How to Say Goodbye to Things You Don’t Need

Do you remember the first time you felt a sense of loss, maybe it was a pet, maybe it was a friend or family member? The loss was real. You were totally in your feelings…and rightly so. But what about the things in our life. We sometimes think that it should be easy to get rid of things. But it’s not.

In this video, I share three tips to help you get rid of all the extra stuff you don’t really need.

The Video Transcript:

When we value things in our life, and those things are no longer with us, we miss them. Usually it’s because of the memories we’ve associated with those things or the way we used those things in our life. So, yes…it can become really hard to say goodbye to some of these precious things. But here’s how we can simplify our business operations and our lives and say goodbye to things we don’t really need.

First, we need to ask the question…what’s the value the thing provides? Maybe it provides pleasure? Maybe it meets a specific use? Whatever that value is…you have to identify that first…you have to realize that that’s what you are looking to keep. It’s not necessarily the thing. It’s the value that the thing brought you. For instance, it’s the memories that all those photos provided, the family cookouts, getaway trips, and birthday parties. Those memories and good feelings all come flowing back when you pull out those old photos and remember.

In business, it’s all the documents you hold onto for business clients, because you’re afraid to shred them. It’s the extra supplies you have on hand. The bookcase full of resource books, even though you can find that same info online. So maybe, the value that you got from those things was a feeling of being prepared.

Second, once you’ve identified the value that the thing provides to you, you need to determine whether you can live without it or whether you just need a more minimal version. Well, how do you figure that out. Give the thing a vacation. Yes, give it a vacation. Let a friend who lives two hours away keep precious for a while. In other words, give yourself a test. You’ll learn really quickly whether you really need it, especially if you find yourself ordering precious 2.0 from Amazon at 2 am in the morning. But if you know you just need something simpler, research your options, find an alternative, and then go for a test drive with it, check out the negative reviews about, and make sure it has everything you really need.

At home, do you really need 14 pillows in your living room. Yeah, that’s how many I have. In your business, do you really need the stuff in the swag bags you get at conferences. Do you really need hard copies or will electronic copies stored in the cloud work? How many pens and pencils do you really need on hand? Figure out where the value truly is and let the rest go.

Third, once you’ve gotten to the point where know it’s time to say good bye, thank your precious thing for all that it has provided to you. Spend a few moments with it, being very mindful of what the thing has brought to you like. If it’s something that you’re donating, then wish it well with its new owners. Then say goodbye. Enjoy the experience and then savor the moment of realizing that that’s one less thing you have to take care of or spend energy on. And then delight in the thinking of how much more focused and less distracted you will be for your clients.

Shelia A. Huggins is a business law attorney. Check out more videos at

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