Don’t be a prisoner to your belongings

Alcatraz jail cell. Don’t be a prisoner to your belongings.

Being organized is about having the things in your home, office, closet, etc. that you really need and enjoy within easy access and aesthetically pleasing.  One person’s organization is another person’s confusion or discomfort so as much as there are tools of the trade and specific steps I take clients through to achieve success, it is unique to the individual. Just buying the cute boxes and label maker do not an organized person make. You really have to figure out what do you need and what serves you. Get rid of objects that hold you back and keep you from being the person that most exemplifies you.

“Gee, Carrie, how do my things hold me back? Is my closet conspiring against me?” No, not actively; but what you hold on to in your home is an expression of who you are and your relationship with it is expressed subconsciously. Do you hang on to clothes that you are too small for you because you will wear them “someday” when you lose those 5-10 pounds? Do you keep arts or craft supplies because “someday” you are going to take up knitting, scrapbooking, decoupaging, or whatever? Do you keep a piece of furniture that you don’t like because some relative gave it to you and you’d feel guilty getting rid of it? Or, here is my favorite: I can’t get rid of this because I paid sooooo much money for it. Well, all of these negative thoughts are holding you captive as a person who doesn’t accomplish whatever goal you’ve set for yourself by keeping these things.

  1. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit. Only keep things that are one size either too small or too large for wiggle room and have the others altered or donate them. Think of how you are helping others by sharing what you have. Someone else needs that suit, sweater, shoes, and it will be in better use with them instead of sitting on your closet floor.
  2. Donate supplies that you aren’t using or don’t think you’ll be able to use (really use) in the next 3 months. I know Pinterest is full of great Halloween, Christmas, Hannukah, Birthday, and other ideas for crafts and home projects. By all means, pursue and create but put a reminder on your calendar and block the time to actually sit down and create these great masterpieces. If you can’t find the time in the next couple of months, then donate those supplies to a church, school, or some type of program that will use them now. If you are inspired later, you can gather those supplies again and move forward with renewed enthusiasm.
  3. Guilt is such a great motivator and usually it’s negative. If there is something in your home you don’t truly love or use, give it to someone who needs it. I personally have a hard time with this because I want to please people but, really, it does no good to keep things in your home for others. Is there someone you know who would enjoy that style of art or furniture or clothing? Can you think of someone who can make something of it? Maybe it would inspire a renaissance for someone’s artistic interpretation. Above all, it’s not serving you sitting in your home reminding you of how much you don’t like it. And that is making you cranky and resentful of the person that gave it to you.
  4. As far as hanging on to the expensive item? Well, the money is gone. Spent. Bye bye. Resolve to strongly consider the consequences before committing this crime again and get rid of the offending object. It’s just sitting there taunting you and filling you with buyer’s remorse. Let it lead a new life with a new person and bring them joy instead of you pain.

You’ve probably detected a theme here by now and it is the bedrock of Neatsmart’s   philosophy: purge what you do not need, keep what you love, make it all look pretty, and use it to its fullest. Life is too short to not have happy surroundings and your home is your haven. Let it restore you, not repulse you.

Happy organizing!

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