Last week, we talked about three major things to avoid doing at all costs while in the process of editing your belongings.
Hopefully, the angling of the post was effective in a similar way that What Not To Wear was (sans Stacy London’s signature grey patch). By identifying and outlining the worst editing practices, my hope is, of course, to inspire you to adopt better, SIMPLER ones.
So, here are three more things NOT to do while editing.
4. DON’T RUMINATE ON HOW MUCH AN ITEM ORIGINALLY COST. DON’T SEE WHAT YOU OWN AS POTENTIAL MONIES (UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO).
If there is one dooming practice when it comes to editing, it is surely seeing what you own as money. The truth is that in 97% of cases I’ve experienced, people are apt to inadvertently exaggerate the amount they believe they originally paid for something, and to over-inflate (by, like A LOT) the amount they believe they could re-sell said item for.
So, it is safe to assume that the original cost of an item is less than you want to believe, and the amount you could recoup by selling it, much, much less than you’d hope.
Plus, when you factor in how long ago you purchased something, the extent to which it is now in style, and any possible wear and tear it has incurred over the years you’ve had it, seeing your belongings are dolla, dolla bills y’all is nothing short of a trap.
If financially feasible for you (be very real with yourself here), the best and easiest way to edit is not to regard what an item was at the point you procured it ($$), and instead to regard it as what it is now (a chair, a bicycle, etc.). The least painful way to release items is to accept that whatever you originally paid was what it cost you to own said thing for as long as you did, or to be able to buy it in the first place.
Then donate the damn thing and move on with your life.
Holding on to clutter for fear of being wasteful is one of the least productive strategies you can adopt. It’s a shame-based cycle of punishment, wherein you continue to punish yourself by making yourself wrong for decisions you made in the past, and you continue to punish others, by not sharing generously of your abundance.
Yes, we of the first-world are unfathomably fortunate. Yes, we exist in a materialistic, consumer-driven society. Yes, you may very well have bought much, much more than you ever needed in the past.
The way not to feel wasteful is to release all that you don’t truly need, donating it freely to those who would benefit from it, and pledging to make more intentional decisions moving forward.
6. DO NOT RELY ON YOUR PAST SELF TO CHOOSE FOR YOU NOW.
Too often, I see people inclined to defer to their past-self rather than trust themselves in the present. They rationalize that since they once decided to keep something, they should keep keeping it. If they don’t, they’re surely undermining their own judgment, they figure. But you can’t merely rely on your past judgment, because the person who made those decisions is no longer you.
Since who you are is a constantly evolving entity, it is inevitable that what you deem important, meaningful, and appealing will shift over time. Not allowing yourself to choose over and over again for yourself now is a futile, deluded attempt to recapture your past self.
I know; it’s tough love, but someone’s (me’s) got to spit it.
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