Top 6 Clutter Excuses and How to Banish Them Forever

The following post is from Laura of I’m an Organizing Junkie:

no clutter
image credit: smemon87

If there is one place that most people get stuck in the organizing process it’s all the decisions that have to be made with regards to letting go of our stuff.  These decisions can often be overwhelming because of the scripts we are constantly battling in our minds that prevent us from making healthy decisions about our clutter.

Here’s how you can combat some of those clutter excuses in order to fight your desire to hold on to something.

1. I might need it one day.

That may be true, but if you haven’t used it in a year, chances are you won’t need it anytime soon.  You have to weigh the cost between the prime real estate space it takes up and the cost to replace it if you do need to purchase it again in the future.

2. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by getting rid of it.

Fair enough, but I would assume the person you don’t want to hurt is close to you or otherwise you wouldn’t be so concerned about their feelings.  If that’s the case, then how much worse do you think this person would feel knowing the additional stress they’ve put you under?

If you’re keeping something to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, you’re essentially being a storage house for them.  You are giving up storage space in your home to make them happy. I’m sure you can think of many different ways to effectively use your space.  Do not be burdened by stuff you’re keeping for someone else.

3. I don’t want to seem ungrateful.

It’s all about heart.  If your heart is in the right place, the giver will hopefully understand. You need to do what’s right for you and your family. You don’t always have to tell the giver that you and the item are parting ways.

Re-gifting is a popular choice for new items, as is donating items to the thrift stores.  Take it to the thrift store in the next town if you’re really worried about it.  And don’t forget places like Craiglist, eBay or Freecycle.  Whatever you do, don’t hang on to something out of a sense of obligation — it just creates resentment.

4. It was so expensive.

Ah yes, the big-ticket item we just had to have — and there it sits collecting dust.  It happens to all of us.  You know you’ll never get back what you paid for it, but remember, that item is taking up space in your house that could be better used for something else, which makes THAT piece of real estate more expensive than the item you are hanging on to!

5. The item could be valuable.

It’s not worth anything if it’s just sitting in a box that you don’t have the room to store.  If it isn’t something you love or use regularly, get rid of it and make some money on it now.

image credit: I’m an Organizing Junkie

6. It brings back so many memories.

Oh, emotional attachment.  This one is probably the biggest culprit that holds people back.  Our memories are often so wrapped up in physical material possessions that it becomes unbearable to part with something.

I can understand that and I’m not opposed to keeping those things as long as you have the space available to store them.  If you don’t, try taking a picture of the item (as I did above) and allow the picture to conjure up the memory for you instead.

….the above is an excerpt from my book Clutter Rehab: 101 Tips & Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It!

Which one of these clutter excuses can you most identify with?

Laura is a wife and mother to three great kids, lives in Alberta, Canada and is an addict of all things organizing. You can find her blogging regularly at I’m an Organizing Junkie, and is the author of, Clutter Rehab: 101 Organizing Tips & Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It!.