Don't let guilt ruin your decluttering efforts

How to declutter without feeling guilty

Decluttering is a huge help when you want to get your home clean and peaceful. But, if sorting some of your belongings is easy, it’s more challenging to part from others. However, don’t let these challenges stop you, and learn how to declutter without feeling guilty.

I spent so much money to buy it!

You wanted to become that person who wears fancy clothes or home-cooks every meal for their kids, so you invested in yourself. Unfortunately, it never happened. That’s OK, but now, you’re stuck with items you don’t use but were so expensive you don’t want to declutter them.

You’re not alone in feeling guilty about this but think about this: you’ve already spent the money, and keeping the objects won’t make them more valuable. More than their monetary value, your items must be beneficial by how you use them. They’re just expensive clutter if you don’t use or love them. To ease the guilt, you can sell them to get some money back or donate them to someone who will make good use of them. That way, your money won’t be useless anymore, and you’ll get some valuable space back.

How can I declutter without the guilt of landfill?

To ease the decluttering guilt, donate instead of throwing away

While the decluttering trend makes some people throw a lot of their belongings in landfills, you don’t need to be part of them.

You can declutter more responsibly by focusing on selling and donating what is still usable among the items you don’t want anymore. Doing this will extend your objects’ lifetime and reduce the need for brand-new ones.

For unusable items, you can recycle them. It can be by repurposing them or contacting companies with recycling programs. Categories that can be recycled include: 

  • clothes, to make new ones, or insulation, for example
  • electronics that can be repaired and given to those in need (check the nearby associations to see if one of them does that, it can be linked to the use of open-source software), or they can be disassembled to get valuable materials or spare parts
  • other household goods that will be repaired or dismantled to recycle metal, electronic components, and others correctly

By decluttering more sustainably, not only will you get a more peaceful home, but you will also do your part for the circular and collaborative economy.

How to part from sentimental items?

Sentimental items are hard to declutter as they hold more than their monetary value and often have memories tied to them. However, it can be time to declutter when they take up too much space in your house.

Of course, it doesn’t mean you’ll eliminate them all but make some mindful decisions.

First, do they still bring you joy, or is the guilt making you keep them? I had pictures of my ratties with someone I now can’t stand. First, I kept them because they were memories of the little pets I still miss. But, honestly, I wasn’t feeling any joy when looking at the photos because of that person. Finally, I got rid of them, only keeping those where my ratties were alone. Now, I look at the remaining pictures smiling because I remember only good memories. But, if you can’t part completely from the object, you can take a photo before letting it go.

Another solution is to give the sentimental item to someone who will appreciate it. It’s easier to let go of something when you know it will be as treasured as you did.

You can also define the number of items you can keep. You can choose a container and only keep what goes in it, or you can use the one-in-one-out rule. Each time you bring an object into your house, you’ll let go another one.

Remember, parting from the object doesn’t mean parting from the memory or the sentiments. You’ll simply make room for new experiences and memories.

Declutter gifts

Gifts are nice to receive, but sometimes they don’t match your lifestyle or needs. However, we tend to keep them because we have a voice in our head saying it’s ungrateful to let them go. What can we do then?

The person who gave you the gift wanted to bring you joy, not burden you with clutter. If the item is new and unused, consider regifting it to someone who would truly appreciate or need it. Alternatively, you can sell or donate it to benefit someone else.

It’s important to remember that it’s your space, and you have the right to curate it as you please. The real value in a gift is the thought and love behind it, not the gift itself. If you pass the gift along, you’ll allow it to be used and bring happiness to someone else.

Don't let social pressure makes you feeling guilty when you declutter

To declutter without feeling guilty, don't listen to others trying to put you off doing it

We live in a consumerist society, and decluttering seems like rejecting this injunction. Of course, Marie Kondo helped, but some people still see parting from your belongings as a ridiculous trend to be mocked.

However, it’s essential to remember why you want to declutter. I’m sure this is not to follow a trend but more to increase your well-being and the state of your home. And, if guilt sets in, remind yourself that every item you give to someone will have a better use than collecting dust in your house.

Also, remember that social norms change. For example, women wearing pants were frowned upon a few decades ago, while nobody bats an eyelash now. The only opinion that truly matters is yours. You are brave for choosing your peace over possessions. Keep going!

How to declutter without feeling guilty

When you decide to declutter your home, lots of felling can come, and guilt is one of them. But don’t let it be a roadblock. You feel that way because you understand the value of your things and our planet. That will help you make better choices in the future. Society can make you feel ill at ease around sorting your belongings but remember that your well-being is more important than what people will say. They always have opinions about anything, even what they know nothing about.

I’d love to know: what will be your next guilt-free decluttering project? Tell me in the comments and share your experiences, wins, and struggles. Remember, every project, how small it is, is a step toward the more peaceful life you deserve.

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