Deciding to declutter your home and get organized is hard enough without the guilt. The number one comment I hear when working with clients in the home is “but I should keep this because…”. We talk ourselves into why we SHOULD keep things rather than being able to LET GO of our possessions guilt free. And it is this thinking that is keeping us from moving forward in our organizing endeavours and is keeping us buried in the past. The No.1 excuse I hear is “I should keep this is because it may come in handy one day.” It’s time to bury the shoulds!
Unclutterer.com wrote a blog post about this very topic which really hit the nail on the head for me and I am guessing for many of my readers too. Here’s a peak at some “should” samples:
I need to keep these books because I should read them
Unless you’re in school, you can probably let go of this “should.” If you have absolutely no interest in reading some of the classics, you can give the books away; you really don’t have to read them. You only have so much reading time available in your life, so why not use that time to read the things you truly want to read?
I should convert from my paper planner, address book, or to-do list to a digital system
Digital tools certainly have their advantages — but if paper works for you, there’s really no need to change. You may want to look at how you could back up these physical copies just in case they get lost or damaged, but there’s no reason you need to switch from what’s working well.
I should keep this sentimental thing
Well, perhaps you should keep it. Is it actually sentimental to you or is it the kind of thing most people find sentimental? I got rid of all but a few pages of my high school yearbooks because I just didn’t care about it, even thought this act would horrify other people.