How to Let Go of Stuff in Your House

That wool sweater you brought home from Ireland that itches like crazy. The fabric you bought ten years ago for a quilt you wanted to make. The collectibles your mother gave you. The exercise bike that’s gathering dust in your basement.

You don’t use or like any of these items anymore. In fact, looking at that pile of fabric stresses you out, as does the exercise bike. Yet, you hold onto them because of guilt, because of anxiety about throwing things away.

That’s why you can’t get rid of these things—and many more—that are cluttering your home. You feel guilty about the money you paid for the sweater. You feel guilty that you never made time to quilt and don’t exercise every day. Of course, you feel guilty at the thought of getting rid of something your mother gave you. To solve it, a storage unit can help, but you’ll also need to tackle the root cause of that anxiety.

Feeling Guilty Throwing Things Away

Now that we’ve identified the problem, let’s take a look at the solution—and the different types of guilt.

Financial Guilt

Sure, you paid good money for that sweater, but let’s face it: It’s itchy, and you’re probably not going to wear it. If you keep it, you’re succumbing to the sunk cost fallacy, which is when we think we can get value of something if we just keep it around forever. The best way to cut your losses is to sell it on eBay or at a garage sale. Keeping it won’t get your money back.

Project Guilt

You really wanted to make that quilt. It was a great idea at the time, but hey, it’s been 10 years. Whether you don’t have time to make the quilt or simply don’t feel like making the quilt anymore, that’s OK. You’re wasting a lot of good energy by looking at the pile of fabric and feeling guilty. Not all projects get finished, and that’s just how it is sometimes. Sell it or donate it.

Sentimental Guilt

This is perhaps the hardest type of guilt to overcome, but the fact is we’d all be hoarders if we saved everything everyone ever gave us. At the same time, we’d all be heartless if we saved nothing. The key is to save the handful of things you love and use the most. If you don’t love something, honor your loved one by giving the item to someone who will enjoy and use it.

Self-Improvement Guilt

Every time you go to the basement, you see the exercise bike you never use. This was a big-ticket item and may require a bit more thought before getting rid of. Ask yourself why you don’t use it. Do you not enjoy this type of exercise—or have you simply not made time for it yet? If you simply don’t like it, sell the equipment or give it to someone who will use it. If you don’t have time, maybe downsize your goals. Ten minutes on the bike is better than zero minutes on the bike, after all!

Difficulty Throwing Things Away

If you still can’t bring yourself to part ways with certain things, there is a way to cushion the blow a bit. Pack everything up in storage bins you would like to get rid of but can’t quite bring yourself to. Put the bins somewhere where they’re not in the way. In six months, check in with yourself and see if you have missed these items in any way.

If not, sell, donate, or discard them—and move forward with both less clutter and less guilt in your life.

Let StorageMart Help

Sometimes, you just need to get rid of something you’re never going to use. A storage unit can help you keep items you might otherwise have to part with, and storage a great way to expand your home’s storage square footage.

If you find yourself running out of storage room in your house, consider self storage as a possible way to get more space without taking on a bigger mortgage. At StorageMart, all our units can be rented on a month-to-month basis—which means there’s no commitment. Need more info? See how simple it is to rent a unit online today.

Updated on February 7, 2020