Five Tips on How to Let Go of Old Stuff
By Lindsay Byrd Leimbach
My husband sees an old lamp. However, I see my grandma reading to me in her favorite chair from the light of this lamp. My kids see my closet full of clothes, while I see potential outings, comfy days, and business meetings in style. I am aware that my stuff means something very different to me than anyone else. I am also aware that this is true for my husband and my kids when they look at their stuff and I just see junk.
Here are some simple tips I use to practice letting go of my stuff and uncluttering my home:
1. In this practicing of letting go of my stuff, I keep reminding myself to recycle, reuse, or regift. My goal is not to throw away my gems. Instead, I remember that there can be a better purpose for my things that does not involve me. I practice releasing and allowing them to go on their journey.
2. I ask myself, “Does this item have a positive meaning to me?” If it does, then I rate this meaning, using 10 as the most important positive meaning, down to 1 as the lowest. Maybe I have a slight chuckle when I look at it. An old prom dress may have been at one time an 8 in rating. But now I am two sizes bigger and 35 years older, it is really
just a 2. I can let it go!
3. Next question I ask myself, “If I take a picture of the item, can the picture hold the positive meaning and keep the memories alive?” If so, then it is picture time, and the item is sent off to allow another person to start their memories with my gem.
4. “Does the item have purpose? Do I need it and how often?” If it has no positive meaning and no purpose, then let it go. If it has true purpose and no positive meaning, it can stay. A set of knives or a tool is a good example of this to me.
5. Last question. “If I put it away, would I just forget that I have it? If it is out of sight, will it be out of mind?” If the answer is YES, then I realize I need to think, “why would I keep it?” I circle back to the four prior questions to decide if I can send this item on its way.
I like to remember that “Letting Go” now will give me more freedom in my future present moments. With freedom, my mind is less cluttered and stressed.