GO! Challenge #2: Broken Items

Broken Record. Most people have broken items in their space.

Most people have broken items in their space. Life happens, things break, and we set pieces aside to fix “later.” The problem is that we struggle to follow through on our good intentions because we…

… are busy meeting daily demands

… lack the necessary knowledge

… avoid the hassle of digging up a warranty or shipping an item for repair

… don’t have the money to buy replacement parts

… plan to give/take them to someone who can fix them

… forget about broken items once they are out of sight

Often, we have a pressing need for whatever has broken, and end up quickly buying or finding a replacement. Once the new object is in place, the urgency to fix the old one is gone.

In addition to taking up valuable space, broken possessions can be a sort of “emotional burden”… visual reminders that we aren’t accomplishing as much as we would like. Keeping an item with a concrete plan for repair is good, but holding onto an object out of guilt or shame is not.

The goal for today is to find two broken items in your space that you are willing to shed. The best candidates are ones you have been meaning to fix for a long time (vs. those that have just recently broken that you might actually repair.) Possible contenders include:

  • Jewelry
  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Baskets, vases, containers
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Games with missing pieces
  • Office supplies

Broken items frequently end up in a “holding area,” such as on a basement workbench, in a kitchen drawer, or high up on a shelf in the living room. Be sure to check those spaces.

Since these items are in need of repair, they are probably not candidates for donation. I give you permission to let them go! Remember to recycle whenever possible.

What broken objects do you think you can finally discard?

19 thoughts on “GO! Challenge #2: Broken Items”

    1. In some ways, this is an easy one. The object itself is telling you that it is time to let it go… sort of like an expiration date. Did you dig up two items, Janine?

  1. Hi Seana,
    This is so great. Clients have such a hard time with this. I would add broken or chipped dishes (bad feng shui) and clothing that you think you are going to repair but never get around to it. This is an awesome challenge for most people. I think I will try this in my support group. thanks
    Kim recently posted…Happy New ClearingMy Profile

    1. Broken dishes is a good one! We are working through clothing during the challenge as well. I’d love for you to share with your support group. The tasks are designed to be simple and build confidence!

  2. Great challenge Seana! Broken toys are a tough one for us… I’ve gotten better at just helping my kids toss the item rather than trying to fix it (or putting it in a pile to fix “later”) because they rarely work as well anyway or break again quickly. But my kids have a tough time letting go of toys and it adds to how upset they are when one breaks. Sharing this challenge so others can join in!
    Hilda recently posted…Happy New Year 2016!My Profile

    1. I remember this stage so well. Many items were “disappeared” down to the workbench, most of which were never repaired. I agree, they often don’t work as well, especially because many toys these days are plastic, and plastic is hard to fix. Thanks for sharing, Hilda. It is designed to be fun and easy….

  3. I had a ceramic dish with a lid which my mother made for me when I was younger. There was a chip in the base, but it was functional and I kept it for many years after that happened. Then a cleaner accidentally broke the lid in half. She offered to replace the dish, but I said no, because of the sentimental value. I fully intended to glue it back together, but when I finally got around to it, my crazy glue was dried out. I finally decided to let the dish go. I don’t need it to remember my mother or the love she put into that project.
    Janet Barclay recently posted…2015: The Best of Your Organizing BusinessMy Profile

    1. That’s such a healthy point of view. The memory is of the person, not in the object. At the same time, we can feel very closely connected with family pieces. I’ve taken photos of a few of those before letting them go, so I can look at them when I want to:)

    1. Oh watches, good one! I often get a pile of those that need new batteries… and when I finally put it on my “to do” list to get them, I follow through.

  4. This challenge actually had me FINALLY repair 5 broken items that had been waiting for me for almost 10 years! Not perfectly done (I was always going to find some expert)by me but at least the box isn’t taking up space and I don’t feel guilty anymore.

    1. That must be such a great feeling, Susan! Finally clearing a long-term “to do” is the best. I affirm you! Thanks for sharing the comment:)

  5. I recently got rid of a purse as its handles were holding on by a thread. I knew I’d never take it somewhere to get it fixed so off it went. This is a great category to tackle in this challenge! GO Seana!!

  6. The phrase that seems to work with my clients who are hanging onto stuff to fix and/or unfinished projects (and which I have blogged about) is: “Is it really worth doing?” Yes, you could fix it, or make it, and it seemed like a good idea at the time….but things have changed… is it really still/now worth doing?
    Hazel Thornton recently posted…The Gratitude BoxMy Profile

    1. I love that phrase, Hazel. I’m going to use it…and I’m glad you shared it so others can remember to be asking the question when they encounter broken items!

  7. Catching up… Instead of throwing out some broken things, I finally glued fridge magnets back together that were piling up. ?

    1. Love that you got this task finally done! I bet that feels terrific… and now the magnets are bacon the fridge instead of cluttering up a drawer or counter, right?

  8. Pingback: GO! Challenge: Recap | The Seana Method Organizing & Productivity

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