Ripping Off the Emotional Tie to Things

Sometimes life just gets downright hard. Sometimes you just have to make difficult decisions and trust with all your heart and soul that you are making the right one.

When life gets that way and you are thrown into making decisions you never thought you were going to, you don’t want anything holding you back. You don’t want any physical or emotional baggage.


For my situation, moving from a larger home to a smaller apartment, it was time to lessen the physical baggage I had – including beautiful hand-me-downs from family.

Baggage may be extreme since everything I had given to me was beautiful, wonderful, and from such a loving place. Some of the other stuff truly was baggage: stuff I thought was too good a deal to pass up, space fillers, super trendy things that had already passed their prime, etc.

When I first moved in. Look at all that stuff!


I felt burdened by the amount of stuff I had and literally felt like I just wanted to throw it all out of the window and just walk away and start over. However, that is incredibly selfish, stupid, dangerous, and not very eco-friendly.

So I started with the stuff that I had collected on my own. I got (and continue to get) rid of everything that doesn’t make me so, so happy. I’m only keeping things that when I unpacked it I had to display immediately because I loved it so much. Things that add beauty and character to my life.


That has been a little easier. With an apartment AND storage unit, I am still feeling like I have too much stuff so I am avidly working through those boxes, purging with all of my might.

However, the harder choices come when you get to items that have a very distinctive memory or items that your mom, dad, sister, grandparents gave you. It is a physical reminder of their love and sometimes has a very specific memory attached to it.

Those are the hardest items to get rid of.


Getting rid of those makes me feel selfish – like I didn’t appreciate their gift. It makes me feel sad – that I’m not appreciating them fully. It makes me feel lost – like I will never have those memories if I get rid of  that item.

But here’s the thing I’ve come to realize: these memories live within me, not within a piece of furniture. These items played an important role in my life when they were given to me. We naturally evolve and grow out of things. The people we love and who gave us these things know that. But their love is still there. The memories that we made with them are still real and very much alive. Memories don’t live in things.


Plus, a lot of times people completely forget they even gave you those things in the first place. Things you are agonizing over may seem so silly to them. They wanted to help you then. If it doesn’t help you now, why would you hang on to it? They love you more than that thing. If they don’t, it’s time for some therapy I think. Or for them to just take it back.

If it is a family heirloom, it probably warrants a conversation to see if someone else in your family wants it. Or if you think it was really special to them, ask them if they mind you getting rid of it.

Take a picture of something before you get rid of it if it really is a memory tied to a piece you don’t want to forget. That picture can trigger that memory just as much as seeing that item every single day. See, there are work arounds.


But I think the most important part to remember is that the item was given with love – with the thought that they wanted to add something to your life. So if it isn’t adding anything to your life anymore, it’s time to get rid of it. They understand. Once you divide the emotion from the item, it just becomes a love seat or table that you can sell or give away to a home that will love and cherish it.

It really is just about passing on the love. You can keep all the love and memories behind an item and then pass it on to be loved by someone else.

It’s time to keep the love and get rid of the things. It’s time to move forward and not let anyone or anything hold us back.


So look at the things (or people) around you. Are you being held back? If so, it’s time to move forward and let go. There may be some discussions or indecision, but ultimately you will feel so much freer when the time comes to keep the love that was there and rid yourself of all the things holding you back from your utmost happiness and freedom.

  • such a great post- i always remind myself it’s all just stuff and you can’t take it with you, but you can keep the memories for as long as you are here. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Cassie! It can be so hard to see past the stuff though. It’s a constant battle for sure!ReplyCancel

  • It is just “stuff” and “stuff” can be replaced. I’m glad that my grandmother and mom didn’t get rid of their stuff because I like using it. Make sure you don’t get rid of something you might regret not keeping!ReplyCancel

    • That is so true! You have many wonderful things from your mom and grandmother!ReplyCancel