ooohhhh…..decluttering can be so damn hard at times. I struggle with it too…that’s originally how I got into this business. I just felt like I was drowning in stuff and felt exhasuted in dealing with it. I gave up a gazillion times. Still do some days. So I started asking friends who seemed to have conquered the clutter how the hell did they do it? One gorgeous friend of mine – who has 3 boys! – kept things very simple. They watched tv via their computer screen and everything was either via a hard drive or online service – gone were the dvds AND the need for space to store them. As the boys outgrew clothes, toys and books, these items were given to friends or charity. She kept only one set of sheets per bed and one towel each. She would wash and dry them and pop them back, on washing day. And again, there was no need on a linen press to store them. Her philosophy was to live lightly on this earth and to fill their lives with friends and wonderful memories rather than tangible stuff. She keeps her whole life’s collection of her most treasured items in a show box. Yup. One shoe box. The woman is bloody amazing and completely inspirational. She is my ideal and what I strive for. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to where she’s at, but I’ll keep trying!
One of the things that undoes me time and again is the whole sentimental aspect of stuff. My mum passed away last year and we’ve had to go through some of her things. SHe was a petite and glamorous woman. She loved dressing up and was an incredible seamstress. Because she was a smaller frame than me, most of her clothes wouldn’t fit me and some of her things suited her age better than mine. Short story is that apart from a few pieces that had special significance, we gave most of her clothes away. Now while my rational part of me knows this is the sensible thing to do (I can’t possibly keep and store all those items yet never use them; they’re going to someone that needs them etc etc etc), my heart broke with every single goodbye. Hundreds and hundreds of them. With each item we gave away, I felt a little more of her was slipping through my fingers and would be lost forever. It has troubled my dreams for months and caused me to burst into tears at (seriously!) the most inconvenient times. But the brutal fact is that she is slipping through my fingers and physically is lost to me forever. But my memories of her aren’t. And that is what I have to keep reminding myself. Keep photos around of her smiling and with us as kids. Keep talking to my own kids about her so that they feel like they knew her better than they unfortunately did. Keep talking to her spirit because I believe she can hear me and even if she can’t it helps me to do so.
So, I do understand how difficult decluttering can be. It can emotionally wreck us completely. But, if we can keep our cool, listen to the rational side of ourselves, ask friends to help when we don’t think we can continue alone, we will conquer it. We will feel free simply because we have let go. It is undeniably liberating whilst being a challenging thing to do. But we don’t really have any options. Even if we could hold onto everything, if we had the space to store everything and never make a difficult decision to let items go, what are we doing? In reality, we’re passing our problem – and it is a problem – onto our children. ANd I can assure you, that is not fair. I don’t want my stuff to become their burden. Not only that, it feels so damn good when there is no clutter around. And when we cut down on buying things, we’re not only helping out hip pocket but we’re helping our environment. On sooooooo many levels, we all need to – as my friend does – live lighter, freer lives.
And so ends the sermon! Sorry for the ramble. But really, these are many of the thoughts that go around and around in my head over and over. It’s why I keep trying to declutter and improve my life and why I simply love helping others do the same too. It must be done with empathy and kindness and understanding and clear cool thinking. I believe whole heartedly each of us can do it. So, let’s do it, ok?
#decluttering #declutteringwithkindess #declutteringphilosophy