Last week I took my car in to get the turn signal fixed and an oil change. I knew there were other things wrong with the car (it has nearly 150,000 miles on it), but had no idea the extent.
There was a giant sinking feeling in my stomach when the mechanic called and told me the bill just for the “emergency repairs”. It was easily 4 times more than the cars trade-in value.
I was stunned. My hubby and I decided to do nothing for the weekend.
Becoming a one-car family was not on the spring to-do list. But, I knew it was not worth the money to fix it. With math and logic on my side, I reasoned it was time to let the car go. We discussed how we could make it work as a one-car family, and it was surprisingly do-able. Maybe not ideal, but do-able.
Over the weekend, the empty stall in the garage made me sad. The thought that I might never drive my car again made me sad. We figured out we didn’t even need the car. We would be fine. Maybe even better off (less gas, less insurance).
Yet, I mourned the loss of my car. By Saturday morning I was reasoning myself out of the math and logic that told me there was no way it was a good investment to repair the car. I was practically BEGGING to the heavens, my hubby, even my dog, to let me keep the car. That it really wasn’t in that bad of shape. The mechanic was wrong.
I knew my desire to keep the car was against logic. And, it had nothing to do with having a car to drive around.
It had EVERYTHING to do with the fact that it was my car. I bought my car outright 7 years ago. It was my car. Losing my car is what felt horrible. It has been with me longer than any house we have owned and it is older than my kids. But, most importantly it is mine. I own it.
That same weekend a reader asked me about her struggle to get rid of a pair of dining chairs that she didn’t like and were given to her by someone she didn’t like. She had them for a while and couldn’t bring herself to let them go, even though she despised them. The chairs were good quality, just not her style. She felt donating them was a waste of good chairs.
It got me thinking about why we have trouble letting things go, even things we don’t particularly care for. In comparison, letting my car (which I love) go seems obviously more difficult than dining chairs you don’t even like. But, surprisingly the same behavioral psychology is at work.
To move forward in your home to a new decorating style or to a less cluttered life requires a bit of work. It’s mindfulness work. It’s time to uncover a piece of the psychology that is holding you back. Knowing what triggers you to keep something, even something you don’t like, is key to understanding how to let it go.
In this video, I reveal why it is hard to let go of things and 5 strategies to get over it and move on. Knowing this one reason why you second-guess getting rid of something is key to moving forward in your home.
So, what do you think? Is it real and are you a victim of The Endowment Effect?
I certainly struggle with rationalizing why I should keep things. I hoard things like craft supplies, extra hardware leftover after assembling something, and freebies. Someday, I figure I will put them to use. Meanwhile, I am surrounding myself with unnecessary clutter and organization problems. And, I never take the effort to actually use these things I keep lying around. Feels like a good time to do some late spring cleaning.
What one tip from this video is going to help you most? Share in the comments.
Get a Free Copy of my book "Free Decorating"
"This book is so inspiring, I'm a self confessed "decor" addict, I buy anything I think "may" work only to take it home and be disappointed. After reading this book I can't wait to shop my own home and make more meaningful purchases." - Cori I.