It’s January and everyone is talking about things like goal-setting, resolutions, and decluttering. I am all for making a fresh start and getting some things done around the house, whether in January or anytime of the year. And while I have many friends who at least appear to have taken on the task of conquering their clutter, especially through guidance in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I am not one of them. In fact, I am often the one to benefit from the purges my friends complete. And when I say I benefit, I mean that they bestow their unwanted items onto me. And here’s the thing, I let them. I don’t seem to ever say ‘no.’
The funny thing is, in the past year or so, I have read Getting Things Done and most of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. But my ability to make any real progress towards the various to-do’s in these guides has been limited – mostly due to the fact that for every pile I get out the door, another one enters the house.
Many people in the blogosphere have spoken about just saying no to others, and while my efforts to clear my social calendar have benefited from this advice, my inability to purge my own clutter has weighed me down. I know that it is, at least in part, due to my experience making it through leaner times, times when I may have really needed that bag of clothes a friend wanted to give me. I once let a neighbor in my apartment building hand off various household items, including a sofa and a lamp, due to the fact that my new apartment was pretty much barren and they were soon to leave the country. At that point, a new sofa was nowhere in my budget and the dingy one they provided was a Godsend.
The reason I bring this up is because we often get tied to the emotions associated with items in our lives. While I am a bit of a packrat and enjoy hanging on to sentimental items, for me, the need to hang on to the other things in my life is as much an inability to see the abundance that is currently in my life. I am, in some ways, still that young woman, new to my city, trying to afford a nice apartment on a less than adequate budget. I am still the girl who shopped at Goodwill and on clearance racks for my prom dress. Once I let myself accept that I don’t need to hang on to every little thing for fear I won’t have the money for it tomorrow, I will be in a better place to let it go.
Don’t get me wrong, I will always be a bargain hunter and love my consignment store finds, but maybe I can get to a point where I can let some items move on to a new home and, in the process, free myself of the headache associated with these items. I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going.
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