Blog: The Nature of Being Organized
Spring Into Letting Go
Spring, also known as "mud season", has arrived in Maine! I've been watching the crocus and hyacinth pop through the ground for the past week. They're such hardy little things! It is a wonderful time of year to observe what's taking place around us in nature.
Inside, however, can be a different story for some of us as we take stock in our winter accumulations of stuff! Do you sound like this: "How did it pile up so fast?" "What was I thinking when I saved this?" "How did that get here?!"
This week I held a workshop at the town library for a group of about 30 people. The topic was "How To Make Letting Go of Your Stuff a Breeze". Just about everyone had a story to tell about their accumulated stuff.
Some people were keeping stuff for their children who had left home years ago. One woman said she still had her eldest son's childhood toys. He's sixty! Others talked about their inability to say "no" to hand-me-downs. They wound up with stuff they couldn't use, never had time to use, and felt guilty for not using! Still others shared how they couldn't part with their stuff even though they hadn't used it in years.
Most people agreed they didn't need or use the stuff anymore, but couldn't part with it because they felt too overwhelmed with the enormity of letting it all go. These were all typical stories, ones that I've heard many times.
The bottom line is, regardless of how difficult it is to let go, you know the stuff needs to go. So how can you make it a little easier on yourself? Here are five of my tried and true ways to take the "UGH" out of letting go:
- Create a values barometer. Find something of significant value to you—not necessarily monetary value—and hold it up to the item you're struggling with letting go. Keep the item that holds the most value.
- Determine the significance of the stuff. What meaning does it hold for you now? The stuff is NOT the person who gave it to you.
- Divide the cost of the stuff by the number of days you owned it. Did you get your money's worth?
- Ask yourself, if you let go what would be the WORST possible outcome? Can you live with it?
- Determine if the stuff elicits feelings of lightness or heaviness? All of our stuff—except for mundane stuff like a wrench-- needs to bring us joy, peacefulness, or pleasure.
Letting go is a process. You'll know when you're completely ready to let go because you'll have a sense of peacefulness about it. Be patient with yourself. There is a true gift in letting go, though. It opens up the space for more good to come in. That doesn't necessarily mean material stuff either. It could be money, a new friendship, a trip, a sense of accomplishment, anything. But as long as your space is clogged with unwanted and unused stuff, you'll never know what's waiting for you.
posted on: 4/13/2008 1:31:51 PM by Maggie McCauley
category: The Mental Side
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The Nature of Being Organized
by Maggie McCauley
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Maggie McCauley, ACC, LICSW, The Effortless Organizing Coach, is the president of "A New View". She takes a holistic approach to organizing coaching her clients to create new habits that promote overall well-being, a sense of freedom and peace of mind.
My Favorite Books
- The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
- It's Hard To Make A Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul
- Organize With Confidence by Elizabeth Hagen
- The Secret Of Letting Go by Guy Finley
- Life Is Short--Wear Your Party Pants by Loretta La Roche
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- The Seven Whispers by Christina Baldwin
- Loving What Is by Byron Katie
- Making A Change For Good by Cheri Huber
- "Happiness Now!" by Robert Holden, PhD.