“I paid good money for this.”
It’s a common excuse for hanging onto something that has lost its value to your life. I use it all the time. After all, if you’ve already paid for something, why not just keep it around? You never know when you might need it. No point in spending more money to buy a replacement when the one you have now is just fine.
But what does hanging on to obsolete stuff really cost?
I started considering this question as I launched Project 365 x 2 and came to some startling realizations. Let’s look at a simplified example.
Suppose 10% of your stuff is no longer useful to you and should probably be gotten rid of.
Now suppose you move across town. You pay a guy $1,000 to move your 100 boxes of stuff. That’s $10 a box. If 10% of those boxes contain obsolete stuff, that stuff costs you a one-time fee of $100.
In your spacious new 1000 square-foot, $1000-a-month apartment, say 20 square feet are devoted to storing that obsolete stuff. $1 per square foot means that stuff is eating up $20…per month. And let’s not even talk about what happens if you have to rent a separate storage facility to house unneeded things.
For the vast majority of stuff, wouldn’t it be cheaper to let it go — move less, store less — and buy it again if you end up needing it? (Which you probably won’t. Just sayin’.)
For the record, I struggle to follow this advice. I get attached to objects. The left side of my brain is all for logic-ing its way to a lighter life, but my emotional right side hangs on. (I’ll talk about how I cope with those feelings next week.)
Still, the cost analysis approach a rather compelling argument for letting go, at least of the non-essentials. I’m keeping it in my clutter-fighting arsenal as I move forward with Project 365 x 2 and beyond.
Does your brain buy into a well-reasoned argument? Or do your emotions often steal the show?