Month: March 2018

The Emotional Truth of Decluttering

The Emotional Truth of Decluttering

Decluttering: Where Do I Begin? Focusing on Items Which Hold no Memory.

 

This is an excerpt from my booklet, The Emotional Truth of Decluttering. To order for a PDF copy please pay $1o.00 to Paypal.me/Leasathomas and put the book title in the notes. Also include what email you would like the PDF to be sent to. Hope this helps you on the road to decluttering.

Research shows that many family members do not want the task of sorting out your belongings when you no longer need them nor do they want the items. The truth of the matter is owning possessions may become a chore instead of a pleasure. Just the task of dusting or finding an item in a crammed cupboard or closet can add stress to our lives and take time away from doing activities we enjoy. Many will ask themselves where do I begin. I suggest beginning with items which hold no memory for you as a place to begin. We will discuss items which hold memories in another chapter.
There are many ways to begin your decluttering project:
1. Pick a time limit for the chore. Spend 15 to 30 minutes a day decluttering. You may find you spend more than your allotted time which is ok, but definitely do the amount of time you have decided on.
2. Pick a certain area to focus on per day such as a drawer, a closet, or a corner of a room.
3. Pick a certain type of item to declutter such as all the items in a room you do not want or use.
4. Find a reason for a specific type of item to declutter such as the garage sale at your church, or the book sale at the library and then declutter items to be donated.
5. Pick a certain charity you want to donate to and then declutter items needed by the charity such as kitchen or household items for the local women’s shelter or homeless shelter.
If you are uncomfortable about the decluttering process understand that many items in our home hold some type of memory, which may make it hard to discard them. I recommend to my clients to begin the decluttering process by focusing on items of no use to them which do not have memories attached. An example, it is the time that we change our clothes from spring/summer clothes to fall/winter clothes. As you are putting away your unseasonable clothes check them for damage and discard them, check to see if they are items you wouldn’t wear again and if in good condition donate them, check to see if there are items you have too many of and discard the extras. Do this same process as you are going through your fall/winter clothes.
The same can be true for all items in your home. You may have collected too many of an item and if there is no memory attached and you no longer have a need for such a large collection then it is time to discard them. An example, a client was the host for Thanksgiving in her family for many years. As she aged she passed this task onto a younger family member. She had collected 12 glass pie pans because she needed that many when she was hosting. She was used to having them and never thought to get rid of them. Once I began working with her we went through her kitchen drawer by drawer and cupboard by cupboard and discussed why she had each item and their role in her life in the past and what role they played in her life now. Removing the extra 10 pie pans from her cupboard freed up space and also made them easier to use as she had to step on a step stool to get to the top of the stack each time she wanted to make a pie, now she could just reach into the cupboard and retrieve the top one. She gifted the 10 extras to the family member who now hosts Thanksgiving.
Understanding that decluttering is a process that will not be completed in a day or even a week. It is an ongoing process as your life changes. The truth is the saying, “begin at the beginning”, is so true when starting to declutter. I recommend my clients start by making a chart (you can find one that meets your needs by putting decluttering in a Google search) and then focusing on one area at a time. I also recommend that you start with items that hold no memories because items that hold memories are more difficult to discard. If you feel you need help with your decluttering process you can hire an organizer in your area or you can email me at [email protected] and we can discuss your personal needs. I do offer a six-week course on this topic with phone and email sessions to help you stay focused on your goal of finding peace in your home setting.