I love working one-on-one with clients because it gives me so many insights into the challenges we all face in getting rid of clutter. I was recently helping someone set up a system for her business files. She said she was struggling with her current setup so much that she didn’t even like opening up the drawer to the filing cabinet. We started going through the items in the drawer and we came to one file that contained all the paperwork from a lawsuit she had been involved in years earlier. As she was talking it became clear this had been a very difficult experience for her. I asked her why she was storing this reminder of such a negative event in the same place where she needs to regularly file her business paperwork. No wonder she didn’t want to open that drawer!
It got me thinking about the stuff we hold on to that is infused with negativity: the gifts from an ex, or a paperweight from a job you hated, or the family heirlooms handed down from someone you had a very complicated relationship with. Stuff is just stuff, but it also serves as a reminder of specific people or events in our lives, and sometimes those reminders are not welcome. Why surround yourself with mementos from a time that is best left in the past?
I get excited about ideas like this one that inspire me to think differently about my home and my belongings. It’s so easy to allow our living spaces to become an unchanging landscape that we don’t even see anymore. I have started looking at my things with fresh eyes, thinking about the memories and emotions that they bring up. If you are also trying to establish more positive habits in 2020, don’t discount the importance of creating an environment that supports you and makes you feel energized.
We don’t need to discard everything from our past in order to move forward. But I am putting some of my own things away in storage that are not currently serving me. I encourage you to give this a try. Small changes can help to create a home that fosters positivity and growth, instead of unhappy memories.
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Make it fab!