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Making Sense of Our Stuff

Making Sense of Our Stuff

Making Sense of Our Stuff

When Did We Get So Much Stuff?
     When did we find ourselves with so much stuff? Some of us may have discovered this early on in our lives, while most of us found the accumulation process gathering speed once we owned a home, created a family or settled into a living situation for a long period of time. And for those of us who didn’t take stock and make decisions about these things, we found ourselves with overflowing closets, cupboards and a garage with no room left to use. Now a wall of things confronts us and we don’t know how to manage this stuff or where it should go.
The Emotional Component
     I see this continually with clients whose kids have grown and moved out or a relative that’s died, and they have to manage their own things as well as those of loved ones. They are torn between allegiance to the past, to the memories they shared with said people, with memories of their own things and as a result, can’t make a decision about what to keep and of what to let go. They feel bound to the past, bound to things and stuff and feel entangled by their belongings.
 
Feeling Like Our Things Rule Us
     Too often when I work with clients, they have adjusted themselves to their things. They can no longer close or open doors, get into closets. They have to walk around piles of things, they can’t find items they need and buy more, and in some cases, their things start to control them as they feel less in command of what they own and don’t know how to manage their items. I recently helped a client organize her garage and at one point I cleared a pile of things near the back door which hadn’t been opened in years. Her kids, upon seeing this were shocked to know they even had a back door. She is thrilled she can now get a cross breeze and have access to the backyard from this space. With so many things cluttering the room, the door had been completely negated. It was a great feeling when they had a new pathway of egress.
 
Making Choices About Our Things
     Making decisions and choices about our belongings is key to this solution. Getting the flow to go outwardly is paramount since for most of us, things keep coming in and very little goes out. There is always the low hanging fruit of the obvious things that can go–broken, damaged, no longer functioning, outdated, can’t work with today’s systems, etc. along with plenty of cardboard, plastic and other recyclables.  Clients and I work to keep the most important, useful and cherished items and to let the rest go–especially things that can be used by others when they’re just gathering dust in a garage or other space.
Choosing A Different Way

We are always at choice as how to manage and deal with the things we own. Too often people think they need more and more storage, when in actuality, they need to make decisions about what they have and let go of the items that are making their home and office life a confusing mess. Storage is the default answer and is a convenient way not to make a choice to let things go and become free from belongings.

With Fall here, it is the ideal time to eliminate what no longer serves you and learn new ways of managing what you do have so you don’t have to be imprisoned by the things you own and so those things don’t start to own you. You rule your things, they don’t rule you! If you should need help, please give me a call at 510.501.1213