Updated: May 31
As we enter the holiday season, many of us are feeling bogged down and overwhelmed with our home, preparations for guests, and the knowledge that new items are about to be gifted to us and will require space we may not have. All of these reasons make it the perfect time to take inventory of the items already in our home and to decide if we want to bring them into the new year with us. However, this may not come easily and can be overwhelming to some. Keep reading for tips on how to make decisions to LET IT GO.
Zig Ziglar, a beloved encourager and inspirer, once said, “The first step to getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don’t!” Picture the environment you want to live in and the lifestyle you want to live in the upcoming year. Many people want to start the holiday season and the new year off “fresh” and that includes a fresh and decluttered home, but that can sometimes be easier said than done. Here is our step-by-step guide to creating the decluttered home you crave, and finally letting go.
Signs it's time to let it go:
You feel dragged down or distracted by the belongings in your home.
Your belongings become an impediment to daily life.
You don’t have the space to properly house your belongings.
Your belongings go unused.
Your item no longer serves a purpose or brings you joy.
You might have said yes to many of the signs listed above, but letting go of things isn't always easy, and that is okay. We regularly tell our clients that “it’s never about the ‘stuff’ it’s about the feelings behind the stuff”. During this process give yourself grace and take inventory of the feelings you’re experiencing. Identifying your feelings and accepting them can ease the emotional load of letting go.
The emotions of letting go and how to cope:
You may have an emotional attachment to items and struggle with letting go. Never feel pressured to get rid of things you do not want to. Items that you don’t regularly use, but you feel a strong emotional attachment to can be stored in a memorabilia box in an attic, the top of a closet, or other spaces in your home. The goal here is to keep the items that are important to you, but to not take up the “prime real estate” of your home’s storage space. Prime real estate in your home should be reserved for items you regularly use or need access to.
You may feel a sense of guilt or responsibility to keep things. Consider passing these items along to a friend in need or a charity. The knowledge that these items are going to someone who will love them and use them regularly can help turn your guilt into happiness that these items will be cherished by someone instead of shoved to the back of your closet or garage where they are never used.
You may have a fear of letting go because of an anticipated future need. Consider placing these items in a “quarantine bin”. This is a bin you can store out of the way for a predetermined amount of time, for example 6 months, and at the end of that time period if you haven’t used the items or missed them this will ease your fear of needing them “just in case” and you can let go of them without any fear.
The formula for letting go:
Here is a great graphic to help in the letting go process:
After consulting the graphic above for letting go of your items, use these questions to help you review and edit the belongings that you identified as needing discussion.
Do I use it regularly?
If not, do I love it?
Am I keeping out of obligation or expectation?
Am I holding onto it because I think I should love it?
Am I saving just in case?
Do I have multiples of the same thing?
Could something else I own serve the same purpose?
Am I holding onto a broken item to repair one day?
Is the item worth the time I spend cleaning/ storing it?
Could I use this space for something else?
By following all these steps and helpful hints we hope you feel more comfortable about editing your items to create an environment that relaxes and rejuvenates you so you can truly enjoy your home and the holiday season. If you are still unsure of where to start, feel overwhelmed, need tools, or just desire help, it’s okay. Many people have these feelings, and that is exactly what professional organizers are here for. Reach out to our team if you are local, or look for a professional organizer in your area. Professional organizers can create a unique plan to help you accomplish your goals so you can finally LET IT GO!