Simplify Sunday- Thoughts on Regret

guest roomI have always been a minimalist at heart, long before I had any idea it was a “thing”. When I am stressed, one of my favorite ways to redirect that stress is to go organize something and donate (or re-purpose in some way) what I am no longer using. I do recognize this is weird, but my sister does the same thing, so we must somehow come by it honestly. This picture is my guest room. It is important to me that it be both welcoming and uncluttered, so I try to keep it nice. The more I look at this photo, I notice that the veil on the mirror looks cluttered. Does it need to go?

I saw this article, What I Learned From Purging Most of My Stuff (and Why I Wish I Hadn’t), on Facebook. Obviously I had to read it. The author misses things that had sentimental value to her after she downsized her home. It made me sad for her, and made me wonder if I’m inspiring people to do something they may regret. I can’t say that missing things is something I’ve never feared happening, but I’m not an overly sentimental person. I can usually get rid of anything and not miss it.

Sometimes when I get rid of something, I get these oddly sentimental feelings about it. “Oh, I wore this old shirt (you know, the one time I ever touched it) that time I had an epiphany in Starbucks.” I also worry absurdly about stuffed animals being lonely (I blame Toy Story and the Velveteen Rabbit for this one). I can generally realize how absurd that sounds and get rid of the shirt or old toy. That said, I do have a plastic box full of old letters, journals, and random objects of no value to anyone except me. The dried corsage my late great-grandmother made me for my senior prom and the rock my mother painted when she was a child are two examples. I wonder how I would feel if I lost that box. I don’t look through it often, but it makes me smile when I do.

Today I picked out two bags of objects to donate (plus some items went to the trash and recycling). A few things were tough, but it was a few hours ago and I’m already over it. My donation will be worth a $78 tax deduction, and that is a sweet bonus.

I feel good that I got rid of these things. I struggle with anxiety, and I thrive on the clarity of knowing I don’t have useless things taking up space in my home or my mind.

Have you gotten rid of things you later regretted?



  1. I am working to declutter my life right now and am struggling to find a way to let things go where i wont regret it later. I have a sentimental streak where objects are placeholders for my happy memories. I do want to disrespect my own memories just to get to “uncluttered”. It is a hard balancing act to find a center to.

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    • Something that I am working on to deal with this is finding a purpose for these objects. For example, how I used my wedding veil to decorate the mirror in the guest room. Now I’m not so sure about that, some of my ideas are a little weird. The point is that if I value something enough to keep it, I feel there has to be a way to use or display it somehow. This is a lot harder with some things than others πŸ™‚

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  2. *do not want to disrespect

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  3. I have a sentimental attachment to cards I get for occassions , its nit like I go through them evetyday but to know that its there in my cupboard consuming space makes me happy πŸ™‚

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  4. *not


  5. The veil along with the record player and dresser gives that space a vintage vibe! I vote for keeping it- you may miss it when it’s gone. If you feel you have to use it, frame it. I am a purge queen but even I have saved the dresses from my eight grade dance and high school prom, and every diary since fourth grade (along with a handful of cards). Some things simply can’t be replaced. Not to mention, as you age your memory starts to go ha! ha! Though for the rest of it, donate, recycle and purge. Hell, who wants to live like a hoarder?

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  6. Yes. The records need to go somewhere else also. In a drawer? I like the rest πŸ™‚

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  7. I have been purging “stuff” for the past year. Like you, I don’t form sentimental attachments to things. My husband, on the other hand, is traumatized every time he sees me walk into a room with a box of trash bags. So I have not regretted getting rid of anything. I can’t answer for him, though…;)

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  8. I definitely form sentimental attachments to things but I still don’t agree with her article. I don’t think encouraging people to get rid of everything OR hold on to everything is the right answer…just do what feels best for you!
    Also, she and her family are in a very different position from most. Their home wasn’t random junk from Target and Pottery Barn like most people–the items had stories and memories from places all over the world. Most people have heirlooms but many people don’t even know the stories behind them.
    I think she perhaps is forgetting that their situation is unique in that they were shipping over furniture from Europe that they picked out, not getting it delivered from a catalogue. The emotional attachment is an entirely different ballpark.

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  9. I get what you are saying. I DO keep some things for sentimental reasons, but when I DO decide something is going out the door (as part of decluttering) I have no regrets. I cant’ think of ONE thing I have gotten rid off over the years that I have really regretted.

    My mother on the other hand…!!! Is super sentimental and she have a hard time parting with anything just in case she might regret it…

    So since people are different.. I guess there will be as many views on how to go about it, as there are people out there πŸ™‚

    All I know is.. clutter don’t hold ME back!!!

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  10. Yes, I think we are the lucky ones πŸ™‚

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  11. Maitreyi says:

    I am very sensitive. But yes, atleast I can donate some things and not feel the regret like I can donate clothes but I seriously cannot give away the things which makes me emotional everytime I look at them. But, I feel it is such a good idea. We should declutter and donate by not only to feel happy but also to help others. πŸ™‚
    And lastly, your guest room looks so lively.

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