Do You Have an Emotional Attachment to Stuff?

It’s very easy for me to say; “Yeah, sell all your stuff – it’s just stuff”. I’ve done it. I know the freedoms created by having less stuff. I enjoy life more now that I’m not chasing material possessions – the latest tech gadgets, the newest fashions, shoes and outfits for every occasion in life. And that’s why we say “sell all your stuff”. We know these things aren’t necessities, nor do they make you happy. But I also know where you’re coming from when you want to hang on to stuff, I really do.

Memories last a lifetime, so they say. Stuff, on the other hand, doesn’t – especially now. We live in a throw-away society. When something breaks, it gets put to the curb. When something becomes outdated style-wise, it gets either sold at a yard sale, donated, or put to the curb and is then replaced by something trendier and likely cheaper (monetarily and in durability).

Selling even just a few of your possessions can be daunting, scary, nerve-racking, or anxiety-inducing, to coin a few phrases. But what are you gaining from all that stuff? Does your stuff keep your warm at night? Does it say “Hi honey, I’m home”. Can you eat it and not: die, barf, or break your teeth biting into it? Possibly, but it probably won’t taste that great…unless you put some Frank’s Red Hot on it, or maybe some HP Sauce.

So where do you begin? Personally, whenever we’ve needed to sell something we hit local Facebook Buy and Sell groups first. From a visibility standpoint it’s top notch. And from a price standpoint, well, you can’t beat free! Next up is Craigslist and Letgo, and depending on where you are, sites/apps like Gumtree, OLX, and Encuentra24 might be options.

But speaking of Letgo, let’s get back to how you do just that – let go…

Again, this is so easy for me to say because of my past experience selling stuff. If you can believe it, you’re probably just like we were initially – actually, more like just me. I didn’t want to part with certain things, especially when people would low-ball on prices. And you’ll have similar experiences. Why?

Because we create an emotional attachment to stuff.

One of our first Christmases in our new house I decided to make my wife, Shelly, a cabinet. We’d seen one in an antique shop for well over $300. I looked it over and thought “I could build that for WAY less”. So I hid in my man-cave for a few weeks to build it, and rather than just put a bow on it and say; “Merry Christmas”, I had Shelly go on a treasure hunt for it, creating an antiqued treasure map using tea bags and singed the edges with a lighter.

one of a kind liquor pie safe
the liquor-pie safe

There were a few other things about this cabinet though. It was the first piece I ever built from scratch. It wasn’t anything overly complex, aside from the door. And the piece of pushed tin was a story on its own because of the confusion I had with the ‘tin man’ I bought the tin from. Lastly, it’s technically called a ‘pie safe’, but through sheer luck, it just happened to perfectly fit liquor bottles of various sizes and conveniently stored our wine glasses too, so I guess I built the first ever ‘liquor pie safe’…hmm…uh…yeah, I’ll leave that phrasing alone.

And therein proves my point. I had created an emotional attachment to it. But it wasn’t the piece itself – it’s the stories behind it and the memories it created that I was (and still am) emotionally attached to. The picture of something triggers the same memory as the physical item itself. This image of our liquor pie safe reminds me of the stories above. I didn’t need to hang on to it anymore, let alone try and get $300 like the antique store. So I removed my emotional attachment and let it go for roughly the cost of materials; $100.

Besides, I’ve already built one liquor pie safe, I could easily build another some day if I wanted to!

And that’s one of the tricks to letting go of that emotional attachment. Take a picture, put said picture in the cloud for safe keeping, or make a slide show with the stories behind those items for your family to enjoy.

Now go sell all your remove your emotional attachment to stuff!