Contributed by Alicia Y.

I have been working with clients for years helping them organize their homes and their lives.  I have heard the same excuses repeatedly.  These excuses are holding you back from enjoying a life with less stress.  Think about it, if you knew where everything was 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 it is not your responsibility to hold on to the gift 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 let the rest go.

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

I may need it one day.  Maybe you will need it? But if you haven’t used it in a couple of years, you didn’t need it that whole time, why would you 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.  Open the box in 6-12 months, and you will see you didn’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?