Organizing: More About Letting Go

There are lots of reasons folks hang onto “stuff.” Last week I wrote some reasons, here are more:

You’re afraid you’ll need it someday.

Sometimes you don’t want to let go of items because you think you will need them someday. The problem is there’s so much stuff you can’t find what you need when you need it! – So you end up having to buy items you already own, which defeats the purpose of keeping them.

The solution is to declutter: let go of what you don’t need. Trust your intuition and accept that sometimes – as my mother taught me, years ago: “You’ll get rid of things and wish you hadn’t, and keep things and wonder why.” (Rarely.)

You don’t want to face the decision.

Krishna Pendyala wrote an interesting book a couple years ago: Beyond the PIG and the APE. In it he aptly describes how people “pursue instant gratification” (PIG) – which helps explain how folks sometimes end up with so much stuff. And he says people attempt to “avoid painful experiences” (APE), like decluttering and organizing. If these concepts resonate with you, Krishna’s book – published in 2011 and available on – may be a worthwhile read.

You feel guilt, grief, shame.

Dealing with your emotions is part of processing, decluttering and organizing. No question about it. Sometimes you feel guilty because someone gave you something and you have an “allegiance” to them – or don’t want to hurt their feelings – even though they may never know, because, for instance, they have already passed away. Emotions are not always rational.

Your “stuff” comes in various forms – it’s emotional, mental and physical. A lot of times your physical stuff, your clutter, is representative of the emotional/mental aspects of your life.

You feel that, “No one will love it as much as me.”

It can be very challenging to let go of items when you feel this way.

It sometimes helps to work with a non-judgmental friend, family member or professional organizer.

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