There is a difference between the value of an object and how it actually fits in your life. One of the challenges that I face when working with my clients is their idea of what is valuable. This usually occurs when we are paring down possessions and a client is hesitant to let something go because of what he or she paid for it and what it was worth in the past. For instance, I have a client who is holding onto a very old dining room set she and her ex-husband acquired over 25 years ago. Their marriage ended 12 years ago and she has since moved to a much smaller home in which this dining room set is much too large for the dining room itself. In fact with the set in the room there is actually no room to move around so the room and the set are effectively unusable. In addition, she identified that she dislikes entertaining and having people over for dinner so to have a dining room set does not even fit into this client’s life.
The space could be better used in a way that reflects her lifestyle. Yet she does not wish to let go of this set because she paid over $20,000.00 for it in 1988 and it is still in very good condition. If you ever find yourself saying “hey, I paid a lot of money for that” you are evaluating the object based on its past value, not the present value. If the item is of no use to you now and not important to your present life, the fact that you paid a lot for it doesn’t change the fact that it is taking up valuable real estate in your home and actually costing you more in terms of time, energy and space to store, clean and maintain. Why do this when you get no benefit from it when you could actually sell or donate the item to someone who could benefit from it.
What are you holding onto that is no longer a benefit to you?