Photo Credit: Owen Duncan
Have you made the awesome decision to declutter your living space? If yes, then recognize that decluttering involves 3 actions.
Re-homing or putting away things that you use frequently, that you find useful, or that bring you joy.
Giving away or discarding things that you do not find useful or do not bring you joy.
Storing away items that you use infrequently or have fear of purging.
Today, I am writing about the reason, or mindfulness, behind fears you may have in regards to purging items with which you feel you cannot part. These are items in your home that you do not use or find useful and that do not bring you personal joy.
So, lets begin by asking ourselves the following question: Which of these fears best describes why you can not discard this item from your living space?
Fear of NEEDING it again someday and being without it? Provision.
Fear of WANTING it again someday and not having it? Ambition.
Fear of MISSING it someday and feeling the loss of it? Sentimentality.
After honestly determining which of the above fears best describes the why behind your attachment, then ask yourself what decisions and solutions can you come up with to overcome these fears so that you are not giving time, energy, money or space away to these items/things?
If your answer was fear of need-
If you haven't needed this item for years, the chances are you can handle and cope with a situation in which that item would not be in your possession. For instance, if you have a crock-pot that you haven't used in 2 years, and you needed one for a recipe, then you could borrow one from a family member or friend. Owning is not the only way to solve a need for provision. There is borrowing, renting, or choosing to do without.
If your answer was fear of want-
If you once used or found joy in an item, and you no longer do, but you fear you might want it again someday, or you have desire to want it again someday (ie. clothes that no longer fit but you WANT to fit into again), you can still replace those feelings of fear of loss, or feelings of ambition, with a decision to let it go. For example, you can find joy in the thought that someone else could use it and enjoy it as you once did (for instance, a set of golf clubs), or you could give yourself a time limit for your goal or ambition with that item (for instance, the clothes that don't currently fit but hopefully will one day).
If your answer was fear of loss-
In the case of sentimentality, there are different fears that can arise. Maybe someone gave you something that you do not find useful or joy in, but you are afraid that the person who gave it to you will be angry if you do not keep it. You can talk with them about it and share your gratitude for the item, and then give it back to them or give it away to someone else who would use it and find joy. If you feel that person requires or needs you to have that item, explain to them that you love them very much, and that the item itself isn't what defines that love, but instead they themselves are what means the most to you. In the case of your own sentimentality, you can take a picture of the item or say goodbye to it in a moment of pause and then replace the feelings of loss with joy that someone else might be very happy to have it.
Sometimes during the process of decluttering we hit a road block. You might feel paralyzed over what to do with an item -- even though you don't use it, or find joy in it, you can't seem to part with it. Using mindfulness to think about the why behind keeping it or asking yourself what fears you have in purging it will help tremendously to keep the process going. It also helps you to feel lighter and have no regret that it is gone. In the end, there is peace, joy, less stuff to house, less stuff to dust...and who wouldn't love that?