One of the premises that led me to minimalism was the amount of time and money I could have saved not hoarding to begin with. The hardest thing for me to part with is the wasted potential in the time and money spent on the items. I spent how much on all these items? Was it worth the cost? Did it add value to my life?
It's a perceptional shift to see that holding onto things takes up more time and money. I used to spend a lot of time addressing what stuff to keep, how much can I sell it for, do I really need it? But then I look at just the stress it causes and even more time it takes, I'm likely to be more efficient just tossing it all out and starting over. Because 99% of the items we own we don't need.
In my experience, my time has been spent on stuff in these ways:
1. Organizing my garage one week during each summer. 2. Hosting an annual garage sale after that week of organizing. 3. Cleaning and dusting and replacing all the my items in my house. 4. Being distracted by color coordinating my closet, looking back at my old memory box, or flipping through the tv channels. 5. Paying bills (which takes up a lot of time when you have a lot of bills to pay). 6. Shopping, researching the best items to buy, making a list, deciding what to buy, what to put on a wish list, when to buy it. 7. Working - for more money, to buy more stuff, to pay for bigger space to keep all my stuff. Just to name a few...
People ask us, all the time, Why we don't have stuff? Is it because were poor? Firstly, when you think about it, what a funny perception for society to think we must be poor when we aren't overwhelmed by stuff. And secondly, we feel we are extremely rich...
Rich in experiences, opportunity, time, connectivity, love, inspiration, gratitude, and abundance. Why? Because when we recognize the things that truly matter, usually things that don't die out with this world and this life, we realize that we don't need to accumulate more stuff to compensate for the potential lack we're feeling. We have more time, less stress and more resources to do whatever we want since we aren't chasing the "American Dream".
So how do you start letting go? Start with something small. Get rid of one thing, like that box of who-knows-what that you haven't opened in years. Don't bother opening it, just kiss it goodbye and see how good it feels. Watch how your ego challenges your mind to worry about what was inside it. Was it important? More importantly, did it add value to your life each day sitting there collecting dust in storage?
Why is it so hard for you to let go?