Previously, I discussed how the perceived value of a person’s possessions often leads to clutter (read post). In my experience, the fact that we use our hard earned money to buy stuff is not a good enough reason to it. Your possessions should bring value to your lifestyle. So, if you have this problem, you struggle to part with stuff so what should you do??
Address your thoughts
Depending on how much you let your feelings and the events around you control your thoughts, will dictate how difficult it is for you to change your habits. Ideally, you control your thoughts rather than your thoughts controlling your behavior.
Do you have control?
YES! Then change your perspective from “I bought this to…this item provides no value to me (no matter how much it costs) so I can get rid of it”. Remember, holding onto clutter (which is any object that does not serve a purpose for you) requires commitment. You have to look at it, store it, think about it, etc. Those thoughts take energy. Are you using your energy the way you want??…on wasted thoughts or doing something else. Hopefully, you will see my point with clarity that clutter needs to be removed from your life, immediately.
NO! Of course, you can do nothing and keep all your stuff. Doing nothing is a choice and if you decide on this then stop complaining. Do not complain about how disorganized your home and paperwork is unless you are willing to make a change. If your thoughts are churning too much, making you miserable, ask for help. Find a professional, a therapist.
- Address the stuff
Once you get your thoughts under control and feel you are able to approach your clutter (with the intent of getting rid of it), set a date to start and do it. If you are unable to keep this appointment with yourself, ask for help. Find a professional, such as a professional organizer.
- Go through the stuff, start sorting into stacks
Sort based on KEEP, RECYCLE, THROW AWAY, DONATE, GIVE TO A FRIEND or whatever actions make sense to you. Move through your stuff as quickly as you can. Indecisiveness will undermine your sorting efforts. Push through, even if you feel uncomfortable. You do not have to get rid of anything yet, just SORT.
- Act on each stack, that you sorted
Now it is time to remove stuff from your life. Set the KEEP stack aside right now. Put RECYLCE in your recycle bin, put THROW AWAY in the garbage, etc. What if you get stuck? What are the barriers? Here is what clients tell me:
“I lack time”
“I lack energy”
“I procrastinate “(usually this is not intentional, it just happens) and/or
“Thought I could get rid of this stuff but the emotional attachment is too high”
You have to decide how badly you want the clutter out of your life. Push through or go back to step one and address your thoughts. Always consider asking for help.
A side note: Why do some people think this is stupid post/subject while others cannot imagine completing the above actions? Because we human and we are different from one another. There are people who do not think twice about getting rid of stuff and do not understand or care what other people experience. For people struggling, you are probably surrounded by uncompassionate people and have to deal with their criticism. Well, what’s new? I know you are hurting, embarrassed, insecure, everything. You probably have dealt with this most of your life. So, ask for help from people who understand. This is why I am a great organizer. I get into your head and try to experience what you do. This allows me to make appropriate suggestions. Or, more likely, make many, many suggestions until I hit a few that work.
The point is, do something. Taking action will be difficult therefore, not come easily. Keep your objective in mind: GET RID of STUFF that DOES NOT BRING VALUE to YOUR LIFE, NO MATTER HOW MUCH it COSTS, please.