The Boyfriends in My Attic

Breaking up is hard to do. Even with Stuff.

Think about it . . . you've been casually or seriously dating some of the Stuff in your home for years, possibly even decades. Your relationship has deepened over the years and you've become so comfortable with one another, the thought of throwing Stuff out makes you feel a little out of sorts. The empty space where _____ used to be is unnerving. "But it's so nice to know that Stuff is there in case I need it."

Try an experiment. Assign their names to the stuff that's been sitting in your house for years. There's Steve, the yellowed computer monitor which is the size of a small washing machine, Kevin, the stained and torn hammock that you'll never use again but it's where your husband proposed to you so there it sits in the attic (yeah, I'm talking to myself this time), and Mike, the file folder of "ideas" you've had in the file cabinet so long that the sticky label is peeling away from the manila tab.

Would you seriously consider picking up an active relationship with any of these old "boyfriends" again? It stands to reason that at some point in your actual dating relationships, you determined that you did not have a future together. You or he decided you weren't a good fit and severed the relationship. The only difference with Stuff is: even though you've grown apart and no longer have a future together, Stuff is still living in your house!

It may be time to break up and move on.

Check your relationship with the old Stuff you've been hanging on to, and look at them through the lens of dating. Yes, breaking up can be hard to do, especially if you have doubts about whether or not you're doing the right thing. If you see a realistic, beneficial future together, great. If not, it's time to make a clean break. Go your separate ways and move on with your life.

You won't have room for the Stuff that best fits your life until you part with the Stuff that doesn't!

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