Do you have a closet like mine? You know the one-filled with everything you want to save? Most of us have closets or places where we put the stuff we want or feel the need to keep for the future. But do we ever find or use these items again? This week in our monthly series on letting go it’s time to clear our clutter, both physically and mentally.
What I find precious or worth saving isn’t always what others may agree is significant. Some of it is important and needed-vital papers, precious photos or mementos. Other things…maybe not so much. Some are organized well and I know exactly where to find these crucial items. But others are a bit more haphazard.
It’s not only a physical disorganization, either. I have ideas, concepts, and plans whirling around in my head that need a semblance of direction as well. Both this physical and mental disarray has been weighing on me for good reason.
I educate and encourage clients and the public on the importance of being organized to help mind and memory. For the most part, I heed my own advice. But then there’s that closet. I’ve been so focused on sharing this message that in some ways, I’ve neglected following it.
But no more.
Over the last few days, I’ve done some mental reorganizing. I took a day off and mentally organized future plans. It was needed and I’m so happy I took the time to do it. Now I just need to physically let go of what isn’t needed and clear the rest of the clutter.
It’s like I tell my children: clean as you go. When we do this, we make room for the new. New ideas and new physical items, if needed, are sometimes more useful and/or beneficial for our lives moving forward.
If all we keep is the old, that’s all we’ll ever have. Let’s let go of what isn’t working, viable, or desirable for our future to make room to breathe, grow and move forward, physically and mentally.
We all have reasons to hold onto something. If so, by all means, keep it. But if an idea or physical item is no longer worth something emotionally or physically, then let’s let it go. Letting go often includes soul searching decisions to release ideas, things or plans we once had. It can be difficult at times to make these choices. But when we do, we lighten our load both mentally and physically.
Here are a few questions I’m going to use when cleaning out my closet (and my mind) to determine what to keep or let go:
- Is it valuable and viable? If it has sentimental or monetary value, should I keep it and why? Does it still work (if applicable)? If not, toss it or fix it to save.
- What’s the plan? If I keep it, is it for the future, to use for a project or hold onto for a reference? Determine the purpose and plan for each item. If using for a project, add the project to your list. If it seems like you’ll never get to that project, delegate it or seriously consider letting it go.
- How can I organize it? Things saved for the future belong in a labeled storage item. Items to be used in a project should be organized accordingly (i.e. all pics/mementos from one trip filed together for the scrapbook project). Organize it well and you’ll know where to find it later.
When we clear out the clutter in our lives and minds of what isn’t necessary or needed, we make room for the ideas and things that are. There’s less to remember and we know exactly where to find what we do keep. It allows us to move forward while still honoring the memories and mementos of the past.
So, are you with me? Let me know how you’re letting go this month with a comment or join the conversation on Facebook. I’ll update you on my progress and hope you’ll share yours too! Let’s let go, clear the clutter and free ourselves for the future!