3 Reasons Why You Might Be Having Trouble Cleaning Up

Professional tidier and co-author of the book New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable, Intentional Living Cary Fortin knows better than anyone how tidying up can change your life. According to Fortin, the three reasons we most often use for not getting rid of something perfectly match the archetypes she describes in her book.

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You might need it again

This reaction belongs to the practical archetype: people who look at life logically, strategically, and pragmatically. The practical type sees something potentially useful in every object. The trick is that you don't ask yourself if you're ever going to need something again, but whether it has utility for you right now. Granted, if in six months you suddenly need that ski suit that has been hanging in your closet unworn for six years because you don't like winter sports at all, it will cost you money to buy a new one. But what does it cost you - for example, in terms of peace of mind and space in your closet - if you leave dozens or hundreds of items lying around because you might be able to use them someday? Exactly: getting rid of them, that is.

It was expensive

Especially frugal types use this excuse. They are very self-aware, set clear priorities, spend their money consciously, and do not like to waste time, money, or energy. If, as a frugal type, you come across something when cleaning up that you may never use, but for which you have paid a lot of money, that presents a dilemma. How do you get rid of the mis-buy anyway? Self-forgiveness is the magic word. After all, you can't undo the purchase and there's little point in feeling guilty every time you look at it. Forgive yourself and consciously let go of the guilt - and the bad purchase.

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You're emotionally attached to it

The connection type is guided by her heart. It can be very pleasant to surround yourself with things you have precious memories of. But if all that stuff causes your home to turn into a kind of museum of the past, there is no room left for new experiences. Don't panic: You don't have to get rid of everything. Be selective and keep one souvenir from that wonderful trip, one of your grandmother's knitted sweaters, and so on. That way you preserve the memories, but at the same time make room for something new.