Most people unknowingly seem to associate de-cluttering their ‘junk’ with de-cluttering their lives, somehow thinking that if they throw out grannies porcelain it will be a huge overbearing weight lifted from their shoulders and now the shackles of the tea set have been broken they will be able to shed a stone before the kettles even boiled. This sadly, is not the case. YouGov, in collaboration with the self storage company SafeStore, have come up with a list of the top 10 items people regret throwing away, ranging from photographs and school books, to old games consoles and childhood musical instruments.
Of course many people now keep things for hope they might accrue some value or have resurgence in popularity (like that of retro games consoles and comic books among other things). But most regret comes from a connection between the owner and the object. Mark Jones, director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, in London, says there is a magic about the connections that objects provide. “They have an ability to trigger and bring alive memories in a way that documents can’t. It’s the difference between a wedding photograph and the wedding dress itself.”
A huge problem with keeping everything, is of course storage. Personal space is important so we need to decide between the need to have a clean mantlepiece and the possibility we could be clutching on to a future antique. Jon Ramsay, of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (Apdo), suggests that you identify what is important to you, and hold on to it at almost all costs. Ask yourself why it is important that you keep hold of that particular object because after all, one mans junk is another mans treasure.