Use Your Phone To Reduce Clutter With This Simple Trick!

If I had to give our current decade a one-word theme, it would be “nostalgia.”

Popular styles, music and even slang from eras past are being resurrected left and right, and it seems that Hollywood is bound and determined to remake every remotely successful movie from the 80s and 90s.

As humans we can’t seem to escape this yearning for nostalgia, and for the most part, it’s harmless. Except when our desire to “remember” manifests itself as an obsession with material possessions. Because of this intense desire to remember our past, we often hold on to items we no longer really need or want.

We read article after article telling us how to get rid of this ancient clutter, and we may even gather it all together in boxes and bags—primed for donation or disposal—but we still can’t sever the mental ties that bind us to these things. We fear that by letting go of these things, we’re letting go of a piece of who we were in that time.

However, an in interesting study out of Penn State and Ohio State universities found that a simple mental hack, enabled by our smartphones, can help us to let go without feeling that we’re losing our identity (or being untrue to sentimental memories).

Related: How To Get Over The Nostalgia Of Lost Love

Researchers found that simply taking a picture of a beloved item can reduce this tendency to cling to clutter, allowing people to achieve the best of both worlds: room to breathe and the comfort of treasured memories.

“What people really don’t want to give up is the memories associated with the item,” said Rebecca Reczek, a co-author of the study and associate professor of marketing at Ohio State University. “We found that people are more willing to give up these possessions if we offer them a way to keep the memory and the identity associated with that memory.”

In the study, researchers asked people to take a picture of a beloved item before they donated it. “Participants who were encouraged to take a picture donated between 15 and 35 percent more than those who did not receive a prompt to take a picture” the results showed.

This simple exercise could be a boon for both those whose lives are hampered by clutter as well as those who could benefits by its recycling.

According to a survey conducted by eBay and Nielson, the average American owns 50 unused items in their home, including clothing, accessories and electronics. Meanwhile, many nonprofits, like Goodwill, The American Red Cross and Dress For Success, rely on sales from donations of second-hand clothes and goods to run their operations.

What do you think? Could snapping a picture, and thus preserving the memory, of an item with sentimental value help you to relinquish ownership of it? Tell us in a comment!

Image via Thinkstock

39 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S4 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S4 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim V4 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim V
Jim V4 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim V
Jim V4 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim V
Jim V4 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena P5 months ago

Thank you

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Elena Poensgen
Elena P5 months ago

Thank you

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Karin Geens
Karin Geens5 months ago

Thanks

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Peggy B
Peggy B5 months ago

Good to know.

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