Disclaimer: I have a hard time letting go of things. Well, things and people. Well, boyfriends. I’m really, really bad at letting go of boyfriends. In fact, writing this right now is actually quite cathartic considering I have been actively trying to address my clinging tendencies.
Call it sentimentality or label it nostalgia, whatever. All I know is that according to Buddha I should be practicing non-attachment, and when I achieve non-attachment, I am basically enlightened. You may call me guru.
ANYWAY, letting go is really hard for most people. Whether it’s a past love or your first teddy bear, doesn’t matter. It is, however, a pretty integral part of adult life. We can’t all just walk around crippled by the weight of our pasts (wow, I think I really am a guru).
Luckily, there are a bunch of different techniques you can use to help you decide when, or if, you should be letting something go:
The Marie Kondo
Little lady Kondo came and swept into our lives not long ago bearing her KonMari method of minimalism. She is all about organisation and categorisation, as described in her book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’. Kondo asks you to pick up a possession, hug it to your chest, and see if it ‘sparks joy’. If it doesn’t spark joy, give it a hug and send it on its way. It sounds weird, but it’s actually quite fun. Doesn’t work for boyfriends though.
The Annual Overhaul
Clothes? Books? Electronic devices? If you haven’t used or worn them in a year, then it’s time to say goodbye. This technique basically gives everything you own a 365-day grace period after which point the possession should either be donated, sold or given away as free stuff. It’s cut-throat, but feels good, and your house will be faaaarrrr less cluttered as a result. Try it.
The Money Factor
Take a look at all your material possessions. Now ask yourself the question, CAN I MAKE ANY MONEY OFF THIS STUFF? If the answer is yes, and it doesn’t break your heart to say goodbye, then throw it all up on Gumtree. Honestly, there is no better feeling in the world than getting a Gumtree notification letting you know someone in Canberra wants your old race bike. Haven’t used it in three years, still a good ride, though.
The Does It Serve You
This one requires a little bit more thinking on your part. A lot of the things we own can be categorised into the following: security (‘just in case’ items with the illusion of safety), comfort (things that give us pleasure), self-image (things that make us feel a certain way about ourselves) and love (things given to us from loved ones). But did you know that we can get all those things from within ourselves? I don’t mean to sound like that meditation teacher you follow on Instagram, but it’s true. You don’t need to hold onto a movie stub to remember that time you went on a good date. Just log the memory and release. No ‘ommms’ required.