Need help letting go of stuff in your house? These four simple truths will help you adjust your mindset so you can let go of things without feeling guilty and finally give yourself permission to declutter. And don’t forget to grab my free printable decluttering checklist at the end of the post!
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Am I the only one who accumulates stuff without even realizing it? Seriously, where did it all come from?!
In an attempt to reclaim the precious space in my home, I recently took on a massive decluttering project that I dubbed The Great Purge. Nothing was safe from my ruthless efforts!
I tackled every shelf in the laundry room, every cabinet in the kitchen, and every inch of storage space in our closets, just to name a few of the places I decluttered.
When it was all said and done, Josh and I ended up taking two full carloads of items we no longer used or wanted to Goodwill! It was cathartic.
There’s always something so freeing about decluttering that makes the process enjoyable for me. I’ve never had a huge problem with hoarding, but I still find areas that could use a good purge every now and then.
And yet, I know this ability to let go of stuff can be a bit elusive for some people. Even though I love a good decluttering session and will toss items without abandon, the guilt associated with decluttering is enough to paralyze others.
So much so that we have entire television shows dedicated to chronic hoarders!
Decluttering can be a major source of struggle for some folks, but I think I can offer a needed solution.
So if you’re struggling to let go of stuff in your home, then you’re in the right place! I’m going to share with you the four truths that finally gave me permission to get rid of stuff for good.
And at the end of the post, you can download my free printable decluttering checklist so you can tackle every room in your home without feeling overwhelmed!
But before we talk about the truths that will set you free, let’s explore the lies that are preventing you from letting go in the first place.
Two Lies That Prevent You From Letting Go of Clutter
I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to get rid of things, even if we rarely use them or don’t particularly like them. Why? I think it boils down to the two biggest lies we tell ourselves:
I can’t get rid of this because I might need it someday.
I can’t get rid of this because it was a gift.
Even if we don’t particularly like some of the things we have, we may hold on to them for a variety of reasons.
Maybe that knick-knack was a gift from a friend. Or maybe we spent a lot of money on that skirt that just doesn’t fit well. Or maybe we’re holding on to those legwarmers from the 80s because they may come back in style again.
Whatever the reason, we hold on to the item because we don’t want to feel guilty for getting rid of it.
But here’s the thing. When we hold on to unwanted things out of obligation or fear or guilt, they tend to suck the life out of our once-happy home.
So if you’ve been holding on to these lies, let me challenge you to put them aside for just a moment so we can explore the four truths that will finally give you permission to declutter.
Four Truths That Give You Permission to Declutter
1. Unwanted stuff causes you unnecessary stress
I used to have a bad habit of holding on to clothes that I didn’t really like. Even though they didn’t fit perfectly or match anything in my closet, I still kept them. Why? Because maybe I would eventually find something to match. Or maybe I could find a different kind of skirt to make the blouse look right.
Even though I had no real obligation to keep the clothes (if you read my tips to score big at thrift stores, you know I never pay much for clothes), I still held on to them because I thought I should.
Eventually, it made getting ready in the morning stressful because I had to sort through the clothes I didn’t like in order to find my favorite pieces. My closet turned into a source of stress all because I couldn’t part with things I didn’t even like. How much sense does that make?!
Holding on to things that don’t make you happy will eventually cause you unnecessary stress. Save yourself the stress and donate it.
2. Unwanted stuff causes you unnecessary work
That tacky knick-knack your friend gave you? You still have to find a place for it in your home and dust it regularly.
That antique silver tea set that doesn’t match a thing in your home? You still have to polish it regularly.
All of the extra work we put into caring for things we don’t even like is a waste of time and energy, not to mention crazy!
At the end of the day, holding on to unwanted stuff will eventually cause you unnecessary work. Save yourself the work and donate it.
3. Unwanted stuff causes you unnecessary guilt
There’s nothing worse than feeling guilty over unwanted items. Maybe you feel guilty because you think you should love the hideous sweater your grandmother lovingly gave to you but doesn’t match your personal style.
Or maybe you feel guilty for wasting money on a skirt that doesn’t fit right.
Either way, that guilt is doing nothing but bringing you down. If something doesn’t make you happy, ditch the guilt and donate it.
4. Someone else would love your unwanted stuff
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
It’s true. People have such varied tastes that it’s highly likely someone else is looking for a tacky knick-knack like the one sitting on your mantel.
I like to tell myself that it’s selfish of me to hold on to things I don’t absolutely love because I’m robbing another person of the joy they would have if they could own my unwanted items.
When I know someone else can make better use of my stuff, it gives me permission to let it go guilt-free.
In fact, this truth is probably the most important and freeing one on this entire list!
Once we recognize that the unwanted stuff that causes us stress, work, and guilt can actually make someone else happy, we have no reason whatsoever to keep it! We now have complete freedom and permission to declutter because we know we’re helping both ourselves and other people by getting rid of our unwanted items.
What Decluttering Can Do for You
It may take some time to adjust your thinking, but you’ll be so much happier when you finally give yourself permission to let go of the unwanted stuff in your home.
When you look at each item, honestly ask yourself if it makes you happy. If the answer is no, remind yourself that keeping it will only cause you unnecessary stress, work, and guilt, and that someone else would probably love to have it.
Trust me, the process of letting go gets easier over time. And after it’s all said and done, you’ll find that decluttering opens up more space in your home for the things you truly love. After all, isn’t filling our homes with the things we love the ultimate goal?
Free Printable Decluttering Checklist
Now that you know how to give yourself permission to declutter, you need a way to actually make it happen! You can grab a copy of my free printable decluttering checklist here. With it, you’ll be able to declutter every room in your home without feeling overwhelmed.
Wrapping It Up
Giving yourself permission to declutter might not happen overnight. But as long as you recognize the two lies holding you back and the four truths that will set you free, you can work on decluttering your home of the things that no longer bring you joy so you can have more room for the things that do.
And don’t forget to download my free printable decluttering checklist! It will be a life-saver as you work toward a clutter-free home.
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- How to Declutter Your Home Without Feeling Overwhelmed (free printable!)
- Decluttering Clothes: 5 Steps to a Clutter-Free Closet
- Keep It or Toss It: 11 Questions to Help You Declutter Your Home
- 5 Ways to Make Your Home a Sanctuary
What about you? Do you struggle giving yourself permission to declutter?
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