We all have stuff. Some stuff serves a defined purpose, whether decorative or utilitarian in nature. Others take us places in our hearts and minds; photos of a wonderful vacation or a special gift from a treasured friend. Some things we own do not have such good memories and feelings associated with them; employee gifts from a company where we were laid off, the gear shift of the vehicle in which an accident nearly took your life, the cast from your broken arm, the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, if we are completely honest, some things are painful to keep…but we do it anyway.
In Clutter's Last Stand, Don Aslett wrote about "aftermath junk" – what you get from "keeping something that reminds of a terrible experience". As the name indicates, "aftermath junk" is just that, junk. Mementos and memorabilia bring happy feelings. Even a photo of family members from the Depression can bring happy feelings – they survived. They did it! It is all about your perspective.
Sometimes the bad feelings are nothing more than Buyer's Remorse. We feel guilty for spending our hard-earned money on something that we aren't using or didn't particularly want in the first place. Unfortunately, a bad purchase does not magically become a good one just because you look at it every day. Call a spade a spade, and rid yourself of the unnecessary negative feelings.
As always, I recommend releasing anything from your space that makes you feel bad. I even find myself getting rid of shoes I was wearing when something unfortunate happens. In my closet and mind, they just have bad mojo. Life is too short to surround yourself with sorrow.
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