This post from the archives was the first in a series of five about disassociating from you clutter. I have added links at the botton for the other four post in case you would like to read them all.
Disassociation Part 1 ~ Guilt Clutter
I was intending to write a post today about disassociating with your clutter emotionally but once I started to think about this issue I decided it deserved a whole series of posts. So I have divided this subject into catergories such as Sentimental, Guilt, Obligational, Aspirational and Security clutter as each one affects people in different ways.
Decluttering isn’t just a physical activity, in fact the metal strain of letting go of certain items is where the real challenge comes in for many people. For others letting go can be quite easy, in fact too easy in some cases, learning not to reclutter is their biggest challenge but that is a whole other post topic. For now we will concentrate of finding the will to let go.
Today we will start with guilt Clutter and I will do my best to describe this kind of clutter, explain our attachment to it and to help you find a way to disassociate from not only the items but whatever it is that binds you to it.
Guilt clutter are items you regret having acquiring in the first place but now feel you should keep in order to justify their purchase and/or get your money’s worth out of them. Just about anything can fall into this category but they are usually items that you…
- Spent a lot of money on and haven’t used much.
- Spend money on you couldn’t afford to waste.
- Really didn’t need in the first place.
- Or a combination of the above.
Some of these purchases are aspirational in character such as that fishing boat that sits in the back yard out in the weather unused week in week out, decreasing in resale value everyday. You had good intensions when you bought it but really didn’t put enough thought into it. Your wife doesn’t like fishing that much and the kids aren’t as keen as you thought they would be because they have their own intests. You soon discovered that fishing isn’t that much fun alone and launching the boat can be a challenge on your own also. Fishing really was more fun that odd weekend that your mate Bill would take you out in his boat.
Other purchases come in the form of bandaids to mask disappointment, insecurities or other feeling of dissatisfaction that occur in life. Like that new handbag you bought to compensate for the fact that you hate your job ~ That new dress you bought so you could feel better about yourself even though what you really want is to loose 20lbs ~ The diamond ring you treated yourself to because you husband doesn’t pay enough attention to you any more. Once the novelty wears off these items you are back at the store looking for another hit because you still have that crappy job, the excess weight and the unappreciative husband and now also some very unhealthy credit card debt and a cluttered home.
Sometimes purchases can just be an honest mistake. Say for instance you need a new appliance in the home and you make what you think is a considered purchase and it turns out not to be what really suits your needs. You though you had all the information you needed to make a good choice but six months down the track you are sorry you ever laid eyes on this thing. You couldn’t live with your choice any longer and bought a replacement and now that other reject is sitting in your garage taunting you every time you see it.
There are many more stories behind why we purchase these items of guilt but the fact is that is does no good to keep them in our homes if they aren’t being used. They are never going to realise their worth and it is best to cut your losses now and try to sell them on to someone who may appreciate them more. You may only get back a fraction that you paid for them but that is better than wallowing in regret. The grief they are giving you far outweighs the joy they every gave you and it is time to move on.
What is important here is to learn from your mistake/s. Should you make a habit of this vicious cycle then you are really in trouble but if you realise the error of your ways and address the issues that inspire these kinds of purchases instead of running away from them then you will be on your way to recovery.
So if you have any items in your home that you feel may fall under the category of Guilt Clutter it is time to disassociate from them. Take a long hard look at these items and …
- Recognise why you think you bought these objects in the first place.
- Understand the mistakes you made.
- Promise yourself to make more considered choices if you find yourself in a similar position in the future.
- Forgive yourself.
Now use whatever method suits you to remove this object from you life, whether that be to recoup some of you losses or donate it to charity as penance for your transgressions but either way let it go.
Also in the series
Declutter Item of the Day
This baseball mitt no longer fits my son and even if it did he no longer plays baseball so I sold it on ebay.