Second in a five-part series
The art of saying no
The art of letting go is a close cousin of the art of saying no. Often we perceive value in an item because it’s presented as a free gift or a gift with purchase. Cosmetic counters are notorious for offering a “gift with purchase” which in reality simply encourages you to spend more than you planned. Only buy what you need, pocket the difference and move on. The same is true for free samples: the vendor wants you to try and buy their product. We bring home the samples along with our good intentions, but then toss them in a drawer and the clutter mounts.
Gift bags are a staple at trade shows and holiday parties. Filled to the brim with t-shirts, plush animals, clever gadgets and brochures, vendors spend thousands of dollars on these giveaways. We accept them because they’re free. More often than not, they end up in the back of a closet because they don’t really add value to our lives.
If you have trouble saying no, take some time to practice. Role-play with a friend or use the mirror. Imagine someone pressing a free brochure into your hand, and then imagine yourself politely handing it back to them with a “No, thank you!” Resist the urge to explain yourself. A polite no should suffice.
Saying no gets harder when it’s someone you know. A friend selling candles and cosmetics at a home party, for instance or someone anxious to share a new brochure. Practice the art of saying no. Be polite, gracious and firm.
The art of letting go
Now round up all those freebies robbing you of storage space and commit to letting them go. Donate, recycle, or toss those gifts, gadgets and goodies. Then let them in the door, no more.