Stuff gets in our way. As I’ve said before (and will probably say again), it’s our belongings that most often entrap us and prevent us from moving smoothly and happily through the stages of our lives.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these remarks:
- We can’t downsize because there’s no place to put all our stuff.
- We can’t entertain because our dining room is cluttered with our stuff.
- We can’t sell because I need to first find time to go through all my stuff.
- We can’t move because my spouse can’t let go of all her/his stuff.
With very few exceptions, most would-be home sellers are trapped by the possessions they’ve accumulated over time. Decluttering is difficult enough, but it’s especially challenging when it comes to sentimental items: Children’s art, hand-me-down quilts, pottery hand-thrown by a beloved uncle, glasses from 20 years of Napa Valley wine tastings, bongo drums purchased for the 5-year-old kid who’s now 38, half-crumbled dough ornaments from Christmas 1994.
Luckily, items with “meaning” (but no present-day value or practical use) can be easily disposed of IF you follow this advice, gleaned from a Real Simple article: Tear down the museum!
If it’s out of sight and out of mind on a regular basis — tucked into a box in the basement or stacked in a corner of the garage — you should sell it, give it away, recycle it, or throw it in the trash. But, first, snap a picture of it.
The very act of taking a picture creates a small ritual for saying goodbye and thanking the object for its service or existence. Plus you can promise yourself that you’ll always have a digital record of the red bunny rabbit that Billy drew on the back of a Pasta Pomodoro menu in 3rd grade.
Not that you’ll ever look at the photo EVER again. It’ll simply allow you to LET GO.