Holding on vs. moving on: Perspective Shift

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As part of our month-long focus on shifting our perspective, this week we’re going to be talking about decluttering and why it’s so difficult.  The process typically starts with a phone call that initiates a first consultation. It is during the consultation that I’ll hear the following:

  • I know I have to let some things go.
  • I’m embarrassed to show this room, but…
  • Can you believe I have been holding on to …

My first reaction is always the same. I begin with, “I don’t judge. What you are showing me is so common.”  The truth is, it IS so common with what I see. Many of my clients who want to fall in love with their homes have some kind of issue with ‘stuff’. They sometimes think it’s an issue with space, and while there are some poorly designed spaces out there, most often than not it is an issue with too much.

There is a lot written on the psychology of clutter. Although I am not a psychologist, I do read a lot on the psychology of clutter and try to find different ways to help my clients. I came across this fantastic article on this topic. In this article, it starts with the following:

“When we create environments that are cluttered, messy, stressful, and overwhelming, (or even neat and tidy but no longer supportive of who we are and who we want to be) we have a corresponding level of clutter, overwhelm and stress inside as well – all of which keep us from living and being our best. “ Click for the article here.

You don't need stuff

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 The perspective of holding on to moving on takes a lot of courage, a lot of self-discipline, and a ton of inner strength. When I work with clients, we typically work for 4 hours per session. The reason is that not only can it be physical work, it is most definitely mentally exhausting work. It’s true. Making decisions to move forward from holding on to moving on are not easy. So when it comes time to making decisions on what needs to stay and what should go, I often talk about thinking about their things in a different way.

 6 Perspective Shifts

Whether it’s a special craft that your child made for you in kindergarten, or it’s a trinket that has been passed down to you, or whether you couldn’t pass up on the sale, there are ways to decided if it’s ‘keep worthy’. The Minimalist does a fantastic job in providing 6 powerful thoughts:

  1. I am not my stuff; we are more than our possessions.
  2. Our memories are within us, not within our things.
  3. An item that is sentimental for us can be useful for someone else.
  4. Holding on to stuff imprisons Letting go is freeing.
  5. You can take pictures of items you want to remember.
  6. Old photographs can be scanned.

You can read the entire article here.

Love Your Home

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 India Arie has a great song titled “There’s Hope”. Part of the song goes like this,

Back when I had a little
I thought that I needed a lot
A little was overrated
But a lot was a little too complicated

You see, zero didn’t satisfy me
A million didn’t make me happy
That’s when I learned a lesson
That it’s all about your perceptions

You know that there’s hope
It doesn’t cost a thing to smile
You don’t have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that

Here’s to taking the steps to move forward, to live in the present (and not the past), and to smiling and laughing –  living the life you deserve!

Sheri Bruneau Get It Together

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  1. on 21.10.2014
    at 4:06 AM

    Your post remind me of my grandmother. She likes holding on things since it had sentimental value according to her.
    So, she keep it in one of her room. Consequently, those sentimental things to her eventually looks like bunch of trash.
    What things worst, my mom and my grandmother often argue because of those sentimental that my grandma stored.

    • on 23.10.2014
      at 8:25 AM

      I find it really challenging sometimes with situations like that. When my dad and I helped my grandma move, my dad was furious over all of the things my grandma kept. As a result, I kicked my dad out (as he wasn’t helping the situation) and my grandma and I went through her things, piece by piece. Yes, this took longer but it is what kept the family happy. When she got stuck on not knowing if she wanted to take something with her (she was downsizing from a home to a condo/apartment), I would ask, “How emotionally attached are you to this?” That really helped when it came to the mounds of Tupperware and plastic containers she held on to. Some of her ’emotionally attached’ items made it to her new home while others were given away to willing takers. I was lucky as my grandma knew exactly who would appreciate her items so giving away (gifting) was relatively easy.

      I wish you and your family all the best! ~Sheri

  2. on 29.10.2014
    at 6:11 AM

    One appliance that i will hold on to definitely is my Panini press, not only because it has sentimental value (has been using it for more than 7 years – a gift from a loved one), but it also has me and my kids bonding together together always, specifically during Panini making mornings.

    • on 31.10.2014
      at 10:33 AM

      Panini making mornings – that sounds fantastic! ~Sheri

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