52 Weeks: #44 Shoving things behind your couch is not dealing with your clutter
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I’ve been watching a fairly new show in Canada on HGTV called Consumed, an organizing show that a lot more people can identify with than the extreme show Hoarders. The premise of the show is this. A crew comes in and packs up ALL your STUFF leaving you with only bare essentials for 30 days. Your stuff is emptied into a large warehouse and at the end of 30 days you are brought to the warehouse to sort and purge through it all. Of course there are mini challenges throughout the 30 days as well.
It really fascinates me because most people seem so instantly relieved when the stuff just “magically” disappears. You can literally see the weight being lifted off their shoulders as it goes out the door. However the month isn’t all skittles and roses…homeowners go through a bit of a rough ride when they no longer have their stuff to hide behind. For many it is part of their identity and when it’s gone they don’t know who they are anymore. They’ve been hanging onto their stuff for so long and there are many emotions tied to it. What is most ultimately determined though through this 30 day experiment is that there is freedom in less stuff and chaos. It’s not until these homeowners get a taste of this freedom that they realize how much all their stuff was holding them back from truly living life. Health problems improved (in some cases drastically) and it’s amazing what putting people over stuff will do for a relationship.
The other thing that continually fascinates me is the “hide the clutter and hope no one notices” technique that most of these homeowners on the show used. Almost always you’ll find piles of stuff stashed behind their couches for instance. Not stuff being used regularly either, nope this is just stuff without any sort of purpose at all. And here’s the kicker, when homeowners want to “hide” it further they put a sheet over it. People if you are having to hide your clutter with a sheet you know there is a problem. You may be fooling a few guests but you are not fooling yourself. You still know its all there and you still carry the burden. That’s a huge weight to be carrying around day after day. It makes me sad it really does.
It comes down to this. Decisions….making them. Making the decision to put people over stuff, to put your health over stuff, to clear out the clutter and chaos so you can make living life priority #1.
Remember to ask yourself these questions when assessing what to keep and toss:
1. Can I afford, in terms of space, to keep this item?
2. Could the space that this item takes up be put to better use?
3. What am I saying NO to in order to say YES to this item?
4. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen if I get rid of this item?
No we don’t live in TV land and a crew isn’t about to descend to take away all your stuff for you. Only YOU can decide to make the changes needed. You can either choose to make it hard on yourself by defending your stuff and why you want to keep it or you can stop being a stumbling block for yourself and start letting go. What’s it going to be?
1. I’d love to hear about which space you’ll be tackling this week and how this journey is going for you?
2. Have you had any Ah-ha moments lately?
3. If you are consumed by stuff what changes can you put into place today to change that?
You guys are awesome, so glad you are hanging in there with me :)
Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to any post of an organizing nature that you feel will inspire and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.
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Images courtesy of Sean MacEntee