Here we are in part 3 of this 4 part series. If you missed the first 2 parts you can catch up here HOW TO MAKE TIME FOR MINIMALISM WITH CHILDREN and HOW TO START LIVING A MINIMALIST LIFE. This week is all about how to let go of material possessions.

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How to Let Go of Material Possessions

 

This week is all about how to let go of material possessions without the guilt.

When I first became a parent I was gifted an entire wardrobe of clothing for my daughter. I’m serious, between her baby shower gifts and the hand me downs I literally did not have to buy her anything for her first year!

I was so incredibly thankful because we couldn’t really afford to be buying new clothes for her every 3 months. It was the problem of what to do with the clothes when she grew out of them that started to bother me.

I didn’t know whether I should return the hand me downs to their original owner or not. Should I give them to another family in a similar situation as us? Should I keep them just in case we have another child?

It wasn’t until our family decided to move to Australia that I asked the original owner if she wanted them back. Her answer was, of course, no. That left me with 2 options keep them or give them away. I decided to give them away. I was not going to be hauling clothes around to a new continent for an unborn baby I might never have.

And guess what? I haven’t missed them.

 

 

How to Let Go of Guilt

 

I often find I make a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to making decisions. If I would just make a choice, to begin with, I would save myself some serious time, space and worry.

I suggest you go through your belongings and find the mementos, the heirlooms, the precious things that really truly mean something to you and put them on your mantel. If you think they don’t belong there then maybe they aren’t as special as you wish they were.

Sometimes it is just a matter of being practical about it. For instance, your great grandmother may have left you the most expensive beautiful crystal chandelier but you don’t own a home and even if you did it wouldn’t have a chandelier in it.

So why keep the item?

Sure it may be a reminder of your great grandmother but when do you see it? When you’re cleaning out the attic? I’m sure you think of your great grandmother fondly without having to see the chandelier. It would be put to better use by someone who actually finds beauty in the item the same way your great-grandmother once did.

 

how to let go of material possessions. There is a minimalist effect with this photo.

Actually Letting Go

 

There are several things you can do with your possessions once you have made the commitment to remove them from your home. Here is a list of 7 things to help you get started with your process of letting go.

  • Donate your items
  • Have a garage sale
  • Give them to family or friends
  • Sell items on eBay/online
  • Sell to consignment stores
  • Throw damaged items away
  • Repurpose items

Whether you decide to donate or sell the choice is up to you. Personally, I always try to sell first and if after 1-3 days of not selling the item I donate it.

There can be many setbacks to selling your belongings. For instance, if you believe something is worth more than what people will pay for it, you may never sell the item.  By waiting around for the right buyer you are only moving the clutter around your home not getting rid of it.

Also be aware that often it is more work to sell your items and if you barely have the time to declutter, selling might not be for you.

 

The main thing I want you to remember is you shouldn’t feel guilty.

We are allowed to give things away and we are allowed to not feel bad about it.

In the end, it is just stuff and I would much rather have experiences, time, human interactions and space than stuff.

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Which items do you have the most difficulty with when it comes to guilt and letting go? Let me know what you are having trouble letting go of in the comments.