Some thoughts that can make it hard to let go?

This can be a hard decision.  There are reasons why this is hard.  

Are you……

  • Hanging onto items because you paid a lot of money for them?  
  • Feeling like you have to keep gifts that were given to you even though you don’t use or love them? 
  • Holding onto those treasures that once belonged to your loved ones out of a feeling of responsibility and guilt?  

I hear comments from my peeps like these a lot.  

“I paid a lot of $ for this, how do I let it go”.  

We are not likely going to get the same amount of money that we paid for something. Instead of letting it go, we tend to hang on to the item like we have strings attached to it. Even though we are not using it or even planning to use it we just cannot seem to let it go. There could be a feeling of failure or guilt about the object especially if we have never used it. It feels wasteful and we think that we “should” be able to get $ for the thing. The reality is likely we are not. The thing is we all make mistakes. It’s okay, we are human. We can accept that we made a mistake and move on from it. 

Do a little research and see if others are selling a similar item.  What are they selling the item for and more importantly, what are they actually getting for it?  Is it really worth your time and energy to try to get the amount that you believe the item to be worth?  Have you tried to sell an item only to realize you spent a lot of time and you still have the object.  Maybe it’s time to part with the thing.  

“I cannot let go of this gift that was given to me by my friend, what if she comes over and I do not have it out on display or her feelings get hurt”?

Gifts are given with good intention from the giver, however, once a gift is given, it is an exchange of energy that is now up to the person who has the gift to do whatever they want with it.  Gifts do not have to be kept forever!  Would the gift giver want you to struggle with this decision about keeping this gift or not.  It’s really okay to re-gift too as long as you remember where the gift came from and you do it discreetly.  

“I cannot part with these items that my mom loved so much.  I feel like I won’t be honouring her memory by letting them go”. 

Do you feel like you are the responsible one who needs to be the keeper of things? Were you told by a loved one that these items will be worth something “someday”. Maybe you were told that you “should” never get rid of these items.  Oh my!!  Well, things have changed!  Your life has changed! These heirlooms or other items are likely not going to be as valuable as you think.  Are you afraid of forgetting or dishonouring your loved one?  There are ways to honour your precious memories without keeping everything. Your memories of your loved ones are in your heart, not in their belongings.

Remember:  “You do not need to clog up your home with things that you do not use or do not love” 

What do you think? Are you able to let go of items like this? It is okay to donate these items to someone who will be able to love and use them. Do you need some encouragement? Hop on a call with me here and I can help.

About Kim

I’m Kim, your go-to Professional Organizer and Virtual Coach! I’m beyond excited to embark on this clutter-free adventure with you. With a background in mental health and a passion for transforming spaces, I bring a holistic approach to decluttering. It’s not just about neatening up physical spaces; it’s about fostering a mindset shift that radiates throughout your life. I founded Space For You Clear the Clutter, Heal Your Life and have been working with individuals and groups for about 15 years. I've also trained with Professional Organizers of Canada and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.
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11 Responses to Some thoughts that can make it hard to let go?

  1. Wow, I was just thinking about something of my mom’s that I have that I am unlikely to ever use again (I have used it in the past). Now I’m thinking the universe is telling me it’s time to let it go!

    • Kim says:

      Hi Janet, I am pleased that I inspired you. I would love to hear how it goes. Thanks for including me in the Blog Carnival for this month.

  2. Ah, yes, How often have I heard “but I paid good money for that!” In the finance industry there is an idea of “sunk costs” that can be useful here. The sunk cost fallacy (that the object is still worth what you paid for it”) can keep us stuck.

    It can be helpful to remember that energetically, if I do not love or use an object, it is actually a drain on my energy.

    Very helpful post, Kim. Thanks. 🙂

  3. These letting go challenges are so prevalent. I love how you focused on these three, which I’ve often encountered with clients. Having gone through clearing out my parents’ home, I had to face this repeatedly. They had a lifetime of stuff. At some point, I realized that they collected the stuff. It had meaning to them. But that didn’t necessarily mean it had the same feeling for me. So I did my best to find good homes for as many as possible (family, sale, donations, etc.) I kept some things but was selective. The rest went. I knew I couldn’t absorb their lifetime of stuff into my life, which was OK.

    • Kim says:

      Such good wisdom Linda. These challenges are very common with all of us in my experience. I know we can all relate.Yes,I helped to clear out my parents home along with my siblings as well. It was challenging and while I did take photos and a few other things, I totally was selective. We cannot absorb their lifetime of stuff into our lives, that is for sure!

  4. Great post, it is an important topic for people to hear. Thank you.

    I’ve heard these statements so many times over the years. Even in recent years as people are becoming more aware of the things that others have given to them that have strings attached. Having a real conversation with these loved ones helps a great deal. If you can’t speak to them honestly, try saying, “I am looking to streamline my home, so I would prefer no gifts this year.”

    I also love repurposing items in my home that were my mom’s or dad’s. Recently, I took several pieces of my mom’s jewelry and made myself a brand new ring with the diamond from pendants and wedding rings she had. I love it and now can enjoy the one ring that fits on my thumb instead of never wearing them because I had too many rings that fit on the same finger.

  5. The sunk-cost fallacy, where you can’t let it (the possession, the relationship, the activity) go because you’ve already put so much (money or time) into it, can really grab ahold of you. And how is it that it’s so hard to learn the lesson that things are not people, and that people who love us care more about us that what we do with the stuff they give us. There’s so much wisdom in your advice, and these are lessons that need to be shared over and over. (Open letter to all of my friends: if you don’t like a gift I give you, return it or sell it and get something that makes you joyous!)

    • Kim says:

      Yes Julie, Yes, these lessons seem to be so hard for all of us. No matter how often we hear these ideas, it is still hard to let go. I love the open letter to friends. It’s perfect!

  6. Lots of wisdom in this post – the over-identification with our things and what they actually mean, cost, or relate to can become overwhelming. Your reminder that “things have changed, your life has changed” is so important to keep in mind. All of the stuff frequently keeps us stuck in past actions.

    • Kim says:

      Thanks so much Sara – Yes, it is good for us to realize that “things have changed, our lives change” and its okay to let go of things even those sentimental items. I love that last line. It’s so perfect!

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