Do you feel liberated by unloading old belongings?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Policar, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    Psychoanalysts claim hoarders refuse to give up their belongings because they attach emotional significance to them--that most hoarders have experienced moments of loss from which they can't really recover and they hang on to belongings that remind them of times before that loss.

    Sometimes I wonder if the same isn't true on a smaller scale. I have a bunch of old toys I rarely use, but to which I attach a lot of emotional significance. I can't really bring myself to sell them on eBay, although I need the money for sure.

    I've sold stuff in the past and regretted it. Likewise I've thrown out old clothes for no good reason and wished I'd kept them. But I'm not sure if I'm making myself happier or not by keeping junk around. (Wardrobe and camera gear--photography is my hobby.) Sitting on a few thousand dollars worth of camera gear I might not need and wondering how much I should sell...

    Anyone have any experiences with this? Do you feel unburdened not owning stuff that just depreciates in value? Does unloading old belongings liberate you from the burdens of the past or just make you face your own mortality and the losses you've experienced head-on? If keeping something is indicative of living constantly with trauma does selling it mean you're trying to distance yourself from the trauma without overcoming it or does it just mean you're ready to move on?

  2. macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    Well when I moved apartments 3 years ago I dumped a lot fo stuff I accumulated in the 8 years I lived in my old place. It felt great and I actually found stuff I needed but had lost while sorting over stuff to take or not. Since my new apartment was larger than the old one I felt like I had tons of space. Of course now it has filled up a bit, for example replaced my old tiny Sharp crt TV with a Toshiba 55' flastscreen 3D I got last summer. :D
  3. macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2006
    When I moved into an apartment from a townhouse, I had several boxed of stuff stored in my garage. They sat there for about 3 years, rarely opened. Then a couple of months ago I literally put them on the curb without even opening them. Opening the garage and seeing it box-free feels wonderful. I should have done it years ago.

    But, the morning I put the boxes on the curb some of the apartment residents went thru them and there was a momentary shock. I saw someone picking out some old ceramic canisters, another getting my old battery jumper, etc. It was uncomfortable.

    But still, seeing my garage box-free I have no regrets. Funny how I just dont miss things that I once thought were important enough to keep.
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    Thanks for the thoughtful answers. I think I'll be getting rid of a lot of unused possessions pretty soon.
  5. Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    I like to get rid of old junk. I like even more to not get it in the first place, but that's harder to do than it seems.

    OP, try and find uses, either selling, or donating your old items. It's even MORE rewarding to find a use for that stuff than filling up a trashcan.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    I like to hang on to old junk. Causes emotional distress to get rid of it.
    I compensate by not acquiring much new junk. The house is rather clutter-free except for several bookcases housing many books. Also, I'm glad that HDD capacities are growing faster than my storage needs.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Hoarders equate discarding these objects, things as simple as a scrap of paper, to discarding the person or denying the love of that person. There are varying degrees of this behavior, of course.

    What the hoarders in my life don't understand is that their emotional strain associated with casting off clutter is equal to my anguish that it lingers.

    Perhaps you could dwell not on the memories you attach to the 'stuff' but rather on the good you can do with the cash gained from its sale.
  8. macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I usually feel happy that I'm getting rid of crap that clutters up the house.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2010
    's-Hertogenbosch Netherlands
    Of course when old becomes Antique, well that's a whole other story.:D

    I live in the same house, as my family have always done since 1793.
  10. macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Too bad you can't recycle vinyl records or I would done this by now.
  11. macrumors 603


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    I moved cross country recently and did a serious purge of my accumulated possessions. I donated about 80% of my clothing, recycled nearly 40 gallons of paper, sold/donated all of my furniture, recycled nearly 200lbs of old electronics....


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