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Just received this terrific e-newsletter from Courtney at Be More With Less.
Decluttering excuses help us hold on to crap we don’t need. If you struggle to let go (and most of us do), you might find yourself using one or more of the following decluttering excuses. I’ve used them all and in talking with people over the years, I hear them come up a lot.
1. I might need that someday.
This is a lie I told myself over and over again. I still catch myself doing it. What I’ve realized though is that most of the time, just in case means never. While there will always be unique situations, this excuse (for the most part) is how we procrastinate letting go.
If this is your favorite excuse, I recommend creating a just in case box. As you are decluttering and come across things you want to save just in case, put it in the box. When the box is full, seal it and hide it. Get it out of sight. Set a reminder to donate the box in 90 days. Chances are you won’t remember what’s inside, and you won’t think about it at all until you are reminded.
2. I want my stuff to go to a good home.
During most of my decluttering efforts, I didn’t struggle with this one. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about where my stuff went, I just knew that I could do more good in the world once all of the excess was gone. I didn’t want to get hung up on where each thing went because I knew that would only delay the process. Find a place to sell or donate your things that is “good enough” and stop filling all the spaces after you let go.
It’s the repetitive cycle of buy-declutter-buy-declutter that is depleting our resources and filling us with guilt for needlessly spending and searching for fulfillment in the wrong places.
The Buy Nothing Project may help you find a good home nearby. The rules are simple: “Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share amongst neighbors. Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering, we’re strictly a gift economy.” You can find a Facebook Group in your local area and offer what you don’t need anymore.
3. It’s not hurting anyone.
This was one of my favorite excuses to hold on. I wrote the following about letting go of some of my sentimental items in Soulful Simplicity, “In an effort to hold on tight, I thought, “It’s not hurting anything or anyone to keep this stuff.” Then I remembered that I want my quality of life to be more in line with “How is this helping?” instead of “How is this not hurting?” I wanted to create an environment that allowed me to be fully present.
Once I identified why I wanted to let it all go, the paper and plastic stuff that made up my memories didn’t have a hold on me or my heart anymore. Now, instead of capturing moments and boxing them up, I embrace and absorb them. The next time you think, “It’s not hurting.” ask “How is it helping?”
Decluttering and letting go for good is a challenging process. Pay attention to your decluttering excuses, the lessons, and the lightness you feel on the other side. You’ll learn so much about yourself and how you want to move through the world.
Thanks for reading today.
xo,
Courtney
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So I’m a day late (and a dollar short, as my dad would say), but I celebrated today by being on my own and doing things for myself. I’m realizing more and more how sadly lacking is balance in my life and that I must make every effort to reclaim it. First, I did a few chores around the house, generally tidying and cleaning a bit and getting rid of stagnant energy. This afternoon I went to a support group sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Society. It’s led by a woman I truly admire and respect, and even though I’ve attended these sessions before, I love hearing her stories and thus always get something out of them. She is certainly sharing her gifts with the world!

I had a huge box of old bills and receipts from years ago, plus another box of old mail, old bills, receipts, flyers. ALL GONE. I feel terrific. There’s a large black garbage bag sitting next to another large box of already discarded papers, all awaiting my trip to the shredder in a couple of weeks. (I have more to do, but only two more shopping bags plus another box that’s already been sorted once and needs putting away–or not.) The more I have them, the more I love purging parties. 😀 When I’m done–hopefully by the end of tomorrow–I’ll smudge, and welcome the new energy back into my space. Cleaning. Clearing. Calming. BALANCE.

And so in this time of rebirth and renewal, I’m working on renewing myself. I feel as if I’m coming out of a long, deep, stultifying sleep, as if I’m awakening from hibernation. Every day I’m feeling a little more connected to myself again. Certainly this is a time of changing cycles, isn’t it?

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