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whatWhat Are You Saving and Why?

whatWhat Are You Saving and Why?

organizing, interior design services bay area

What are you keeping and why?

I am growing less surprised when I see what clients find important and in need of keeping: back issues of magazines, cloth bags from designer shoes (not used for their original intention), credit card and bank statements, plastic and paper bags, greeting cards from year’s past, toys of their children, and many items inherited from family members. It’s hard for many of us to separate out our emotions from the things themselves. Let me just say this: “The thing itself HAS NO Meaning. It’s only what we ascribe to it.”

So why are clients saving all these things? First of all they have “meaning” that the owner of the item gives to it. A precious ornament from childhood, a plaque won from a previous job, an article of clothing a loved gifted to her. The things begin as just things and then the situation, the context, the time and place and the emotional framework gives the item it’s meaning.

Second, as human beings, we are of this physical world. The things that surround us give us comfort and a point of reference. If I can look around my home and see things associated with good memories, loved ones and pleasant times past, then it gives me a sense of reassurance and familiarity.

Third, as a touchstone to the past, our things continually remind us of our history and that we have been somewhere. We have traveled from somewhere and have journeyed through a variety of experiences. These touchstones are fraught with emotions, memories and energy that lives in the present. If I have a figurine from my deceased family member with whom I was very close, then it ties me to that person and it helps me feel they are still here in some small way. It empowers me to stay connected and in relationship with that person.

In a world that is constantly changing from one moment to the next, our things provide foundation, they provide shared experience, they offer connection with a time from our past which we can keep alive.

At the same time, I find many clients burdened by these things. Take it from reverse direction: a child who had difficult and challenging relationships with parents and loved ones and they find, at middle age, a garage full of their parent’s things that only brings pain and anxiety, and yet they feel challenged to give them up. For some reason, they feel obligated to keep these things. I recall Barbra Streisand recalling how she had kept a glass jar of candies her now deceased step father had given her after seeing her onstage in Funny Girl. He treated her poorly as a child. She kept it for 25 years and finally tossed it out when she stepped back and saw the absurdity of such behavior.

By unburdening ourselves from these items, we discover lightness of being, freedom from constraints and elimination of unnecessary clutter that has been weighing us down for years on end. My job is to help clients untangle themselves from this energy and to get to a place of freedom and resolution so they may express as they need. I help clients free themselves so they move forward with their lives in renewed ways and to open to a life of new possibilities.They can make decisions to keep only the essentials and eliminate the rest.

Take a look at what you’re keeping and why. Make a decision to let go of anything that no longer serves you so you may be free of such binds that hold you to the past. If you should need help, call 510.501.1213 and let Creative Space Organizing assist you.