Another Clutter Guilt Conversation. I explained my thoughts on Clutter Guilt in yesterday’s post (that also has a video!!).
My first choice is to not worry about the guilt, but sometimes that isn’t possible. If you’re paralyzed, and can’t get rid of things because of the guilt, you might try one of the conversations I’m sharing this week!
(Go here if you can’t see the video!)
The It’s Not You, It’s Me Approach (the script)
GUILTEE: Hey, I need to get rid of that coffee table you gave me.
GUILTER: WHAT? WHY?
GUILTEE: Oh, I just don’t have a place for it in my living room anymore. And it doesn’t match the new furniture anyway.
GUILTER: But I got that when I was in college!
GUILTEE: I know. And I loved getting to use it, but I don’t have space for it anymore.
GUILTER: I can’t believe you don’t want that coffee table. I didn’t eat out for three months so I could save up to buy that.
GUILTEE: Oh, it’s a beautiful coffee table, and it served me well for such a long time. But you know how I am. I tend to keep stuff for way longer than I should and I’ve realized that’s a big part of my problem. It’s one of the reasons I have such a hard time keeping my house under control. Thanks so much for giving it to me to use for all those years. That was so nice of you.
GUILTER: So you’ll keep it?
GUILTEE: (crossing eyes) No. I can’t. Do you want it back or should I donate it? I mean, it IS such a nice coffee table . . .
GUILTER: Well, I don’t need it, but you . . .
GUILTEE: (Interrupting) OK then. I’ll donate it. Thanks so much! I just wanted to check with you because I was so grateful you let me use it and didn’t want to donate it without asking you if you wanted it back! Oh, I am so sorry, I have to go.
GUILTER: Hello?? Hello?
Ti Anderson says
This is just as fabulous as the last one! Loved it! On a side note that leopard head wrap looks gorgeous on you 🙂
Dana White says
Thank you!! I’m probably going to start wearing it!
i can’t say i’ve ever had this problem…. when i no longer want something, i just get rid of it without any thought as to who gave it to me in the first place. nine times out of ten they’ve usually told me as they’re giving it to me, “well if you don’t want it, i’m just gonna throw it away” anyway, so that helps. i am really nervous about some hand-me-downs my son got from our cousins that DO want those clothes back as they’re trying for a second baby. i don’t know if my slob brain will remember which were theirs and which i bought from the secondhand shop down the street… they all look the same to me.
Do they necessarily want or need the same clothes back? Would they settle for an equal amount of the best stuff? Or just chuck the lot at them even if it wasn’t theirs first.
This is my strategy for dealing with clutter guilt. In fact, I even have pre-clutter guilt with my church friends who like to give me stuff.
“I cannot tell you how much stuff we’ve taken to Salvation Army this week! I tell you what, I just cannot keep a clean house! I know it’s ridiculous, but we just have to own less to keep our house tidy.”
They look at me like I’m crazy (esp the ones with cluttery houses), but it helps! I get less stuff and they know it’s going to Salvation Army in the future.
I believe that once someone gives you something, whether as a gift or lightening their load of stuff, that they don’t need to know what happens to it. I also give gifts or pass things along with the same idea in mind. It is freeing to give a gift simply because you want to without expecting anything in return or that certain requirements will be met (they won’t regift it, they will keep it a certain number of years, put it out for everyone to see, etc. etc.!) It is how we make others feel when they received the gift that hopefully they remember, even if the gift or item doesn’t work for them. I think this one idea has really freed me to fearlessly declutter items that others have given me. By the way, I LOVE your blog!!! I am so grateful that I stumbled upon it. I always felt like no one could relate to what a struggle it is for me to keep a clean and organized home when others seem to do it with little effort. Your posts have taught me so much and I really appreciate your great sense of humor…helps me to keep things in perspective!
Thank you for this one! I don’t usually have trouble like that but my mother in law does that all the time! We don’t take anything from the her anymore because of this. She actually sneaks stuff into our vehicles and goes so far as to go through my purse to get my keys!