Last year, between the making of resolutions and their eventual abandonment, I began tiring of all the stuff around me. I am far from being considered a hoarder by any means, but I still have way too much that sits idle. I’m sure many of us do, but rarely can we find permanent, long-lasting solutions to sorting, discarding and NOT reacquiring more stuff.
There is nothing more satisfying (to me anyway) than to walk into a room of my home and it’s organized and clean. When I purchased my parent’s home after their passing, I found myself inundated with not only my stuff, but theirs as well.
For some, collecting and not dealing with clutter is just a matter of not making time, making excuses, being overwhelmed or in other cases, emotional distress or even documented mental health issues can be at the root of it. However, it has taken me many years to learn methods that work for me. I’m still learning and trying to take on a more minimalist attitude, but it’s difficult!
Much of the stuff I have is sentimental clutter. The “I can’t bear to get rid of” items that bring back memories of my parents, even though I find some of it to be gaudy, outdated, unappealing or something I will never use. I have, however, made headway over the past five years and donated or given away many things that I truly know that I don’t need and will never use again.
Recently, I read that book that talks about the “Magic of Tidying Up” and found that there is a lot of really great advice to help your mindset with all the stuff around you that’s cluttering up your existence. However, the book itself really is rooted firmly in the author’s culture, so you have to bear that in mind. I did however, put her advice to work in my bedroom and my room has never been cleaner and my closets and drawers are so much easier to access!
I know a lot of these types of sayings are around that attempt to inspire us. I try to read positive words that make me smile or suggest good advice, but this particular mindset is VERY difficult to truly follow. When we remove the word keepsake and sentimental from the picture, we enter a gray area that can sometimes be difficult to identify and figure out how to deal with.
However, in the scheme of things, besides being a fire hazard and a waste of space, holding on to old books you are never going to read again, papers that will never be looked at again and paper keepsakes that no longer get looked at and are slowly disintegrating in a box somewhere get you nothing but wasted space. Letting go and moving away from these things allow you to enjoy your life more, have less to move around, more ease at finding things and enjoying your day to day life.
I recognize that there are those who are beyond the ability to do this on their own and that addressing these issue requires a more psychological approach that may require professional assistance. However, for people who are just undecided about what to do with their excess, it really is a matter of diving in and getting it done. Whether you tackle it one day a week, over the course of a few long weekends or over the course of a year, it CAN be done and it WILL make your life better. All you need is a little nudge. Once you get started and see the difference you can make in your life, it can become quite fun and addicting.
So, with that said, I’m going to set some realistic goals for the rooms in my home that truly need a good going-through. I’m going to pack up realistic keepsakes that should be kept and passed down and toss, sell, donate or recycle the rest. It’s not going to get done in a day, but I do believe it can be done if I only put my mind to it.