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Chapter 8. Lightening Your Load > Where Your Attachment to Stuff Comes From - Pg. 77

Lightening Your Load · I might be able to fix this and make it like new. · This was a gift, so it would be wrong of me to get rid of it. 77 Occasionally, these statements are valid. Maybe you can repair something and get some use out of it again. Maybe you just have to keep some gifts no matter how much you dislike them or how little need you have for them. Perhaps your diet and exercise program really is melting off the pounds weekly. In most cases, though, these statements are nothing more than excuses for keeping your life in disarray. If you want to become more productive, stop using excuses like these. Keeping yourself surrounded by too much stuff in every nook and cranny of your home or office is like wrapping yourself in a warm, cozy blanket. The clutter protects you. It provides an excuse for not having to get on with life. For example, if a room of your house is full of boxes and stacks of old magazines and newspapers, you have an excuse not to tidy up or clean that room. As long as all that clutter is in the way, there's no point in trying to make the room look attractive and clean. If your office is a disaster area, no one expects you to be able to get any work done, so you're off the hook. Where Your Attachment to Stuff Comes From In order to stop making excuses for a clutter habit, you have to know why you make these excuses in the first place. I can't just tell you to stop saying something like "This is too valuable to throw out." You'll come up with 10 more arguments to make sure you don't have to get rid of that allegedly valuable item. The only way you're going to stop making these excuses is to understand the psy- chology behind them or the circumstances that have led to them. Your reasons for keeping things probably fall into one of seven basic categories: