Andrew Newton Therapy

Andrew Newton Hypnotherapy

Some people just can’t bring themselves to throw anything away! Without doubt, some items are worth keeping… but among the precious memories, the special souvenirs, the clothing that will be needed again, the precious books, the spare laptop or mobile phone, the letters, the CD’s and DVDs, are things that really don’t need anymore.

We all want to keep those precious objects and their memories, but there’s also time to let go of things lest they start to own us. Of course it may also feel like some of the items we keep are meaningless, but that is not necessarily always the case. In fact understanding your clutter could help you learn more about yourself! For some people, possessions can reawaken special memories.

For some people, clothes represent an identity they are not ready to let go of — the person they once were, or perhaps one they wanted to become. Letting go of what those clothes represent would mean accepting the reality that life has changed, that they are no longer the person they once were, or that they never fully realised their dream. It could also be a case of ‘buyer’s remorse’ where people feel unable to let go of something because it was so expensive! It might feel irresponsible to let things go, somehow or wasteful to let it go. Holding on to it somehow alleviates that feeling.

If you feel guilty about letting go of clothes, shoes or jewellery you’ve hardly worn, use that feeling to be more mindful about your purchases in the future. Be honest… do you like the look of that coat on the hanger, but when you try it on, it doesn’t suit you at all? Maybe you haven’t worn the dress you wore only once for years? If that’s the case, it’s time to either sell it or take it down to the charity shop!

We often keep things that have a story to tell, so holding on to things from childhood can be a way of preserving those precious memories. The same applies to objects from our children’s childhood. It’s normal to want to remember their first step, their first birthday, or their first day at school. But this shouldn’t be done to excess because it may mean you are taking too much meaning from the lives of your children, rather than your own life.

If you have sacrificed your career to be a parent, you may need to explore other ways to find more meaning in life. This is especially true if objects are linked to traumatic loss… of your own child or something from your own childhood.

So you have to decide which items have genuine value, and which are excessive. It’s OK to keep some of the most sentimental items, but you should donate or get rid of the rest. Think of giving away these things so they can be enjoyed by another child, rather than being locked away for no purpose.

As for the laptops, spare phones, chargers & cables, they’re no good to you any more, so keep the cables and chargers compatible with your current devices and say goodbye to the rest. Some councils accept cables in your roadside recycling. If not, there are recycling centres that will take them. As for phones, it is probably a good idea to keep a spare one for emergencies. However, you should remove all personal information and photos! You can easily transfer any data to an external hard drive. Most charities accept old phones — even if they’re not working.

It is totally understandable that people keep items they have kept because they evoke significant memories. It’s also understandable that these things can be the most difficult to let go of. however, you don’t have to let go of anything you want to keep! These very personal items, if they’re not on show (such as photos or pictures) should kept in a special place. Some objects not only have special memories, they may be symbols of past special needs… ‘things’ don’t abandon or reject you in the way people may have done in the past.

You can go through each item and ask yourself ‘why am I keeping this?’ It might not be the thing itself, but a person or place associated with it. You will always have those memories, so don’t feel guilty about losing some of them. Keep those things in a special box and Keep cards and photographs in a scrapbook. This will keep them safe, and your house tidy.

Music and movies you will want to listen to and watch again one day. Attachment to these things is normal, especially if they are linked to happy or emotional memories. But being tidy means your environment is less cluttered. CDs bought after gigs or favourite films don’t take up too much room, so it’s better to keep them all together on a special shelf or two… or three. In any event, most music and movies are now available online. If not, you could always copy everything onto an external hard drive.

There can be complex reasons why people are reluctant to let go of documentation. Missing paperwork can be a nuisance or inconvenience, especially where legal or financial papers are concerned. Storing old documents is often rooted in fear or a need for security and control, especially if they are concerned with legal matters or emotional trauma or loss. 

You’re unlikely to need payslips, household bills and bank statements or out-of-date insurance policies over a couple of years old. The best thing to do is to sort them into subject matter and date and keep them together in a file. Tax returns, mortgage papers etc. should be saved for longer, but you should keep all the files together in a safe place. You could even scan documents and keep them on your computer or laptop. This will free up space and life will be easier if you have an organised filing system.

Overall, it’s what is commonly known as having a good sort-out and tidy-up. Trust me… you will be happier.