If the look of your home isn't quite where you want it to be, it could be because you're holding on to things that are dragging your decor down. Does anything on this list sound familiar? If so, consider whether passing it along would give you the freedom you need to take your space to the next level.
Things that used to fit your style, but don't anymore.
Maybe when you were in college you went through a phase where you really loved shabby chic, or Chinese-inspired stuff, or whatever, and you bought a bunch of things and they were great, but now they don't quite fit your style but you can't get rid of them because you used to really love them. It is ok to get rid of these things. Sometimes tastes change. You're not the same person you used to be. Let your home, and your life, be what it wants to be now, and find those old things a new home where they'll be truly appreciated.
Stuff that you have just to fill holes.
Most people have a lot more furniture than they actually need. I can't explain it — maybe it's our consumerist culture — but I think that in decorating we feel a lot of pressure to fill up spaces. Like, if you have a blank wall you feel there needs to be some piece of furniture there, even if it's something you never use and don't even like. Do you have a piece that has never felt quite right, but that you've kept because it's the thing that goes in that particular corner? Consider letting go of it. Your home doesn't need to be full to feel full.
Bulky items that don't really have anywhere to go.
You loved that armoire when you saw it at the flea market, but it's been floating around your house awkwardly ever since then, as you tried without success to squeeze it into a corner where it just wouldn't quite go. Sometimes things you like are out of scale for your home, or the way you live, and it's better to just admit it and move on.
Things that you like but that don't fit into your lifestyle.
Maybe you have a sofa that is beautiful but too uncomfortable to sit on, or a lovely serving dish that you never have occasion to use, or a rug that you really like but avoid stepping on because it stains so easily. It's worth thinking about how the things you own affect the way your home feels, as well as the way it looks. Your home should be a place that makes you feel comfortable, and things that you like but never use can be obstacles that get in the way of you living your life.
Projects you are never ever going to finish.
This is a hard one. Oh gosh, is it hard. Especially if you're like me, and you love to plan projects, and buy things to make them happen, and then you are not so good at actually following through on them. At some point, maybe after years and years, you just need to admit that you are never going to paint that sideboard, or re-cane that chair. Find a new home for those things, and clear the clutter and the guilt out of your life.
Re-edited from a post originally published 5.17.15-NT