How Discovering What Motivates You Can Help When it’s Time to Let Go of Your Unwanted Possessions

Once you have revisioned your home and made decisions about possessions that no longer support your vision, the logical next step is, of course, to let go. This can be a difficult part of the process for many of us, especially when the items have been in your possession for a long period of time, or they carry emotional weight.

How do you find motivation to take this final step? Below are some questions you can ask yourself to help uncover your motivator. Remember to focus on one object, or related group of objects at a time: 

  •  Does the thought of having everything just “disappear” bring relief? If so, TIME is your motivator.
  • Is recouping some of the cost of the item (or items) sound good? If so, then MONEY may be your best motivator
  • Does finding just the right home for each item give you a warm and fuzzy feeling? If so DOING GOOD is your motivator.

Once you’ve decided that something no longer supports your vision for your life, and have uncovered what will help motivate you to actually let it go, all that’s left is to take action. Here are some tips for each of the three motivators:


If time motivates you, enlist the help of family or friends if needed and schedule a time to get it done. Hiring a professional can speed up the process, especially If you need non-judgemental help with sorting, or don’t want to bother with locating resources and supervising the dispersal.


If getting the best price is your motivator, I highly recommend giving yourself a firm time limit for selling. I am saddened by how many people live in a cluttered home for years, or even decades because they place a unrealistically high value on their unwanted belongings. If your belongings do not support your updated vision and you are holding out for top dollar, you may be robbing yourself (and possibly your family members) of the opportunity to enjoy the present and move forward in your life. If you can’t get things sold within a reasonable time frame, partner with a professional seller. By giving a slice of the earnings to an auction house, consignment shop, or ebay seller, or even donating them and taking the write-off, you will be able to move on.


If the thought of finding someone or some place that will benefit from your unused items motivates you, there are many ways to locate your “feel-good” recipients. Often family and friends know of resources. Googling “where to donate” along with your location and the specific items you are hoping to donate yields many results. If you are in the Portland area, you are welcome to bring your questions about local resources to one of our monthly workshops.

Donating to a cause you believe in is highly satisfying. Remember that the better the items you are donating, the more good they will do, so do not hesitate to donate the good stuff!