how to declutter without guilt
DECLUTTERING

How To Declutter Without Feeling Guilty

Today I am sharing how to declutter without feeling guilty.  The benefits from decluttering are undeniable and we should never feel guilty about donating items we don’t need. 

MONEY SPENT

How to declutter without feeling guilty?  Are you are keeping something because you spent money on it?  If this item is something you don’t use and it doesn’t bring you joy, then why would you feel like you should keep it.  If anything this item is only a reminder that you wasted your money.  Also by keeping this item you are not going to bring your money back.  The best thing to do is declutter the item and think of it as a lesson learned.  Next time you go shopping be super picky about what you buy and take your time thinking about what you really need.

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I recommend two books that really help with decluttering The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, by Margareta Magnusson.  Both of these books go into great detail on decluttering and help with a guilt free declutter.

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DONATIONS – Declutter Without Feeling Guilty

Donations are great and we should never feel guilty about donating items that we are decluttering.  I know a lot of people that have told me they want to find the perfect place or person to give their things to.  This is a great idea in theory, but it is going to be really hard to declutter if you are trying to find the perfect person for every item.  The nice thing about dropping your items at a donation location is people will come in and find your items.  So in the end they are going to people who need them.  The other nice thing about most donation places is they raise money for charities.  Your items are not only going to people who are looking for them, but they are raising money as well.

JUST IN CASE ITEMS

You are afraid to declutter something because you might need it in the future, I use to keep so many items “just in case.”  Honestly in all of my decluttering I have never regretted anything that I have decluttered.  I have a little story to share about my old laptop.  My laptop from 2008 was saved for about 5 extra years because I thought that there might be a day when I need to use it.  The just in case scenario at its best.  After saving my laptop for 5 years, I finally went to use it and realized it was completely dead!  Not just the battery was dead, but the whole computer was done.  That is why I don’t feel guilty about donating items that I might possibly use in the future.

No guilt declutter tips

SENTIMENTAL ITEMS – Declutter with no Guilt

Sentimental items can be really hard to get rid of.  How can you declutter sentimental items without feeling guilty?  The worst thing is feeling like you have to keep something because you don’t want to feel guilty.  I was given some items from a family member and I felt I had to keep them.  The sad thing is I knew nothing about the items so there was no connection.  I feel there are a few things I could have done in this situation.  You can take a picture of the items or whittle down the collection.  After a lot of thought I decided to keep one item to display.

One way to not feel guilt about donating sentimental items is to put yourself into the future.  I like to imagine what my kids will be thinking about all of this stuff when I am ready to hand it down.  Are they going to keep everything?  Another way you can avoid the guilt is imagine if you walked into a strangers house, what would you keep?  I know I would have no problem decluttering someone else’s stuff.  Sometimes it can help remove the guilt if you can imagine the items as just that, “stuff”.

NO REGRETS – Declutter Without Feeling Guilty

Throughout my entire decluttering journey I have never regretted anything I got rid of.  Knowing this can really help avoid guilt.  I would feel really guilty if I donated a bunch of stuff and then realized I would have to buy it again.  If you do a slow declutter that can help to avoid rash decisions.  Also I have found the more I declutter the stronger my decluttering muscle gets.  What I use to spend a lot of time debating whether to keep or get rid of is now a much quicker and easier decision.  In other words the more you declutter the better you will get at it.

Knowing that I have never needed something I have decluttered helps me to avoid feeling guilty.  The benefits of having a clutter free organized home outweigh the thought of maybe needing something you donated.

POSITIVE SIDE OF DECLUTTERING

Think of the positive side of decluttering and everything you will gain by living a clutter free life.  When I decluttered I found my home ran so much smoother.  I no longer found myself spending hours organizing and tidying.  After I had my children I found myself shifting toys all over our house in an attempt to make life easier.  No matter how many shelves or bins I had I could never get everything put away.  After decluttering I found my home looked nice again.  It is now much easier to clean and tidy.  We almost never misplace things, everything has a home!  Never feel guilty about wanting to streamline your life and get rid of the excess stuff.

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2 Comments

  • Elizaabeth

    Hi Shannon, This is my first visit. I watched the companion to this post on YT and was inspired to share your comments about decluttering having brought about great changes in your life such as your upcoming move with my husband. Even though we are at the end of the spectrum, we truly are exactly in the same spot. I am hoping that decluttering will let him realize it is time to let go of the past, down-size our home, and see what new adventures life has to offer. You inspire me with your sharing. I’m excited about your looking for part -time work. You will be surprised by how much your children enjoy this, I promise. All good things wished for your family! Elizabeth

    • SHANNON

      Thank you Elizaabeth! I was surprised how decluttering really changed my husbands mind about life. I don’t know if it was just me changing my life and our stuff that made him catch on or what, but he is definitely more open to change. I can’t wait to start a part time job I think it will be good for everyone. I hope you have a great day.

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