The Emotional Side of Selling House Contents

How to let go and move forward


Do you have a wardrobe where you dump unwanted clothes, bedding, or toys? Or perhaps, a junk drawer in the kitchen filled with all sorts of bits and bobs that have accumulated over time? Maybe you have a massive dinner service that can’t go in the dishwasher – so it just sits in the cupboard gathering dust? Do you constantly find yourself wishing you had more space and less clutter in your home? If so, then it might just be time to consider having a clear out and take back control of your home once and for all.



When there is clutter in your home, it can take its toll on you, physically, mentally, and emotionally. The benefits of decluttering are as real as the negative effects of living in an untidy home. Your home should be your place of sanctuary, offering peace and relaxation, not one that would illicit anxiety and stress. Many of us have more stuff than we need, or even use.

Here we explore the emotional side of removing this clutter from our lives.



By breaking down the task, and addressing one room at a time, or even one category at a time, things will seem more manageable and less overwhelming. It is important to consider why you are holding onto an item, then evaluate that emotional relationship and deal with the feelings being triggered. Feeling guilt or sadness for wanting to sell an Art Deco drinks table that your grandfather owned is completely normal. Perhaps the thought of him having once used it makes you feel closer to him…but is it stopping you from removing a piece of furniture that doesn’t match any of your décor? Or does it take up valuable space you could use to make the room seem so much bigger and more inviting? Process your feelings and remind yourself that it is okay to let go of things, after all, they are just things. Keep focussed on your end goal, which is simplifying your life and creating space in your home. Taking photos of sentimental items is one way of keeping the memory alive, while allowing you to detach and move forward.



Make sure you set yourself a realistic and achievable deadline to sort through your belongings, after all, you will be dealing with a lifetime of memories, and it can get very emotional. Don’t procrastinate, if you don’t want to get rid of something that you have never used because “you might need it one day”, ask yourself how easy it would be to replace that item. Another emotion we quite often feel is failure, getting rid of clothes that haven’t fitted in years or a collection of books you planned to read - more than a decade ago, letting go of items like this will mean you no longer have a constant reminder of what you’ve failed to achieve, it will free you. The same can be said of items that evoke resentment… Do you have a watch or an item of jewellery that an ex-partner gifted you? Letting go of this item will allow you to let go of the emotions attached to it. Also keep in mind how much money you can make from selling an item, this often softens the blow.



There are many reasons we hold onto items that we no longer need or want. Quite often the emotional attachment is what holds us back. Focus on the progress you make and keep positive, don’t let the negative emotions cloud your judgement. It’s time to take back control of your life, by starting with your home. Whether you are redecorating, downsizing or just looking to free up space, taking action and diving into this task will help to overcome emotions, and the more you do, the easier it gets.

If you believe that you may have valuable art, antiques, jewellery, or collectables within your home, we always recommend appointing an expert Valuer to visit your home and help identify any items of worth. This way, you can be sure to maximise the value of any possessions you wish to sell.


read more:

How to Value House Contents

What's the Best Way to Sell the Contents of a House?

Where Do I Start when Downsizing?


Are you thinking of selling any art, antiques, jewellery, or collectables?

Please do get in touch with one of our experts, we would be delighted to help.

0207 431 9445 /