Have you ever looked around your home or office and wondered how you accumulated so much stuff? Clutter can pile up quickly, and it’s not always easy to let go.  Have you ever stopped to consider why we hold on to things in the first place?

Why We Hold On To Clutter

As a junk removal service, the psychology of clutter is a fascinating topic and it can help us understand why we hold on to certain items and how junk removal can help us let go of the things we no longer need. Here are some of the key reasons why we hold on to clutter:

Sentimental Value

One of the main reasons we hold on to things is because of a thing called sentimental value. We attach memories and emotions to objects, and it can be hard to let go of them. Even if we haven’t used something in years, we might feel a sense of loss or sadness at the thought of getting rid of it.

Say for example, that you have a collection of old vinyl records you’ve inherited from your grandfather. Even though you don’t have a record player and you haven’t listened to anything in years, you still hold onto them because they remind you of him and the memories you shared. Maybe you used to listen to the records together, or maybe he passed down his love of music to you through these records. Regardless of the reason, the sentimental value of the records makes it difficult for you to let them go, even though they are taking up space in your home and you don’t have any practical use for them.

woman holding a vinyl record

Fear of Wasting Money

Another reason we hold on to things is because we don’t want to waste the money we spent on them. We may feel guilty about getting rid of something that we paid for, even if we no longer need or use it.

Imagine someone bought a fancy kitchen gadget, like a high-end vitamix blender, for several hundred dollars. They used it a few times but found that they didn’t really enjoy making smoothies as much as they thought they would. Now the blender sits in the back of a cabinet, unused and taking up space.

Despite not using the blender and having no plans to use it in the future, the person might hesitate to get rid of it because they spent so much money on it. It’s extremely common.  They may feel like they would be throwing away that money if they got rid of the blender, even though it’s not bringing them any joy or serving any practical purpose. As a result, they might hold on to the blender, allowing it to take up valuable space in their kitchen and contribute to their overall clutter.

woman thinking of removing a blender from her home

Fear of Missing Out

Sometimes we hold on to things because we’re afraid we might need them in the future. FOMO it’s called commonly.  We may worry that if we get rid of something, we’ll regret it later when we need it.

For instance, you may hold onto a bulky exercise machine that you never use, just in case you decide to start working out again. Do you really think that’s going to happen, if you’re honest with yourself?  You might worry that if you get rid of it, you’ll regret it later when you feel motivated. This fear of missing out can lead to clutter and unnecessary accumulation of items, even if they are no longer useful or bring you joy.

woman with weights in a garage

Perceived Value

We may also hold on to things because we believe they have value, even if that value is only in our own minds. We may think that an item is rare or collectible, even if it’s not actually worth much.

An example of holding onto something due to perceived value could be a collection of old magazines or toys. The owner may believe that they are valuable and rare, and therefore hold onto them even if they haven’t looked at or played with them in years. However, upon further research or appraisal, they may find that the items are not actually worth much and are just taking up valuable space in their home or storage unit. Despite this realization, they may still struggle to part with the items due to their perceived value.

bookcase full of toys

How Junk Removal Can Help

While it’s natural to hold on to some things, clutter can quickly become overwhelming and can negatively impact our mental health and well-being. Fortunately, junk removal can help us let go of the things we no longer need and create a more organized and functional space. Here are some ways junk removal can help:

cluttered living room

Removing the Emotional Attachment

When we have someone else remove our clutter, it can help remove the emotional attachment we have to certain items. We may feel less guilty or anxious about getting rid of things when we know they’ll be taken away by a professional.

For example, imagine you have a collection of old t-shirts that you never wear anymore, but you’ve held onto them for years because they remind you of special events or memories. Deep down inside you know you should get rid of them, but the thought of throwing them away or donating them to a charity makes you feel guilty or sad. However, if you hire a junk removal service to come in and take away the shirts, we’ve found that most clients feel it’s easier to let go of them. The emotional attachment is removed, and you may feel more comfortable parting with the shirts knowing that they will be taken away by professionals who can dispose of them responsibly.

mid-century modern closet

Providing a Fresh Start

unk removal can provide us with a fresh start and a clean slate. When we clear out the clutter, we can create a space that’s more functional, organized, and conducive to our well-being.

Imagine you’ve been wanting to turn your spare room into a home gym or something like it, but it’s currently filled with boxes of old clothes, outdated electronics, and other miscellaneous items that you haven’t touched in years. They’re just sitting there collecting dust.  The thought of going through all of it and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of feels overwhelming, and you keep putting it off.

With the clutter gone, you feel a sense of relief and freedom. You’re no longer weighed down by the old items you no longer need or use, and you can start fresh with a new purpose for the space. You have a clean slate to work with, and it feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

a spare room with too much stuff

Saving Time and Energy

Junk removal can also save us time and energy. Instead of spending hours sorting through our belongings, we can have a professional do it for us, allowing us to focus on more important things in our lives.

Let’s say you’re moving to a new home in a different city, and you have a lot of items you no longer need or want. You could spend hours sorting through everything, deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away. This process is extremely time-consuming and exhausting, especially if you have a lot of items to go through.  Trust us, we know!

By choosing to hire a junk removal company like American River Hauling and Junk Removal llc, you can focus on other important tasks, such as packing your belongings, arranging for a moving truck, and saying goodbye to your old home. And when you arrive at your new home, you can start fresh with a clean slate, without the burden of unwanted items weighing you down.

a new home


In conclusion, the psychology of clutter is a multifaceted issue that can be difficult to tackle on our own. However, by enlisting the help of a junk removal service, we can take steps to let go of the things we no longer need and create a more organized and functional space. By understanding the underlying reasons why we hold on to things, we can start to identify the clutter that is causing stress and taking up valuable space in our homes and workplaces.

Junk removal services can help us to let go of our emotional attachments to objects, which can be a challenging task on our own. By providing an objective perspective, junk removal professionals can help us to see which items are truly important and which ones are just taking up space. Additionally, by removing the clutter, we can create a more peaceful and harmonious environment, which can have a positive impact on our mental health and well-being.

Furthermore, junk removal can save us time and energy. Sorting through our belongings and disposing of them can be a time-consuming and physically demanding task. By leaving this work to the professionals, we can free up our time and energy to focus on other important areas of our lives.

Overall, junk removal services can provide an effective solution to the problem of clutter. By understanding the psychology of clutter and enlisting the help of a junk removal company, we can let go of the things that no longer serve us and create a more organized and peaceful living and working environment.

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About the Author: Nicholas Krygier

Nick is the co-founder / owner of American River Hauling and Junk Removal llc. We take pride in doing what's best for our community, answering the phone, and delivering on promises.