Here is the big question, the one I am asked all the time: Why is clutter clearing so difficult?
It seems like it ought to be easier than it is. After all, clearing clutter is really just about letting go of the stuff you no longer need. And if you don’t need it, then what’s the big deal – saying goodbye should be like a walk in the park, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
But along the way (you knew there was going to be a but, didn’t you?), something happens that can make breaking up with your stuff downright tough! And that something actually happens all by itself – you probably weren’t even aware it was going on. Spooky, huh?
I am talking aboutthe scientific ‘why’ behind the struggle. No jokes – there is a science based reason that makes letting go HARD!
Don’t worry, I am not going to get too technical, there is just a smidgen of fancy language and a single mention of numbers. I promise it is all going to make complete sense and it will give you a much better understanding surrounding the dispossession process.
What I’m talking about is the endowment effect, also know as divestiture aversion or the status quo bias (that was the fancy language part).
The endowment effect says we place a higher value on the stuff we already own, higher than identical items we don’t. Once something comes into our possession we automatically up its worth. Kind of wild, huh?
So when it comes time to let go of something, we feel we are losing more than we really are. And that’s where the numbers come in – we actually feel losses, perceived or real,2.5 times more intensely than we would feel the benefit of a similar gain.
Bottom line, the science of behavioral economics helps us better understand why it’s so challenging to say goodbye to our stuff. The feelings are part of our human nature. We are hardwired this way.
Now I didn’t share this to give you an excuse —- no way!I wanted to give you an inside edge. When you know what you’re up against you can act strategically.
And the strategy to employ is creation of distance. Distance between you and whatever it is you are struggling to let go of. The video below explains it all, or watch on YouTube. Let me know what you think. I would love to hear if it makes sense to you.