Clutter has a way of sneaking up on us when we’re not expecting it. A thing here, another thing there, and before you know it, you’re swimming through piles and piles of junk. Why do we keep all this stuff? Why is it so difficult to let it go? If you’ve asked yourself these questions before, you’re not alone. We’ll go over some reasons you keep clutter and how to deal with them so that you don’t have to worry about your piles of useless stuff anymore.

It Has Sentimental Value

Trying to get rid of something with sentimental value is a very difficult process. It can sometimes feel like getting rid of it would get erase the memories we associate with it. Try choosing one or two items that represent the time, place, or person you wish to remember, and let the other things go if they get in the way. Your memories are yours, but don’t tie yourself to the past by keeping everything that reminds you of it.

You Feel Guilty Throwing It Away

Guilt is a real problem when it comes to decluttering. Maybe the thing you want to throw away was a gift, or maybe it was part of a hobby you gave up on. If this is your issue with decluttering, remember that holding onto something because of guilt won’t make you feel better—in fact, it will do the opposite. Try to think of how much better you’ll feel once that item is gone instead. The guilt is temporary, but that release will last much longer.

You Spent Money on It

Throwing out something you potentially spent a lot of money on is not an attractive thought. However, it’s not a good reason to keep things you don’t need anymore. If the item is still useful, consider donating it to somewhere like the Purple Heart Pickup charity. This will help you let go as the money you spent on the item will be put to good use elsewhere rather than collecting dust in your home. It’s a win-win situation since you get rid of something you don’t need, and someone who needs help can get an item they otherwise couldn’t afford.

You Might “Need It Later”

When we consider how to deal with the reasons we keep clutter, we come upon the classic rationale—it might be useful later. While this can be true in some cases, for the most part, this is just an excuse to avoid throwing something out. Try to picture the last time you actually used that item. If it was over six months or so, there probably won’t be a time “later” where you’ll need it. If you can catch yourself doing this before it becomes a habit, your home will be much cleaner.

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