No. of Recommendations: 3
The discarding part is the hardest for me. I am a big-time packrat. I have small peices of scrap lumber, rusty screws, baskets out the wazoo, etc. Any suggestions on how to get myself to truly "let go" of some of this stuff?

I'm not great about getting rid of stuff that I might use someday, but I am getting better.

If you keep everything, you'll have a thing that you need some day in the future (if you can find it), and it doesn't cost you any money at the time you need it. But it costs you the space you have been keeping it in (and all the things you didn't use in). And it costs you the time you spent taking care of the pile of stuff.

If you throw everything away you will need to pay some money later to get a thing that you used to have. BUT it probably won't be very much money. Because you won't be paying for ALL of the items you got rid of, just for a few of them. So you aren't paying to get the item that you used to own. You're paying for the convenience of storing the item at the store, not in your home.

So how do you find the break-even point? Here's what I do, and it does help:

- Decide to keep a limited about of certain things. If you want to have some scrap wood, decide to make a space to hold scrap wood. When it's full you have to throw scrap wood away (either the new or the old, whichever is less good). If you want to have extra baskets, decide you'll keep five baskets.

- Identify things that would be hard to replace and things that would be easy to replace. Think about getting rid of the things that would be easy to replace.

- Accept that you can't do everything. I had been saving the little cardboard tags that came with every piece of clothing thinking that I would put them with the receipts and this way I could return defective clothing. But I never did. I finally told myself that if at some later time I was ready and had the time, energy, and the system to do such a thing I could start saving them again. But until then I toss them when I take them off the clothes.

Good luck!
Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.