The Psychology Behind What We Keep – How Clean Sweep Can Help

| October 12, 2015 | Comments (0)

Hello Clean Sweepers!

I read a very interesting artic the Wall Street Journal over the summer that I have been meaning to discuss.  It was written by Melissa Beck and discusses the key reasons why people save items, and very concisely explains how to work through rightsizing them.  I have been posting a lot on social media lately about minimalism, and think that this article really displays why people get caught up in hanging onto stuff.  If we can understand why we keep things, and deal with the real reason behind it, we can begin to divest ourselves of a whole lot of emotional, not to mention physical, baggage, and really get our personal boat turned in the right direction, cruising at top speed.

The six “diagnoses,” or reasons that people save things, Beck mentions are:

  • The Way Things Were – keeping object that evoke memories of childhood, deceased pets, sports triumphs – quite painful to discard
  • Three Sizes Ago – whether we have gained or lost the weight, some people never accept change and think that things will fit again, or be in style when they do fit again
  • Buy Then, Pay Later – never-worn clothes with tags still on them is a sign of shopping to fulfill emotional needs, which purchases seldom satisfy
  • ADHD Storage – half-finished projects, multiple hobbies represent difficulty staying focused and trouble making decisions
  • I’ve Got It Here Somewhere – feeling compelled to save things can indicate OCD
  • An 8-Track Mind – thinking “someone might need this” or “this might be valuable someday” can make it hard to discard outmoded technology or items

Beck and the other professional organizers interviewed for the article, go on to state that cognitive errors or clutter-generating logic drives the situation.  The trick is to recognize the irrational thought that makes you cling to an item and substitute one that helps you to let it go.  This is a finding that I have encountered over and over and have based my organizing practice upon long ago…If you create a use for the item outside of its current misplaced home, the individual or family can much more easily see fit to let it go.  That is why Clean Sweepers show such strong engagement when asked to donate items to our partner charities or events that request assistance.  This month alone, Clean Sweepers donated items that went to furnish a home in Detroit and another in Pontiac through Humble Design, among other sites that they are currently decorating.  Items went to a rummage sale that is helping to save St. Mary’s Church in Royal Oak, and to a garage sale that was designated to 100% support the Trevor Sullivan fund for a young man needing a heart transplant here at Groves High School.  Delivering to charities for free has always been our policy here at Clean Sweep, or arranging convenient pickups when there are so many items to fit into the truck.  Lately, I have even added another pickup driver, so that we can better support clients and the charities they are designating.

In summary, when people come to realize that there are people in the world that need these items described above more than they do, it us much easier to let go of that pair of jeans that is 3 sizes to small, or that old set of dishes that can now feed a family of 4 getting out of a homeless shelter.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, cluttered and like there is too much stuff in your home, please contact Clean Sweep.  We can help designate a worthy cause for your item, and you can thereby help many, many others.

Call an Organizer/Rightsizing Coach today at 248-931-3325.

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Category: Charity, Charity, Closet Organizing, De-Clutter, Estate Clearing, Families, Family, Hoarding, Home Organizing, Humbledesign, Kitchen Organizing, Organization, Organize, Organizing in MI, Organizing in Michigan, Recycling, Reduce Clutter, Rightsizing, Uncategorized

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