What I found after working as an organizer, on 1000's of homes, and businesses, is what makes people happy, when it comes to their stuff. People love things that they love, things that they use, things that serve a purpose, and most of all things that are sentimental. But, there is a catch when it comes to continuing to love your stuff and your space despite it getting #cluttery. You will only be able to confess true and unconditional love of your stuff, when you are treating the stuff properly, and when it is all organized. What I mean by organized is that everything is categorized; put away by category, and most of all contained, and easy to access. Otherwise, a futile love and hate relationship, stamped with panicked, and frantic searches, will create a sense of hopelessness, and disappointment with your treasures.
What you collect, your possessions, do not define you, although when you can't access what you want, admire and want to show off what you own, you will tend to get berserk about it. You are highly connected to your stuff, especially when you can't find what you are looking for. When you can't find something that you want, when you want it, and within a reasonable amount of time it will take the wind out of you. When you get to the point that your screeching around your place and thinking "Where's my .....?", remember what truly defines you are your thoughts, words and actions, and doing what you value. The question is "Do you know what you truly value in life?
Currently I value cooking healthy and yummy meals, working on books that I'm writing, time with my husband and friends, staying connected to family, calming and relaxing outings, with steady exercise. It's surprising how my value system has changed since my 30's and 40's, when it was more about going out, hanging out, and dining out, and depending on friendships, that were more like commune buddies. I love my independent alone time more than anything now. I laugh at some of the outfits I used to wear, the kind of shoes I could swing along in, the books I used to treasure, board games and cd's. As your life evolves, and you change what you value, what you like to do, your stuff changes too. In order to own and posses things that fit our "today life", we want to first look at what we own, by category. When we see things in categories we have clarity about what truly works for you of today.
#Categorizingeverythingyouown, puts how much of what, and how much you have, into perspective. Using the #iDEALLIFESTYLEmethod for what you keep in your life makes the journey through your stuff so much easier. The criteria for making good decisions about what to keep is priceless. Ask yourself with each item you process, "Will I use it?, Does it serve a purpose?, Is it sentimental? and Do I love it?" This technique will help you determine what to keep, and what to part with. Another I-Deal-Lifestyle method, called the "No regrets" policy helps you keep the things that you value, and not become reckless about what you edit out of your life. Before I created the 4 part criteria, I would give things away spontaneously, without thinking it through. I still have regrets about certain items I wish I had held onto, and kept in my today life.
I still miss, with all my heart, my stereo that held, and randomly play 12 CD's in an evening, without have to yell "Alexa" at the top of my lungs. I miss my pager, that I shoved in a drawer in 2003, thinking to hell with you when I bought my first cell phone, which now seems to be the more evil of the two. I miss my old car, that had a rubber bumper instead of a plasticky one that dents or scrapes, when I look at it. I still scratch my head wondering why I gave away certain items that still have a special place in my heart, and because I loved them. I know the answer though, and it is because I did not think about what I valued during my purges. I valued, and still value, dancing in my socks, to my wonderful collection of music that I could count on, without digital, downloads, and screaming at an electric box.
Once you figure out what it is you're going to keep around, categorize all of it to the bone, contain it, and find each category a home unto itself. This will certainly put a smile on your face, since you will be able to breathe easier, and find things quicker.
Figuring out what you value #inthenow is important for you to determine what you want hanging out in your space. Don't be hasty to "throw away the farm." I say, "Matter, matters."
Marla Stone is the owner of i DEAL LiFESTYLE®
Professional Organizer - Decor and Feng Shui Idealist - Lifestyle Changer and NAPO Member.
Your Organizing Therapist®