Minimalism has taken the world by storm over the last few years. With the rises of influencers like Marie Kondo, the chances are you’ve thought more and more about getting rid of your ‘stuff.’ Let’s face it, we all have tons of ‘stuff’ lying around everything that has built up over our lifetimes, and there comes the point where you’ll want to get rid of it.
While chucking out stuff you don’t need, or at least highlighting the stuff you don’t need, is pretty easy, actually getting rid of it is another thing altogether. When I went through my stuff and had a clear out, I felt so guilty for getting rid of many things, but I found a way to overcome these feelings.
Why Do You Feel Guilty?
Let’s say you go through your cupboards and have a proper clear-out. You stack up all the stuff you want to get rid of and put the stuff back you want to keep. Simple, right? Well, when you start looking at the stuff you’re getting rid of, what do you see?
Things that you brought and really loved years ago, but not so much anymore? Gifts and presents from other people and loved ones? Memories and keepsake items from past relationships or friendships? Yes, of course, you’re going to feel guilty throwing this stuff away.
Change is unsettling for any and all human beings.
The average human being hates change. It’s just how the mind works. The mind believes that the more comfortable and familiar things are, the better off we are. While our survival tool brain thinks this, the real human’s we know this isn’t always the best. You need to clear yourself of the old to make way for the new.
So how do you get rid of this feeling of guilt?
Remember Why You Started
Perhaps the first and most important thing to remember. There’s a reason you’re chucking out your old things. Maybe you’ve started a new relationship, and you’ve got a ton of old clothes and bits and pieces from your ex. You didn’t necessarily end on bad terms, but you know you want to leave that relationship in the past now.
“Having this message in your head while you’re clearing out is essential. Keep that original message of why you started in mind. Maybe you’ve been unhappy in your life, and you’re having a clear-out to have a fresh start, and to begin a new chapter in your life,” shares Marie Turner, a writer at State of writing and Dissertation writing.
Write this message down on a Post-It note if you have to so you can remember everything you’ve been working so hard to achieve. Remembering this should help relieve some of the guilt.
Put Them to a Better Place
It’s important to remember that when I say you’re ‘chucking out’ or ‘getting rid’ of your things, that doesn’t mean you’re just chucking a lot of things in the bin. Instead, you can give things to a better home. Maybe donate your belongings to a charity shop or sell them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
“In most cases, it’s always better to give stuff away to a new home where someone else can use or value what you have, rather than just putting it straight into a bin. This is a great way to reduce any guilt you may be feeling about getting rid of your things, to begin with,” explains Nick Harris, a lifestyle blogger at College paper and Paper Fellows.
You Can’t Change the Past, But You Can Learn from It
It’s worth remembering that you probably can’t undo an expensive or luxurious purchase you made and now regret and now feel guilty about getting rid of. This is known as the sunk-cost effect, which highlights that you’ve spent a large investment of money into something, so now you’re obliged to keep it.
Instead of holding onto something that’s holding you back because you’ve invested so much time and money into it, instead use this as an opportunity to learn from your past. This means you won’t need to repeat the mistake in the future.
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