Clutter “Myths”

By whitney | August 20, 2012


Photo via Google

I took a course through the National Association of Professional Organizers called “Eliminating Excess.” It was chock full of fabulous information, but the part that stuck with me the most was about the “myths” we all tell ourselves to keep from tackling clutter. Take a look and see if you’ve been guilty of any of these “myths” and learn ways to tackle them.

Myth #1: I might need it someday.

Prime examples: the bread maker taking up a whole cabinet in your kitchen or your dusty badminton set.

Tackle: Be honest and ask yourself the following: “When was the last time I needed it, and if I do need it, how often will I need it? If I let it go and then need it later, how much and how difficult would it be to replace?” This helps you put the item in perspective and evaluate the importance of keeping it.

Myth #2: It’s valuable.

Prime example: Beanie Babies.

Tackle: Determine if it really does have value by looking on eBay or for comparable items. If the item is going for a high price that is great news for you, but, if not, remember that although you may have loved those items once upon a time people simply are not buying them. It’s time to let them go and have more room for things you value now.

Myth #3: I paid a lot for it.

Prime example: Clothing that does not fit or flatter.

Tackle: Ask yourself: “If I hold onto it for another year, do I pay less? How long do I have to keep it until I’ve mentally gotten enough use out of it?” If you don’t feel good in it, get rid of it. You are not only freeing wasted space but the negative feeling you get every time you see the item and think back to what you paid for it.

Myth #4: Someone gave/bequeathed it to me.

Prime example: Dishes or a wedding dress.

Tackle: Remind yourself that the person that gave the item to you received joy from giving and that he or she wanted to please you, not burden you. You are in no way disrespecting the giver by letting go of it.

Myth #5: I don’t have time to deal with it.

Prime example: Paper clutter.

Tackle: If you deal with it sooner rather than later, you’ll have more time for everything. Ask yourself: “Can I foresee a time in the future when I will have time? How much time have I spent working around or cleaning the clutter? When will I ever have time??” Most likely there is never going to be the perfect time to tackle clutter. Start small (see our Take 10 Challenge) and you will see results.

Myth #6: The economy is bad, so I have to keep everything!

Prime examples: Broken tennis racket or rain boots with holes (aka junk)

Tackle: Remind yourself that everything we keep makes claims on us. They require up keep, insurance, cleaning and can burden us more than bring us joy! Fill your life with items that encourage, aid, and inspire you to be your best self.

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