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Blog: Just Do Itů Finding The Motivation
Who's Got the Power? You or Your Stuff?

Are you among those who get a lump in their throat and feel queasy at the thought of sorting and organizing? Do you dread having to deal with the pressure to get rid of things? Are you at war with yourself when it comes to letting go?

You're not alone.

All too often we give our belongings too much power. We allow our possessions to hold us hostage, keeping us frozen in a state of indecision. Even when faced with the need for downsizing, the nagging of family members, or a desire for more space, we can't bring ourselves to part with items we know we no longer need, use, or sometimes even like.

What's going on? It could be that we've allowed these items too much power. We've given over control. Here is a brief description of how this can happen.

When we believe the only way to honor someone's memory is to hold onto their beloved possessions, even when these very same items bring us no joy or usefulness. When we agree to store items for others, temporarily, and they have long forgotten to come claim their belongings. When we buy into society's idea of success, surrounding ourselves with numerous pricely gadgets and toys. When we can't say no and continue to shop for things we don't truly need, or accumulate others' cast-offs.

I've only mentioned a few examples of how our possessions can end up possessing us, instead of us possessing them. Allowing our belongings to have this power over us is a huge roadblock in motivation.

What's the cure? Though it's not easy, it is possible. We need to change the way we look at our things.

First, they are just things. Yes, they hold memories, can be useful or was once useful, may have brought us joy at one time, or perhaps was a gift. But when all is said and done, they are just things.

Next, if something were to happen, heaven forbid, and we lost every bit of our belongings in a terrible disaster overnight, we would still move on. We would be okay. We would survive.

And last, we will never be able to experience true freedom as long as we continue to allow our things to hold us in their grip.

Peter Walsh was our opening speaker at the NAPO conference last month and he reminded us how important this is to understand. It is not about the stuff. Getting organized is more than our stuff. Getting organized, however, can have alot to do with our relationship to stuff.

To get from point A to point B, we must redefine our relationship with our possessions and reassess our material goods, allowing room for a change in mindset that will open the door to motivation and freedom.

So, who has the power in your home? You or your stuff? Let it be you.


posted on: 5/5/2008 12:00:00 PM by Nancy McGarity
category: The Mental Side

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Just Do Itů Finding The Motivation

by Nancy McGarity

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About Nancy:

I'm a mom, wife, professional organizing consultant and speaker, and a former Early Childhood educator. A personal crisis in my own life took me from perfectionism to total mayhem. I want neither. I'm now all about balance and being realistic about what I and my clients can maintain. My organizing business Real Solutions For Living was started to: 1) let people know they are not alone in their struggle to overcome clutter chaos, 2) to help them reduce their stress, 3) to help them gain back control of their spaces and lives, and 4) to offer realistic, practical, and down to earth solutions. I love what I do!

Nancy's Website:


Favorite Quote:

  • "Success consists of getting up one more time than you fall."

Favorite Books on Organizing

  • Organizing For the Creative Person
  • Making Peace With The Things In Your Life
  • Buried Treasures
  • Messie No More
  • Conquering Chronic Disorganization
  • Organizing From the Inside Out
  • Clutter's Last Stand

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