Why do we feel the need to save things?

1. We’re worried that we might want to use an item…someday

Isn’t it funny how we seem to have these unrealistic expectations of future selves?  “Yes, I need those rollerblades even though I haven’t used them in ten years and I fell down and hurt myself so now I’m afraid to try again.  But, maybe I’ll need them.”  


“Yes, I need that 8th set of salt and pepper shakers because you never know if so-and-so will come over for dinner and she gave them to us.”


2. We become emotionally attached to stuff.


Things have sentimental value and bring back memories.  We may feel like we will be throwing away our memories along with the item.


  • You may find yourself asking yourself these questions when thinking about sentimental items:

  • “If I get rid of this item, aren’t I disrespecting the person who gave this to me?”

  • “I have used this item for so long, does it deserve to be thrown out?”

  • “Will I regret giving this away?”


3.  We’re saving for a special occasion.

Some things we save because they are too good for now. We’re waiting for a time when we deserve them, or when we’re celebrating something big.  Does anyone still have fine china or crystal?  Those beautiful pieces are boxed up, out of sight out of mind.  Wouldn’t it be nice to actually use them and enjoy them while we can?


80% of what we keep we never use.  National Association of Professional Organizers (hereafter referred to as NAPO)

Getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 % of the housework in the average home. National Soap & Detergent Association

We wear 20 % of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest hangs there, just in case. NAPO

25% of homeowners polled with two-car garages, fill it with so much stuff, they can’t park even 1 car inside and 32% fit 1, but not 2 cars inside. U.S. Department of Energy

There are almost 40,000 self-storage facilities in the United States.  The demand for storage doubled from 1994 to 2004. The Self Storage Association


I challenge you today to list all the items you are keeping due to one of the reasons mentioned above.  Beside each item, explain on paper why you believe you need to save the item or why you’re finally willing to let it go.  Once you actually are aware of the thoughts you have you will be able to change them if you so choose.

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