The Weight of Stuff

Do you find that some days your stuff weighs you down? When I have the chance to work with clients for a significant amount of time, whether that’s several days in a row or spread out over a number of months, it does feel as though their home gets lighter. 

During these decluttering projects we may drop off several car loads of belongings to a local charity. Perhaps the lightness is a result of the fact that the stuff is happy that it is going to a place where someone else will buy it and use it or it will be given to someone who will love it and use it.  Maybe your home literally rises up a few inches without all that stuff weighing it down. Maybe you are letting the light into your spaces by decluttering.  Or maybe it is YOU who physically feels lighter at the end of a successful organizing project.  

It does seem as though streamlining your stuff is like lifting weights.  Your stuff has actual physical weight which you must lift out of your home and, just like lifting a dumbbell, it’s a lot easier NOT to do it. What if, like weight lifting builds strength and stamina, letting go of stuff helps you get in shape?  Now there’s some motivation for you.  If your living space is in better shape and not clogged with stuff that someday someone MIGHT use, perhaps you have the opportunity to shape your life in a different way?

As you tackle the decluttering process, you have to flex your decision-making muscles.  Each item requires a moment of thought as to whether to keep it or let it go.  Some items require more than a moment of thought depending how attached you are to them.  You may even need to start by making a list of pros and cons before you tackle a space in your home.   What are the pros of letting go of excess belongings? Your list might include the following: 

  • I will actually be able to use my space for its intended purpose.  
  • I won’t have to spend so much of my time trying to keep my stuff organized.
  • I will be able to entertain in my new clutter-free space.
  • Everything I own will have a home and I will feel in control of what I have. 
  • I will finally stop arguing with the other people in my house about how much stuff we have!

On the other side of the list, you may have some of the following cons:  

  • It’s just way too much work to go through all my stuff.  
  • I might get rid of something and then need it “later”.  
  • I will have to negotiate with everyone else in the house and that will be hard.
  • Organizing is really boring and there are so many more fun things to do.  
  • I don’t even know where to start!

If your pros outweigh your cons, here’s the best thing to do.  Just like starting a weight-lifting routine, you need to begin with lighter weights and gradually build up to heavier ones. So, start with a category of stuff that is really easy for you.  This varies for everyone, but it might be your garage or kitchen where items are less sentimental.  As you build your decision-making muscles around letting go, move on to “heavier” projects like books and clothes and then finish with the heaviest sentimental items such as photos and memorabilia.

Just think what great shape you’ll be in when you are finished streamlining your stuff.  I know you can do it! Leave me a note in the comment section telling me know how you make out.

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