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I meet so many people who are terrified of the idea of less.

“What if I need an item after I get rid of it?”

“If I donate my kids’ toys, they will be mad at me!”

“If I get rid of that sweater I won’t be able to wear it to my company’s holiday party!”

The truth is, the fear is very similar to other sorts of fear in life – it goes away once you actually do the thing that’s scaring you.

Here’s some things to consider when decluttering feels downright scary.

The item is renting space in your home. 

A friend of mine who is a real estate agent downsized from a house in Ballard to a condo in Downtown Seattle. One of the points he has brought up to me before in downsizing is that when you don’t have a lot of space, you actually have to think what items are worth your time to store based on the space available.

Here’s an example: In Seattle right now, the average price per square foot for homes is $345, according to this article.

Why am I bringing that up? Because if something takes up a square foot of space in your home, well, that space is worth a LOT of money. So why not fill your space with things that matter – or even better, leave that space empty so that you have more room to breathe?

Next time you’re considering getting rid of something, calculate the “rent” that it is costing you. Is it worth it?

You can (almost) always buy it again.

Most things, if they are that important, can be re-purchased at a later date. Not everything, of course, but some of those things that are scary to get rid of are stockpiles of things, like cardboard boxes for packing things up in or stockpiles of notebook paper. Personally, I’d rather pay the stores to store those things for me – and buy stuff when I need it.

Interestingly, the woman who owned my condo before me died surrounded by reams and reams of office paper. Her family donated it to my building’s office after she passed. Yes, it was nice, but I would have rather she spent that space enjoying herself before her departure from earth!

No one will die.

If you get rid of some of your children’s toys, they probably won’t die. Truth be told, most of the time they won’t even notice. And if they do get mad? Talk to them about why you got rid of it and see how easy it is to move on. Sometimes, even the most observant kids will just say “Oh, okay” and then keep doing what they’re doing if they found out that you’ve donated some of their less-than-favorite things.

What are your organizing fears? Hop on over to our social media pages and let us know – or comment here!

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