Giving yourself permission

via unsplash / heidi sandstrom

One thing I think many women struggle with is permission to let go of things they don’t want, like or need. Many of us were brought up with parents who accumulated a lot of stuff and those parents have often kept ‘everything’ from your childhood so your children can one day play with it too. Some people may be naturally more sentimental than others but I don’t have any memory of most of my childhood toys so I don’t feel nostalgic at the idea of Ripley having my doll or books.

I do, however, think it is a bit of a waste to have toys sitting in storage that could be used by another family. I have found many of the toys kept in storage have become brittle from age and are not suitable for a young child anyway. The other aspect is that toys I may have enjoyed, might not be things Ripley is interested in. And I think this stands for all children; children, like adults, have their own interests and educators encourage children’s’ own interests as the best form of learning. So keeping toys you enjoyed for your own children might not be that useful.

There is a certain burden when your family hand down heirlooms or bring you items they ‘kept for you’, specifically when you didn’t ask them to, or even know about it. It’s true that many people in my age group (I was born in 1983 so I’m between Gen X and Gen Y which I think is now called Xennial!) want smaller homes and less stuff and there are good reasons for it. However, because of our ageing population (at least in Australia), most of us have older family members who cannot understand why we don’t want more, more of everything. Whether it is multiple saucepans, toys handed down or costume jewellery we will never wear (and has little value in today’s society), it’s hard to convince others that we just don’t want it!


So it’s important that for our own mental health and happiness, we just give ourselves permission to donate or sell the things we don’t want. Don’t hold onto things when you know you don’t have any use for it. No one else can define what is useful or helpful to you. And it’s OK to not want something, even if someone else believes it is valuable. So give yourself permission to remove things from your life that are not valuable. Try to donate it, or sell it, or even give it to someone you know might have use of it. You can just let it go.

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