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We’ve all bought things we regret, and that buyer’s remorse holds us back from making progress in decluttering. Here’s how to ditch buyer’s remorse & how to declutter guilt-filled items for good!
Buyers remorse can come in many forms, but usually it hits after we spend more than we should on an item don’t use, don’t need and ultimately, don’t want anymore. Naturally, we feel guilty every time we see these items.
Sometimes those items were given to us, but we don’t use them or want them. They just…sit there. Taunting us. Every single day.
Stuck in Remorse
When we’re trying to declutter and especially if we’re moving towards a more minimalist life, these guilt-filled items hold us back. Guilt stalls all the progress and keeps us stuck.
I’m not immune to this and over the years I’ve had piles of costly items that I no longer wanted– mostly courses, books and business tools. Each time I saw them on my shelf… Ouch!
These were things I bought 2-3 years ago and yet, I’d never used them. I kept putting them in piles to sell or donate, but somehow they made their way back to my shelf because I felt like I should use them. But the reality didn’t change–I wasn’t interested in them, so I wasn’t going to use them!
That’s the big problem here. We have these items on our shelves, in our closets, and in the cupboards. We feel bad. Guilty. Frustrated. Maybe angry. Sad. A whole lot of bad feelings are attached to these.
And we feel those awful emotions every single time we see the item.
It could be once a year in a storage closet. But more than likely, it’s more often than that. Probably weekly, maybe even daily. Sometimes multiple times a day. We see these items and we feel bad.
But what if you didn’t have to feel that anymore?
Imagine your life without this stuff. What if it was gone? You don’t see it, you don’t feel bad! You’d feel freedom. Peace, contentment. Happiness. It would be awesome!
The catch is that most of us can’t get there, because we’re hung up on the emotions and the guilt.
But here’s the thing. For the most part, getting rid of these remorseful, guilt-filled items is a temporary discomfort.
It’s going to hurt to hand it over to Goodwill. But the pain will pass. You might feel it for a day or so, but in all likelihood, the memory will start to fade and you’ll move on to that awesome feeling of freedom.
If the item is a gift or has sentimental value, you’ll have additional guilt and attachments to work through. But ultimately, the idea is the same. If the item is not being used and it makes you feel bad, it doesn’t have a place in your home.
Easing the Pain of Letting Go
Recognize that the money is gone.
Whether you spent it or someone else, that money has been spent and won’t come back just because an item sits in your house. This is the first mindset hurdle! The money is gone, and you’re ready to move on!
Consider Selling Items.
Selling items may help ease that parting pain because you feel like you’re getting something back for it. If you want to, go ahead and try to sell it on Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. The caveat here is to make sure it has enough value to warrant spending your time trying to sell it.
If you don’t want to sell the item, or it has poor resale value, try to bless someone with it. The positive emotion of helping someone and knowing that item will grace the home of a friend or family member who will love and use it more than you can help with parting pain.
Try the “One In One Out” rule. The next time you purchase or receive an item you love, you have to get rid of an item you don’t love–regardless of the cost.
Swallow & Let Go
If none of the above options work, you may just have to close your eyes and drop the item in the donation bin. Ultimately, letting go is the best choice for your future freedom! If it has no place in your life anymore, it has no place in your home.
So here’s to letting go of the tough stuff. The stuff we regret spending money on. The stuff that has no place or purpose in our lives anymore. See more on how to ruthlessly purge your stuff here.
Get through the discomfort of letting it go, and you’ll feel a difference. A simple, minimal life doesn’t happen all at once. My own journey took several years, but every step was worth it! It’s a million little baby steps that get you just one more step closer to where you want to be!
Related Decluttering Articles
- How to Purge Your Stuff Ruthlessly
- Clearing Clutter with Quick Wins
- Life-Changing Lessons from Tidying Up