Getting Rid of Clutter

Image: Bill Longshaw /
My friend Cranky Humanist asked for tips and tricks on how to get her disobedient brain to give up it's clutter inducing attachment to sentimental objects.  I said - just throw them away, your brain will get over it. She said yeah - but misbehaving brains can be really persuasive.  And they can.

But once you get in the habit of letting things go, you realize how liberating it is to get rid of stuff. The fear we all have is that you will lose or forget something that is important to you when you get rid of stuff. It's an unfounded fear. If something is important to you, you will remember it with or without the object that represents the memory. Plus, if you are being honest with yourself, it's not like you ever go through your piles of junk and clutter anyway except when you get in cleaning mode, so it's not like you are going to remember to find it to trigger the memory in the first place except by accident.

Look - at the end of the day - it's just stuff. You don't need stuff for your memories and letting go of your excess stuff is incredibly liberating.  And if you are afraid that you might need it at some point in the future, well, then if and when that happens, go out and buy another one.  Then you will have the pleasure of using something new that reminds you of thing you gave away. So double plus good.

Anyway - with all this discussing of getting rid of clutter, I was reminded of one of my favorite stories by a group called Celestial Navigations.  Try not to be bothered by the fact they are scientologists - it's still a cool story called - The Valley and it's about getting rid of stuff and every time I am tempted to hang on to something for sentimental reasons, I think about this song and remind myself, I will be OK if I let it go.. Enjoy.

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