hundreds of excuses for why people hang on to things.  Some are very valid while others are just bunk.  Over time and observation, I've come to my own conclusions on the difference between those with excessive clutter vs. those that don't.   Essentially, there are two different trains of thought:

  • Those that hang on to things just in case it's ever needed.
  • Those that let go because they will acquire things once they're needed.

Holding on to things that you don't use every day but know without a doubt you'll need - i.e.: my event day emergency kit or a packed suitcase for the frequent, short notice traveler - is one thing.  Purchasing a dress because it's on sale when you have no occasion to wear it is another.

Not long ago, I was answering questions from a lady curious about my professional organization business - how things work, how did I handle people that didn't want to let go of anything, etc.  She told me she bought clothes all the time, but they "were classics that won't go out of style if I don't wear it for five years."  Her husband was frustrated because her clothes took up multiple closets in their home but she rarely wore most of them.  A good majority of the clothing still had tags on them.  I gave her my "two thoughts" theory and she admitted to being a "just in case" person.  I told her that with the internet, you can find and purchase anything you need in relatively short order.  We no longer live in a society where things are hard to come by when you need them. 

"I refuse to buy anything that isn't on sale," she replied. 

The truth is that by thinking this way, she has literally THOUSANDS of wasted dollars hanging in her closet.   Furthermore, a majority of people who tell me they hang on to items "just in case" ended up spending more money because they couldn't find what they needed when they needed it.

Spring is the perfect time to take on the cluttered area that has been nagging at you.  While weeding through and purging, think of these things: when is the last time I used this and is this a soul-stirring object that I love?  If it's been a long time or you don't love and adore it, ask if you're hanging on to it "just in case."  If that's the reasoning, let go and donate it to someone who does need it.  Trust that you'll be able to acquire what you need, when you need it.  Because the truth is - you will.