What a cool thought! It gives us permission to take back control of our lives. Sure, there will always be things that are beyond our control, but for the majority, our decisions and choices are ours.
Sometimes clutter can feel like one of those uncontrollable forces. Some days we think we’re on top of it only to fall behind again. Yet the reality is that we are allowing the clutter to control us. It’s true, stuff can be powerful, but it is us who give stuff power.
That too small pair of jeans aren’t grabbing you by your leg begging you to allow them to stay in your wardrobe. The china tea-set in the back of the cupboard (which Auntie May left to you) can’t feel neglected. Objects can’t project emotions of guilt onto you, yet isn’t it odd how we unknowingly project human emotions onto inanimate objects in order to somehow protect ourselves from the pain of letting go?
Over 6 years ago now, Mum, my sister and I had to go through the difficult task of letting go of my late father’s clothing. Allowing our emotions to flow, we’d still smell the familiar scent of his after-shave clinging to warm but now empty jumper sleeves, and it would be easy to reminisce, but I knew it was still an empty wooly sleeve I hugged and it wouldn’t bring my Dad back. We had photos of Dad happy in that jumper and the memories of that day, but the truth was that the emotion of the moment lived on in my heart. Logic tells me no one can take this away from me because that kind of stuff is accessible at any time I choose. I’m in control of that moment and the happy emotions attached to it, where an empty sleeve only served to remind me further of my loss.
Of course I have kept a few physical mementoes of my Dad, and out of tribute to him they are kept in a very special box and not just stuffed into plastic bags willy nilly throughout my home. I go to that box on special days to remember and celebrate his life on Father’s Day, his Birthday, Christmas and just days when I ‘need’ to be close to him, if only to remember his hugs when I was feeling lost. Having those few things and feeling lost in the memory of the relationship, the connection, the love, is the ‘really good stuff’.
This is what helps you decide what is really valuable to you and what isn’t.
So live in your present, let go of your empty sleeves and your clutter and don’t be afraid to take control back from the stuff! Remember, ‘stuff’ can’t talk back or complain if you give it its marching orders. So lovingly tell it to leave home so it can create some happy memories or comfort for someone else who needs it now.
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