Guilt and Garbage

Recently a client of mine was surprised to hear that I was throwing out paper that I had accumulated. So here is the public confession – I am a pack rat, but an organized one – especially when it comes to paperwork (my basement? um, that’s not important right now).  Even when you are organized, the paperwork does require periodic purging to stay that way.

But looking at the other things I have noticed that are hard for all of us to let go of, I realized that with much of it there is guilt attached! So get rid of the guilt and get rid of the garbage.

  • Broken thingsbut I can fix it! How can I throw out something that is fixable? No, you won’t fix it. If you really, really intend to fix it put a date on it. If the next time you look at the thing that date has passed, throw it out. And let’s face it, sadly, it is hard to find places to fix things and often cheaper to replace.
  • Ghastly gifts - but I don’t want to hurt their feelings. Neither do I. Acknowledge the good intention behind the gift and leave it out a respectable amount of time and then pass it on to an organization that can use it.
  • Out of date clothing and accessoriesbut styles come back! That is very, very true – even red jeans from the 80’s are making a comeback now. I had them then (although now I wouldn’t get my arm into the leg of them – I was so thin then :-( ). But sadly, a fashion rule I have heard is if you wore it the first time around, it will be inappropriate on you (read “too old”) to wear it when it comes round again. (think fringed vests, bell bottoms, and peace jewelry).
  • Clothes that don’t fit anymorebut I can lose weight, or worse, might gain - This is probably the hardest for weight yoyo folks like me. My new rule is I throw out the biggest (I vow never to be that size again) and the smallest (get real, you were anorexic), and keep just a few larger items (reality check – it happens) so I don’t have to go thru the agony of buying something if I sneak up a little.
  • You just hate it - but it is good/expensive/usable - So what? Someone else may love it.

I have to work on almost all of these situations myself – told you, I am by nature a pack rat. I have passed this on to my son to his girlfriend’s dismay. Sorry Erin. I even have a couple of broken chairs to get rid of – (they could be fixed or refinished). Hey, if there are any handy people out there you are welcome to them!

Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving”   ~Erma Bombeck