Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Monday, November 19, 2007

Feelings We Have Throwing/Giving Something Away

Often the most difficult phase of decluttering and organizing is the purge -- fighting the inner dialogue of clients as I ask the tough questions. Sometimes people don't want to get rid of an item because they face feelings of guilt, doubt, worry and procrastination. Can you relate?

Guilt – "I spent a lot of money on this". Or "it was a gift". This happens a lot with items that family members and friends give to us. >> Keep something because it is useful and you love it and want it, not just because it was a gift. Otherwise the item takes on a power of its own and you may attach a negative image to it.

Doubt – "I am not sure if that was the right thing to do – maybe I’ll need it again". "What if (insert a gazillion scenarios here) and they blame me for throwing it out?" "How do I know I won’t need it?" "What if it was worth something?" The nagging "what if" prevents us from going forward. >> I often say "when in doubt, throw it out" but that might be too scary for you. Nothing is guaranteed in this world but once you can give reasons you don't need to hold on to something, trust yourself and stick to your decision.

Worry – "Am I going to need that?" "Can I find another one?" "What if so-and-so asks for it?" "Did I make a mistake? I am afraid I'm going to make the wrong decision or regret it." To avoid this worry, we keep the status quo. >> Trust me, between online access, stores, and the commercial world we live in, much of what we want, we can get (again). Worry just robs you of the peace and levity you gain from lightening your household of clutter. Think about the benefit of more space and clarity now versus the possibility of you regretting the loss in the future.

Procrastination -- "I don't want to deal with this now. I will handle it later." You might also fall under the "someday" syndrome where you plan to take care of something. >> If you avoid the decision now, you are still going to have to make it later. You don't make progress when you procrastinate. Furthermore, things pile up and become more overwhelming later. Be realistic with your "someday" things. Be ruthless with your future plans -- if it is worth doing, do it now or soon!