We hold onto things for two reasons: Love or fear. We either love them. Or we fear letting them go.
We cherish them and know they have value to us. Or we fear that we’ll need them someday. We fear that we wasted our money on them. We fear what others will think if we let them go. We even fear making the decision to release our mishaps or mistakes, so we don’t make any decision. Instead we hold onto stuff out of guilt.
Well, guess what?
Love is the only reason to do anything. If you don’t love it, toss it. Give it away. Your abundance and energy will increase when you begin to live by love and not by fear.
Here are 56 things you can toss out (or give away) right now…
Thanks to Julie, Sandra, Lisa, Eva and Sue from last week’s retreat for contributing to this list. 🙂
1. All the hotel key cards you’ve brought home with you.
2. The doilies your Aunt Edna crocheted 35 years ago that got handed down to you.
You can fondly remember your Aunt Edna without having her doilies around.
In fact, you’ll probably have more fondness once you let go of the doilies!
3. CD’s you haven’t listened to in three years or more.
4. The boxes of cassettes you’ve been meaning to transfer to CD’s.
5. The bread maker.
Seriously. When was the last time you made bread?
6. Your wedding dress
You can say you’ve been saving it for your daughter, but here are three signs that your daughter doesn’t want to wear it: a] she’s already married and wore her own dress, b] she’s been roommates with a woman named Pat for nine years, or c] you don’t have a daughter.
7. Credit card bills from 1995.
8. The Allen wrenches from every piece of IKEA furniture you ever assembled.
9. The jacket you spent way too much money on and never wore.
C’mon. Keeping it around just to punish yourself for your bad choices is like going to parochial school all over again.
10. Every scratching post or toy your cat doesn’t like.
Your cat didn’t go to parochial school so there’s no sense punishing him.
11. House plants you no longer love.
12. The stacks of O Magazine you swear you’ll re-read
13. Every little zippy bag that came with a Clinique purchase.
14. Every unopened perfume that came with a Clinique purchase.
15. Leftover scrunchies in case you grow your hair long again.
16. The “Cherries Jubilee” flavored lip balm that makes you nauseous.
17. Every single regretful lipstick color you bought on a whim. (And yes, “Cherries Jubilee” is probably there, too.)
18. Your last four cell phones and all their chargers and blue teeth.
19. Single socks.
Face it. Their partners have moved on.
20. The Spode Christmas plates and mugs you don’t like. (Along with the Christmas bath towels and welcome mat.)
These – all given to you by various in-laws – won’t prove your familial devotion. If you can’t stand Spode, then let it go. If you’re not the Christmas towel type – then call the gifter before she visits for the holidays, and tell the truth. “I want to honor our relationship, and I love you, AND here’s the deal. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to let you know…” You might be surprised at how open relationships become when you teach people how to treat you.
21. The framed posters you had in your college dorm room.
Really. You get to move on to something nicer.
22. Old stereo wires.
Husbands refuse to let go of any of these mysterious wires. Try this: Put them in a bin and label it “Random Cables and Wires.” After two years, bring it out of storage and kindly note that no one has thought about it in two years. Ask if it would be okay to let go of half of them. Repeat process until all mysterious cables and wires are gone.
23. The nails, screws, anchors, and cup hooks rusting in the bottom of your tool chest.
24. Remote controls that don’t remotely control anything you still own.
25. Lamps, toasters, blenders, coffeemakers that no longer work.
26. The notion that you will ever be one of those moms that makes beautiful scrapbooks.
Put your photos in boxes. No one will judge you.
27. Old blankets and linens you keep in case you suddenly have 27 sleepover guests.
28. College text books
29. Any boring decorative item that does little more than fill space.
30. Vases you don’t love or use.
31. Candle holders you don’t love or use.
32. Picture frames you don’t love or use.
33. All your class notes from college.
34. The idea that you have to save every piece of your children’s artwork and school work because it might mean you don’t love them if you don’t.
35. The “good silver” you don’t use that was passed down to you.
36. Old VHS movies
If they’re really that important to you, get them in DVD. If you haven’t watched them in 2 years, you can rent them when you need them next.
37. Unlabeled VHS tapes.
And don’t waste your time watching them just in case.
38. The stationary bike that got even more stationary after you got it
39. The fabric pieces you’ve been collecting in case you ever become a quilter.
Sandra wrote: I have bought many odds and ends of materials to try and
use in different craft projects. Do I sew? Nope! Have I started any
projects with these materials? Nope!
40. Flashlights that dimly light up only after you bang them over and over on your thigh.
41. Old keys that open some door somewhere in the past.
42. Suitcases you don’t use.
43. Old computers.
44. Old stereos.
45. Promotional duffel bags with ugly logos and bad acronyms stitched all over them.
46. Anything that makes you say, “But I got such a good price on it!”
47. Anything that makes you say, “But I paid so much for it!”
48. Half-full cans of paint
(Take these to Lowe’s and leave them in the paint department – they’ll either re-sell them or give them away.)
49. Extra baby items/Old baby items
50. Record albums.
And don’t spend your extra hours in a day trying to figure out if someone will buy them. Really. They won’t.
51. Gifts you never liked.
52. All the cross-stitch, knitting, or sewing projects you never finished.
Just THINK of all the extra creative energy you’ll have once you’ve let those go.
53. Any glassware or dinnerware that is a “memorabilia” item from proms or sororities or sports events.
I have to quote Julie on this: “I have, on a shelf but will now throw out, some of my sorority formal glassware I had kept to remember that occasion. Upon looking back… do I really want to remember that I threw up in the parking lot that night?”
54. Old information packets you no longer need or that you can easily find on line.
Lisa writes, “I’ve thrown out a whole 2 drawer filing cabinet full of out-dated nutrition booklets, and information about breastfeeding (which I finished doing about six years ago) that ‘I might need someday.'”
55. All the hotel soaps that you took with you.
(And stop taking them. You’ve got plenty of soap!)
56. The belief that you only have to go through the de-cluttering process once and won’t ever have to do it again.
Need some motivation? Here’s some articles from my favorite Organization Bloggers:
The Power of the Purge by Organizing Junkie
The Why of Clutter by It’s Not About Your Stuff
Purging e-Waste at Clutter Control Freak
How to Start Getting Rid of Stuff at De-Clutter It!