This week among other projects in our household my daughter and I are doing some decluttering. We’re sorting her room and I am clearing out some things from our basement that was damaged recently by a flood.
Organizational guru Peter Walsh gives me two guiding principles:
If you don’t love it or use it, get rid of it.
Clutter robs you of the present, keeping you either emotionally attached to the past, or stuck thinking how you might use it in the future. We’ll talk about this one on the next Everyday Inspired.
My question today is: What if you love it?
My daughter and I share this kind of attachment to things. We have two workstations set up in the house right now—one in the dining room and one in the family room, which you can see pictured on my blog or blogtalk radio page. We are cleaning out her room, sorting the accumulations of a busy school year and summer, and the gifts and hand me downs to the youngest sibling, neighbor, and cousin in all those different lines of loved ones.
We get attached to things: gifts from beloved people in our lives, souvenirs, collections of interesting objects. I’ve been through enough house moves and garage sales and floods in my life to know the pain of letting go of this stuff, but I also know the lightness and relief that comes with more space and less clutter. My young daughter’s heart only feels the loss. But she’s getting better at it. She’s getting on to the joy of giving things away. It takes time. We pulled stuff out of her room and we’ll take a day or two to feel the life and peace of open space, which then, I hope, will influence the decisions about what she loves, what she uses, and what she can get rid of.
So, if you’re also doing some decluttering, and feeling some heartache in the process, consider this your permission slip to take a little extra time if you need it. Let your heart get used to the idea of more space to live and think and love.