Like many of us, you may be looking for a way to become motivated to dig through the piles and old styles at home, to create an environment that now suits your life view, as it is today.
Some people call it a form of "spring cleaning." I call it an environmental life cleansing, and am currently on this path myself.
I have been challenged with this "cleaning and reorganizing" task for years. Things can easily pile up.
Today's column takes a look at reframing this "task" into a personal evolvement exercise; offering an alternative for self-motivation.
I recently started reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, "Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self."
The first chapter inspired me to look at this cleaning "task" in an entirely new light.
Breathnach wrote about the layers of lives we have lived within this life. Sound confusing?
For this column, let's define it as when we end one life stage and go onto the next - we layer one life over another in our belongings and beliefs.
So, let's break it down to a few main challenges, for rearranging your thoughts before you rearrange the "stuff."
One challenge for many of us is weight fluctuation, with a wardrobe that ranges greatly in sizes. If you removed all your clothing from your closets, and only put back items that you can see yourself wearing, I imagine the heart would be tugging with "oh, maybe I'll need that!"
I do agree that if you haven't worn something for several years, I doubt you'll begin to wear it now.
If you feel the "tug," try putting away the "definite pile" while making two other piles - a "maybe pile" and a "donate pile."
I strongly encourage you to donate clothing, outerwear, shoes and accessories to those in need. Your gift will be greatly appreciated by someone trying to evolve through their transitions.
And I imagine if you looked at the "maybe pile," you'd pull out a few pieces that had great sentimental value, and decide to let go of the rest. For one reason, it takes up a large amount of space that could be used more efficiently. Secondly, by the time your size changes, the items may not be what fits your new lifestyle. Just some thoughts.
Keeping kitchen items, furniture, lamps, decorations, etc., that had been replaced 20 years ago is a challenge for many people. So what are you doing with it now? If items are all stored away, are you ever really going to use it? And if you think you're going to "pass it down," would the person want it? (Just like any collection you thought about passing on.)
There are SO many people who virtually have NOTHING. If you want to pass it on to someone who will truly appreciate it, call an organization that can assist you with the transfer of those items.
Paperwork is one of my biggest "piles." I have all the checks I've ever written, newspaper clippings, files of paper - and PILES of paper. There are books and magazines I'll never read again, warranties to things that I don't own anymore, empty boxes that never stored anything, old gift wrap, old software, etc.
When removing just those items, you won't believe how much space you've opened. (These also are a fire hazard.)
We seem to add new things into our homes, and push the old aside. Keep pushing it out the door to a new potential owner (versus the landfill, where possible) as it will be new and refreshing to them.
How many of you have boxes of stuff, and clothing or shoes you don't wear anymore that are linked to past employment? When we change career paths, we often change many other things in our lives. So what do you need now? How does that answer help you clean out, and donate those items?
There's no doubt you have "good stuff" that can be used at some point. The bottom line question is will you use it? Or will you allow someone else to? And what about that old stuff that doesn't even work anymore? You know what your options are already. So why does it sit there, taking up space?
I will only briefly touch on this next sensitive topic - the belongings of someone who has passed from our life.
Each person will handle this differently. I am not judging those who make the decisions in any way whatsoever. I know how difficult of a process it can be. It's a very, very personal life change, which carries so many symbolic remembrances. Prayer and time may be of assistance to you, when ready.
So as I walk around my home to work on this endeavor, I'm going to visualize the end results.
The thought of how that feels has multiple levels of satisfaction. Everything will have a special place.
Clutter will be gone. Others will benefit from what I can gift. And equally important is how it will positively impact those that live with me. It's a gift of fresh renewed space to them, as well.
May you have good memories as you make surprise finds in your cleaning. May you feel clarity of focus in your vision of your accomplishment. May you recognize the ripple effect of your gifts to others.
And may your environment add to a sense of peaceful living and refreshed positive energy in your space. May this exercise bring you greater tranquility and a renewed sense of self.
Langley can be reached at dklangley@verizon. net.