Decluttering and Letting Go

I have been a declutterer for over eight years now, and worked with hundreds of clients over that time. Decluttering is a process, and almost every client has had to make those tough decisions on what to part with, and what they really can’t let go.

Decluttering is not about creating a minimalist living environment, stark and devoid of any ornamentation. It is about wanting to live with less chaos around us, less stress, and more organisation and harmony. A home provides a snapshot of the personalities of those who live there and the memories many items evoke are meaningful and bring pleasure.

However, the danger can be that we attach meaning to every item such that it becomes impossible to let go of anything at all. We therefore need to look at what we’re holding onto with fresh eyes and ask ourselves:

– Why am I keeping this: is it useful? Is it beautiful?
– Am I keeping this item because Aunt Mabel gave it to me [but I hate it]?
– Am I reluctant to give this away because it was expensive [even though I bought it several years ago]?
– Am I keeping all of little Johnny’s school books because I think he’ll want them in the future?

Now these may be the easier decisions to make as there is usually not a great deal of emotion attached to these items. So how about those emotionally charged items, the very special things given to us by people who are no longer in our lives, or their belongings which we haven’t had the heart to give away. These decisions are not quite so easy.

When I’m working with a client it’s important to me that they have the space and freedom to talk about the emotion evoked by particular items. By being able to express the emotion, and tell the story, a sense of peace and release can occur. There’s no right or wrong answer here, and there’s no requirement to do anything. If a decision is made to keep the item, whatever it is, we simply find the best space for it. This may be tucked safely away, or put on display where it can be viewed on a daily basis. Or a client may decide they are now happy to let it go to another home.

Here are some suggestions in these cases:

– Tackle your decluttering with focus and a clear vision of your desired outcome.

– When it comes to these emotional items, pause and allow yourself a few minutes to enjoy the memories each item evokes [if they are not happy memories then I suggest you may want to let go of that item].

– Ask yourself if you are ready to part with that item now, and if not, is it small enough to be tucked away in a special ‘memorabilia box’ or do you want to put it on display.

– If your vision is lovely clear spaces with minimal clutter, then you may decide not to keep too many of these items. Remember our charities are so grateful for anything pre-loved and if you know something you once thought special is going to be appreciated by someone else, it takes the sting out of giving it away.

– Be gentle and compassionate with yourself during this process.

I hope you find this newsletter both interesting and useful. If you do have wonderfully special items, consider putting them on display in your home. I have two beautiful orchids, one indoors and the other outside, both of which my older sister Jan bought for our sister Heather at different times. Now those two orchids bring me great pleasure because I remember Heather’s delight in their flowering, every time I look at them I smile.

I wish you a wonderful month ahead, and much joy.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella@gioia.net.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

Please feel free to forward this newsletter on to anyone you feel may be interested.

They can subscribe via this link: RSS Feed