1. "It’s a family heirloom." Even if the value is only sentimental, how many things do you hold onto because they were your grandfather’s or your aunt’s, dentist’s cousin’s? My dear friend Sharon inherited her grandmother’s china. In the plus column it was beautiful, valuable and from a beloved relative. On the minus side, it wasn’t really Sharon’s style, and it reminded her of some painful parts of her childhood. She decided there were better ways for her to remember her grandmother, and wrapped up the china in a big box and gave it to a mutual friend who collects the same pattern and for whom it was a surprise and a delight. 2. "It was a gift." After our fire we were flooded with donations. In the first weeks, I sorted through truckloads of things people had given us. I was so thankful for the incredible generosity and, at the same time, there were so many things that didn’t fit or that we didn’t need. It wasn’t long before I got over any qualms I had about passing things on to various charities. Now I assume a gift is truly mine to do with as I please. 3. "I may need it someday." This comes up across the spectrum, from overbuying consumables to storing extra furniture. This could be the biggest one of all, and at the bottom of it is fear. A subcategory of this is: "I’m not actually sure what it is, but it may be important!" A few months ago I was sorting through a drawer in my desk and came across a random screw. It was thick and substantial; I knew it belonged to something. And then I recognized the old and familiar tension forming in the pit of my stomach with the thought, "Keep it! Keep it! You may need it!" I’m happy to say I reminded myself I had survived losing everything and was not going to allow an anonymous bit of hardware to freak me out.