One of the reasons you may hang on to your clutter is the guilt wrapped around the item. It is so easy to feel guilty about getting rid of things. Especially if it belonged to or was gifted from someone you care about. Even if it’s a random item, you may feel guilty about just throwing it out. You may even feel as guilty donating it!
Stuff doesn’t have any feelings!
You don’t actually HAVE to hold on to anything! The guilt you feel…well you have to come to terms with it. Ask yourself, “what is more worth it?”, the negative guilt of keeping something that you really don’t want? Or the freedom of doing something to honour the item or the giver of the item, then getting rid of the item somehow.
If it was a gift from someone special, maybe thank them, even if it’s years later, and see if they want it back (since they loved it so much). It may be awkward to offer it back to the person who gave it to you, but maybe that is the best way to get a win win.
If the item brings back a keepsake memory – why not make it extra special by taking a picture of the item and adding text to the picture digitally and documenting what made the item so special, or hand write a brief story on the photo with details of the memory! If it’s a real type of keepsake item, and you really can’t bare to get rid of it, and taking a picture of it doesn’t do it justice, maybe you can create a shadow box frame for it, add a story about the item as the back drop in the shadow box. That way you don’t have to stuff it in a box and hide it away somewhere. On another note, if you do have a keepsake box, why not take some time once in a while to write about the special items. Leave information about the item for who ever you may need to pass it on to.
Guilt can make us do some crazy things. It rips the control of our own lives out of our hands. Own your guilt, use your self awareness of your own guilt to talk about it with people. Tell the people that you are feeling guilty about giving something away. Often times the person who you are connected to through the item, will help set you free of your guilt!
No one is forcing you to feel the guilt!
It’s in you. It’s your guilt. That’s why it can be so rewarding to get to the bottom of your guilt, and free yourself by acknowledging the way you feel about an item.
Different items hold different kinds of guilt. If you’re going through heirloom items passed down, it will likely be a stronger guilt.
There are so many reasons why you may feel guilty about things. You may feel guilty because of the money you spent on the item. You may feel guilty because the item reminds you of an experience you had and getting rid of it will feel like erasing the memory. Sometimes feelings of guilt stem from what others do. “If they’re getting rid of these kind of items then I should too”, but items mean different things to different peoole!
Whatever guilt you feel, it’s in you. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by it! But awareness of it and trying to figure out why you feel so guilty about it can truly set you free.
Let yourself feel as you declutter. If you do have a keepsake box, then go through it often and remind yourself of your personal valuables! If you are really trying to get rid of nearly everything then embrace your choices!
Enjoy and embrace the change, even if it adds some guilt temporarily!