My client came across a wooden jewelry box hidden in a shelf in her bedroom. She didn't look happy when she saw the box.
I asked if she liked it. She said, "It's really valuable."
It's a clutter red flag when the cost of an item comes up as a defense about keeping it.
I asked, "Yes, but do you like it?"
My client said that an ex-boyfriend gave her the jewelry box. She said that it was not a good relationship -- she described it as the potential for being a "nightmare." The box reminded her of those feelings.
I said that she looked defeated, hurt, and emotionally exhausted when she described the relationship. If she kept the jewelry box, she would be keeping those feelings.
It wouldn't matter if she hid the box so she didn't see it. It wouldn't matter if she put it in a storage container 5 miles from her home. A part of her would know it was there. It was an abusive item.
There's a connection with every item you have whether you can see it or not. When you let a piece of clutter go, you're letting go of a bad connection.
My client didn't want that suffering in her life anymore. She thought of selling the box, but realized she would never get around to doing it. In the end, my client decided to donate the jewelry box.
What really matters is not who gave you something or how much it cost. What matters is the connection you have with that item and how that connection makes you feel.