Contributed by Alicia Y.

I have been working with clients for years helping them organize their homes and their lives. While each client has different “stuff,” they all have the same excuses, excuses that hold them back from a life with less stress.  Think about it, if you knew where everything was, chances are you wouldn’t stress out looking for it.  So, when you stop hoarding, not only are you freeing up your space, you’re freeing up your your mind.

Here are the top excuses for holding on to the clutter and some possible solutions:

It was a gift/inheritance. People feel guilty getting rid of a gift that they no longer need and feel they are disrespecting the giver. But, you don’t have to keep every gift you receive forever.  You also do not need to hold on to every keepsake from a loved one. How many things do you need to honor the memory of your loved one? Keep the ones that are really important to you and give the rest away to friends or a favorite charity.

It will be valuable one day.  Is it valuable now?  Is it in perfect shape?  If it is chipped, cracked or damaged, it is not worth as much. Get it appraised. See if it is actually worth something.  Lots of auction houses have free appraisal day. Check out similar items on eBay.

I may need it one day.  Maybe you will need it? But if you haven’t used it in a couple of years, why do you think you will need it in the future?  At one point in your life you needed it, but at this point in your life you don’t.  Pack it up in a box and stow it away.  If you still haven’t used it within 6 to 12 months, you will see you really don’t need it.  It will be easier to give it away.

I want it to go to a good home. It will.  What are your passions in life? Find a charity that matches that passion.  Donate it to them and it will go to someone who will appreciate it.  Don’t forget to get a receipt for a tax deduction.

What are your excuses for holding on to clutter?  What would your life be like if you rid yourself of clutter?  We invite you to comment in the box below.