When it comes to parting with items we don’t need, we very often make excuses to rationalize keeping the items. One of the biggest rationalizations has to do with money…what we paid for it and what it is worth. (This post will deal with the former and we’ll address the latter in another post.) I’ve talked about being ready to get organized that means being mentally prepared to face these issues and to have your goals clear in your mind (and on paper) so you can refer to them when faced with a common roadblock. But if you are ready, for the most part, and you’re rationalizing keeping many things because you paid for them, let that go!
Right now, I give you permission…I free you from the guilt! When we spend money on something, we automatically assume we need it, that we will use it and that it will suit our needs. But guess what? Even if we do research and make measured decisions, we make mistakes or the decisions are not based in the honest truth. And let’s not even get into the depth of impulse buys and spur-of-the-moment decision making which offers temporary relief and satisfaction. Let’s just agree that sometimes we buy things we don’t really need or USE.
So, you’re organizing, sorting through your belongings and you start to think to yourself, “I paid for this so I have to keep it” or, “I paid for this so I have to start using it.” The answer to both of those things is, “No; you don’t!” I want you to believe in that. You have no obligation to your money and your belongings in that respect. But we feel guilty about not using something or wastefully spending money so that’s why I said you can let go of the guilt. We should never keep something that makes us feel badly. Your home and its contents should elevate you, not bring you down. All of our stuff has energy, so make sure what you’re taking in is not negative. It may be so subtle that it’s hard to notice, but I promise, it’s there. And if you have many things that fall under the ‘but I paid for it’ category, you can imagine how much of an effect that has on you.
To help you further understand what you should keep and what to part with when you’re struggling with the ‘but I paid for it’ excuse, ask yourself, “Do I use this?” Change your thought process to focus on an item’s usefulness and purpose it has to you. This is the only valid question and reason to keep something. And it’s not, “Will I use it?” or “Is this useful?” You MUST direct this question to your life right now and live in the present. Avoid the excuse of the past, “I used to use this” and the ‘I might need it one day’ excuse of the future. If you’re constantly thinking about the past and the future, are you enjoying the now? Probably not.
I know that parting with items in this category can be very challenging, and sometimes the decision is painful. But I promise, you will feel better. It may not be immediate, but you will, soon.