I start my Get Rid of 100 Things Project tomorrow. I’ve already been brainstorming about what needs to go. If you have too, great! If it scares the crap out of you then give some thought to what your excuses are for not parting with something. Here are my top three that I return to again and again.
1.) It was expensive: Often I find I have something in my closet that I don’t love but that was on the pricey side. Maybe it’s a dress that I wore once or that I thought I might one day wear, but didn’t. I have a pair of amazing designer shoes on a high shelf in my closet that even on sale were expensive. But they’ve never really fit well and so they languish in my closet because I remember how much they cost.
Overcoming this excuse: Those shoes are costing space in my closet, a small closet to begin with. They are also a reminder every single time I see them that I made a bad choice and that I will never wear them. And so in a way they weigh me down. I will feel freer once I have given them away to someone who would actually wear them.
1.) I might need it: If you are questioning whether you need it, you probably don’t. I have a bread maker that I bought about two years ago. I thought how great would it be to make my own bread. It’s like I was buying it for a better me, a me who bakes and who wants to spend what free time I have making artisan quality bread. I used it twice. I call these types of purchases: ”Aspirational purchases” I buy them imagining I will use them. I have a sewing machine downstairs, still in the box because apparently at one point I thought I should take up sewing.
Overcoming the excuse: Whenever I see the bread maker in my pantry, it is a reminder of something I have failed at. I succeed at lots of thing, but I never remind myself of those successes, instead I dwell on the bread I’ll never make or the sewing machine I won’t use to whip up adorable outfits for my children. Accepting myself for who I am (I probably will never be a great cook) and reminding myself that I have other strenghts makes me feel better about getting rid of it.
2.) It has sentimental value: We have quite a few furniture pieces that are utterly useless but one is a family heirloom. I have an assortment of other objects that either the kids have made or that have been passed down through the generations, presumably by other people who can’t bear to part with them. Fear of losing the past is a big part of not wanting to get rid of these things. But are those things weighing you down? Often they are. Things should be used and appreciated, not gathering dust on a shelf.
Overcoming the excuse: By holding onto these things I am actually not holding onto the past. The past is in my head or perhaps in a select few objects, not in giant pieces of furniture or boxes of old photos that will never be looked at again. I can keep a few drawings the children have done and toss the rest and in this way I live more in the moment, enjoying them for who they are right now.