It’s incredibly hard to let go. I know so many people who have so much trouble with letting go that they have houses full of stuff they haven’t used in ten years. They’ve stayed in a job they don’t enjoy, just because. Or they keep crying over relationships that ended months ago.
It’s difficult to say goodbye.
This article is mostly about stuff, but this can apply to people and places and jobs that left us a tiny bit scarred.
It takes courage to stop dwelling and move to new terrain.
Forty five things in a box in a closet you haven’t touched in five years is one thing you might need to let go. Hanging out with those friends who always get you into trouble is another. Driving a car just because you always have can be something you can let go as well. Maybe you need to let go a snack food.
It takes courage to give something up, I understand that. Trust me, I’ve had plenty of my own personal battles with letting go of people, places and things. I imagine most people have.
One of the traits that most successful people share is the ability to know when to move on.
Because this is a problem that all of us face, I’ve taken time to prepare a list of 46 ways to let go of the old. I’m sure I left something out. I’m sure most of these won’t work for everyone. However, maybe one or two of these will stick and help you let go of something.
…this way you can make room for the new.
46 ways you can let go.
- Throw it away.
- Give it away.
- Recycle it.
- Tell it to go home.
- Make a list of things you’d rather have, or be doing.
- Don’t let yourself see it for a month.
- Don’t keep anything you don’t use or see at least once a month.
- Make a diagram of everywhere you spend your time.
- Eliminate time suckers.
- Trade one thing or activity for another that you like better.
- Throw it into the ocean (if it won’t hurt the fish).
- Break it.
- Tell someone to take it away.
- Sell it to someone who needs it.
- Turn it into artwork.
- Display it at an art gallery.
- Get a second opinion.
- Limit yourself to 100 things.
- Burn it on your roof or backyard.
- Tell it you love it, but you can’t be together.
- It’s you, it’s me.
- Throw a party and tell everyone to take something home with them.
- Bury it in the backyard so an archeologist can dig it up in 2000 years and think it’s more important than it actually is.
- Give it to your mom.
- Reinvent it as something new and interesting.
- Email a picture of it to me and ask if it’s worth keeping (my answer is usually no.)
- Acknowledge that it’s hurting you.
- Think about what ultimate freedom means to you.
- Contemplate your minimalist destination.
- Give it to someone who has nothing.
- Put it in an outbox.
- Bury it on the side of a mountain and tell no one.
- Leave it on the subway.
- Take a picture of it.
- Post that picture on craigslist.
- Drop it off the side of a building at night, and then clean it up first thing in the morning.
- Destroy it and hang it from the ceiling.
- Mail to to a random person in the phone book.
- Sell it and donate the money to a cause that you believe in.
- Leave it in a box on your doorstep, with a sign that says ‘free’.
- Take a vacation from it all.
- Stay at a friend’s house for a week.
- Take it to your recycling center free box.
- Tweet #minimalist and ask if you should keep it.
- Move somewhere you’ve always wanted to live.
- Take only a backpack.
What do you need to let go? Let me and many remarkable readers of Far Beyond The Stars know in the comments!
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” -Lao Tzu
Just in case you’re not following me on Twitter, you might have missed this! Yesterday I wrote a guest post at Naomi Seldin’s blog Simpler Living: 6 Simple Ways to Eat More Healthfully. Give it a read if you’re interested in some simple food tips.