Struggling With Your Stuff - 14 Tips To Help You Get Rid Of Your Clutter Inspired By Fumio Sasaki

Lets face it, letting go is hard especially when it comes to our stuff. At times it can often feel like our stuff defines us and who we are, whether its a memory captured by a sentimental object, a gift we received or an expensive item we saved up to purchase. We have listed 16 tips to help you when you are struggling to get rid of your clutter which are inspired and adapted from the best selling book called Goodbye Things: The New Japanese Minimalism written by Fumio Sasaki. 

We become slaves to our belongings, forced to spend time and energy caring for them. We lose ourselves in our possessions. Our tools become our masters.ย 
— Fumio Sasaki (Author of Goodbye Things)

1. When you let go, you gain more than you loose 

The trade-off between letting go and holding on can be difficult to quantify but it is essential to remember that when you remove unnecessary clutter you are ultimately gaining more time, space and freedom. 

2. Realise why you can get rid of your things 

This tip involves doing some introspection and more importantly identifying our fears when it comes to getting rid of our stuff. We feel a certain attachment that may be linked to certain emotions like guilt, regret or nostalgia. 

3. You will not regret anything you end up throwing away 

This may be hard to believe but the cliche saying of 'out of sight, out of mind really does ring true. Once its gone you can be rest assured you wont pine for it again. 

4. Get rid of your obvious junk to begin with 

Build your decluttering confidence by starting with anything in your home that is obviously junk like broken appliances, clothing with holes or expired food items. 

5. There is only so much space and mental capacity 

We feel the need to fill every crevice and corner of our homes with stuff so that it doesn't feel cold and bare but what price do we pay for this belief? More filled spaces means more cleaning, organising, decluttering, making space for more stuff and then when we run out of space we rely on additional rented storage garages. All this maintenance becomes mentally exhausting. 

6. Trash it or donate it if it has gone unused for a year

Chances are if you haven't used it in a year, you wont need it in the future. Fumio Sasaki mentions that the heavier the layer of dust on something, the more likely we will never use it again. 

7. Differentiate between things that are a necessity and a want

Recognise what you need for your day to day living and what is essential to your survival and then consider items that you have purchased because you wanted them. Become a better safeguard of what you let in your home by recognising if an item is a want or a need when your next tempted to purchase something. 

8. Our things are like roommates except we pay their rent

We want our things to feel comfortable but what do they give us in return? 

9. Don't get hung up on the purchase price

This is especially applicable to expensive splurges that end up never being used. We hesitate to get rid of them because at the back of our minds we feel like we haven't yet gotten our money's worth. Let your guilt go. 

10. If you lost it, would you buy it again? 

The true test to determine what items you really value is to ask yourself 'if you lost it, would you go out and buy it again? If not then maybe its time to trash it. 

11. Discarding sentimental items is not the same as discarding memories 

It's important to realise that all our important memories are within us and not within our things. 

12. Our homes aren't museums 

Many of us have collections that aren't priceless and end up taking up lots of space - let them go. 

13. One in, one out 

This task is bound to challenge your comfort zone every time you intend to purchase something - get rid of something else first. 

14. Don't buy it because its cheap

Retailers are great at persuading us to buy something when its on sale - save 50%! Rather consider that everything is 100% off when you don't buy it.