Does your stuff tell the story of who you are? Does your identity depend on your past accomplishments, memories from the past or stuff that is in your home and possibly taking up valuable real estate? Does your clutter protect you from getting out, taking risks and living your life?
Identity With our Stuff
Books: Textbooks from attending school in the past might speak to our intelligence. Books that we have read give us happy memories of wishes or dreams of how things could be. Books in general on our bookshelf show others that we are well read. Self help books not read offer us the promise of a future self who will have it all together once this book is read and the steps are followed.
Art Supplies: Do you see yourself as an amazing artist or a historian ie: scrapbooker but you just continue to acquire items as opposed to actually doing the projects
Attachments to Stuff
Clothing: Clothes that no longer fit or remind us of happier times we cannot let go of. Or the hope for the future that we will lose/gain weight in order to fit into those clothes again.
Baby Clothes: Tiny baby items that reminds us of when our children were young. That time is really so fleeting. It goes by in a blink of the eye. The memories are priceless and sometimes those cute little outfits are just too hard to let go of.
Unfinished Projects: If you look at the definition of clutter this is one of the things listed. UFO’s (Unfinished Objects) can be about the dreams for the future. “Someday……. I will fix this, finish this”. If you have a plan to finish the project in a defined amount of time, great, otherwise it’s just clutter taking up space. It is negative energy that reminds us of what we think we “should” be doing. Don’t “should on yourself”.
Sentimental Objects: Memories from the past, items from family members that have passed and things that remind us of happier times can be some of the most difficult to let go of. I am not saying to let go of everything. It becomes a problem when there is “too much”. Perhaps you are in a position to choose the best of the best or just a few things to keep the memories. Remember the memories of others are inside of you…..inside your heart.
Relationship to our Stuff
Relationlships: How does your clutter in general affect you? Perhaps it feels very comforting and safe, like a little nest that you have created for yourself. You have things around you that you love and this feels like your happy and safe place. There is nothing wrong with this at all. However……..sometimes we create a space where we know we don’t want others to come in. This can be a way to keep relationships out of our lives. When one has been hurt in a relationship it can feel pretty scary to think about letting a new person in. So it feels like our stuff can replace a relationship. Our stuff is not going to hurt us like a relationship could.
Gifts from others: Gifts come with good intentions from others. Once in our hands, it no longer belongs to the person who gave it to you. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it. If you don’t love it or use it, maybe it has served its purpose and it is time to let it go.
Items we have spent a lot of money on: I hear this a lot. I paid so much money for that, I just can’t donate it. It is worth a lot of money and I could get a little cash for it. If you can do the Kijijji thing or other online avenues and it is worth your time and energy, I say go for it. In my work I hear that a lot of individuals do not have access to a computer or the knowledge on how to do it. You could always ask for help though.
Can you see yourself with any of these attachments to your stuff? Would you like to learn more about your relationship to your stuff and how it can affect your ability to move forward in your life? Please sign up here for the Declutter Your Life and Mind 5 Day Challenge – Redefine Your Relationship with Your Stuff – starting on Monday, November 19 – here is the link to get on the list
I am sure there are a lot of other factors that contribute to our relationship with our stuff. It can be very complex. Please let me know your thoughts about how you relate to your stuff? I always love to hear from you. Happy Decluttering!!