Overcoming Anxiety About Throwing Things Away

  • A modern couch and coffee table anchors a clean and organized home.
The jeans you’ll fit into if you lose 20 pounds. Martini glasses you’ve used once. Your old college Shakespeare anthology.

You don’t use any of these things.

But that doesn’t matter because you can imagine yourself using them. There you are at a fabulous party you’re throwing, slimmer and wearing those designer jeans, while sipping on a dirty martini and discussing that Shakespeare play you just read.

If you get rid of the jeans, the martini glasses, and the Shakespeare you’ll be missing out on this future fun. Or so it seems …

Fear of Throwing Things Away

There are all sorts of reasons we hold onto things we no longer need, including financial and sentimental. But one of the biggest is a fear of missing out.

There is, however, often a cost of holding onto things you don’t use. Are those martini glasses crowding out your everyday cups and glasses, making it a pain to unload the dishwasher? Does the sight of those jeans make you feel guilty? Has that Shakespeare anthology been gathering dust for the last 20 years?

Study after study shows us that clutter causes anxiety, inhibits our ability to focus, and raises stress levels.

That means we’re far better off clearing the clutter out of our homes and enjoying the life we have right now, instead of saving a bunch of stuff just in case we need them some day.

What’s the worst that could happen, after all? Let’s say you lose that 20 pounds, but you’ve parted ways with your jeans. Go ahead and splurge on a new pair of jeans (maybe you even made some money selling the old pair), throw a party serving wine and beer, and talk about the interesting science of clutter story you just read.

What if You Just Can’t Do It?

Right now, you may be telling yourself that your situation is a little bit different. You just need a bit of time to get your act together and then you will start using the jeans, glasses, and Shakespeare (or whatever your version of those items is.)

There’s a baby step designed for people just like you. Take all of those items you’re going to use some day, put them in big plastic storage bins and get them out of sight. Make sure it’s someplace where you don’t have to see them every day.

You’ll begin to reap the rewards of clutter-free living immediately—and you’ll still have all of your stuff should you need it. Just make yourself a deal: If you haven’t touched the bins in a year, you’ll get rid of them. You might even write the date on the bins, just to keep yourself honest.

About StorageMart

We’re big fans of clutter-free living—and how it can improve everyday life. If you find yourself running out of space, consider how renting a self storage unit could give you the extra boost you need to get organized.

All of our units can be rented on a month-to-month basis and are always clean and well-lit. Need more info? Check out our storage unit guide or rent a unit online today.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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