Are you finding it hard to let go of your “Stuff?” Do you often think you ‘might’ use it, need it, wear it, one day? To be completely honest with you, you probably won’t. How do I know? Because I am faced with this with my clients on a regular basis and the outcome is usually the same.
We live in an age where consumerism is rife and has led to the rise of materialism – in a nutshell, many of us these days have more things than we need, love and will ever use.
I have recently moved house (out to the country it’s gorgeous!) so did a big declutter of items that hadn’t been looked at for some time. They included clothing, kitchen items, homewares, sports equipment and general miscellaneous items. I have decluttered my “Stuff” three times in the last 2 months. The first time was when we were staging the house to sell it. The second time was before the move. And I did it once again once we had moved into our new home.
I found that the more times I revisited my belonging’s, the easier it was to let them go. The hardest thing to let go, was my clothing (I’m sure all of you women out there reading this relate to that….!) The first time I reviewed an item, I thought to myself “Mmmm……..I might wear that one day……..” The second time I reviewed it, I thought “I probably won’t wear it but I’m not ready to let it go…..” and the third time, I just knew it was time to let it go, so out it went! Having already looked at it twice previously, that was what made it so much easier to give it away in the end. The third and final time I was able to be completely honest with myself, but for some reason it took a few times to get there.
I recently spoke to my lovely client Michelle about this – we were decluttering and reviewing her wardrobe for the second time. The first time was pre winter and the second time was pre summer. Here’s what she had to say: “The first time Natalie and I did my wardrobe she said that if I couldn’t decide on an item, to give it a season to see if I wore it or not. And if it hadn’t been worn by the end of the season, we made the decision together that it would go. I was still attached to the item and wasn’t ready to let it go just yet! When we reviewed my wardrobe again after the winter season, all of the items I was attached to and didn’t want to give up at the first session hadn’t been worn! I guess I was kidding myself to think that I would wear them. So for me, the decision was made. It hadn’t been worn, so out it went! It was SO much easier letting those items go the second time around as I could be completely honest with myself, having already reviewed it once previously. I also found it easier doing it with Natalie – having another person there to help me face my clothing with a supportive and nurturing approach, as well as a completely honest attitude. I now have a wardrobe which only has clothes that I love, that fit me and I wear!”
For all of us, some of our items have more meaning to us than others. For me, it’s clothing and sentimental items. For you, it might be something else.
I recently read Marie Kondo’s book “The life changing magic of tidying” and she believes that we should only keep those items that we love (and spark joy in our hearts) and use. And I agree. These are the two key questions I find myself asking my clients in every session, especially when they are having difficulty deciding upon an item. If we can be brutally honest with ourselves when we face our belongings and choose to keep only those items around us that we love and use, we not only live with less, but are also able to see what is really important to us in our lives and that, in itself, is liberating. I have experienced this with my recent move and I feel lighter and it has helped me to make decisions about my future purchases.
Marie Kondo says: “There are three approaches we can take towards our possessions. Face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die……..” I believe it is better to face them now and deal with what you have in this very moment and be present and honest with them. This is what will set you free.
When we face our stuff, our stuff faces us. It brings up all sorts of emotions from our past that are happy and sad, good and perhaps bad. Allowing yourself to go there means that you can acknowledge those times – the memory will always be with us, but if the item no longer brings you true happiness, you can let it go. Embrace change and give it a go.