How to Recognize Belongings That Need to Go – and Then Pitch Them

Almost everyone has this albatross around her neck by the time she turns 50: too much stuff. And many of us have a hard time dealing with it because it’s just one more thing in this great time of change. If you just sent your son off to college, is this the time to toss most of the mementos you’ve been keeping – old schoolwork projects, kindergarten awards, little league t-shirts, “art” that he made for you when he was nine? Most of us don’t even ask ourselves that question; we’re not ready to think about it at all.

But at some point you’ve got to face the stuff you’ve been holding onto that needs to go, not only for the cleanliness and aesthetic of your home, but for your mental well-being too. After all, it’s a well documented fact that hoarding is virtually always linked to depression. Those few who are able to actually stop hoarding and get rid of their mountain of crazy belongings, actually are happier, because they’ve most likely faced and dealt with some serious emotional issues.

So it stands to reason that a tinge of that syndrome lies behind your accumulation of stuff and your reluctance to clear it out. Some of it is full of memories. Some of it you hold onto because you feel guilty about throwing it out, for one reason or another. Some of it allays an anxiety about not having what you need when you need it. All reasons based on emotions, even if you’re not depressed and not a hoarder.

When you decide to share your home – either by moving in with a roommate, or bringing one into your house – elimination of clutter and wise use of space become priorities. Why not face clutter and space now, before there’s the time pressure of a move?

Easy to say. Not so easy to do. But Popsugar has a great checklist of 8 questions to ask yourself as you start weeding through your belongings. It may help you in the process.

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