“Happiness is the Place Between Too Little and Too Much”

April 21, 2016

Posted By: Shaunescy


Do you have too much stuff?

What if I were to tell you that your greatest challenge with getting, and staying, organized is just a crisis of perception? I’ve found that most people tend to fall into three camps of thought when it comes to material possessions and once you identify which type you are, you can overcome this crisis of perception and have the neat, orderly home you’ve always dreamed of.

I call the first type of organizationally challenged person the Memory Keeper. This person hangs onto things out of sentimentality and nostalgia. The biggest issue with being the Memory Keeper is that you’re telling yourself, and the universe at large, that you may not ever create new and better memories, so you need to hang onto what you’ve already acquired. However, what you’re hanging onto aren’t memories; you’re hanging onto things. Things that are taking up physical space as well as psychological space. You’re sending the message to yourself that whatever you experienced in the past is most likely better than your future.

I call the second type of organizationally challenged person the Fearful Creative. This person collects items they believe will be useful at some point in the future. Maybe it’s for some undetermined DIY project, or because they fear they’ll never find that particular object again and must acquire it right away. They love yard sales and thrift stores and can’t pass up a bargain or a free offer. Again, each item has a story, but it’s really more of an intention for an uncertain future. A future where they’re always in need. The biggest issue with being the Fearful Creative is that you’re essentially telling yourself that you anticipate a future of not having enough.

The most organizationally challenged person is both the Memory Keeper and the Fearful Creative. Among married couples, sometimes we have one of each. This can be quite stressful for both partners because neither wants to be the culprit in the battle of too much stuff, yet both feel justified in their contributions. Maybe they compromise by agreeing to fancy, complicated organizational storage systems with all of their various unnecessary stuff tucked away and labeled accordingly. But without addressing the underlying crisis of perception, they continue on as they always have, the system falls apart and we’re back where we started. Except now some portion of the stuff they never see or use is tucked away and beautifully labeled.

Then there are the items you’ve acquired that genuinely make you feel bad when you encounter them, knowing you haven’t used them. Exercise equipment, a fancy juicer, compost bin, etc. They’re not bringing you joy now, and if the constant reminder of seeing them hasn’t caused you to use them, then it’s time to let them go. It’s important to only surround yourself with items that bring you joy.

If identifying your particular organizational challenge is enough to motivate you to do something about it, then great. But, if you’re still not convinced, then read on – but be aware that I am pulling out all the stops now and will attempt to appeal to you on a more humanitarian level.

Nearly every single item you’ve acquired and no longer use or consider, for whatever reason, may very well be an item that someone with less means than you needs. Lastly, when you depart this world, do you want to bequeath or burden? I know it’s not something any of us want to consider, but it’s a reality that we all must eventually face.

With that said, I wish you happy clearing and purging; and next month, I’ll offer a basic guideline of the bare essentials every home needs, working room by room. By then, you’ll already have begun the process and will be enjoying the newfound freedom from overcoming your organizational challenges. It can be a life-changing process, so don’t give up. I’m here for you.

Kryssa Bowman-Wilmer has long been a supporter of sustainable living practices and the zero waste philosophy. She owns a professional cleaning and organizing business, Bozeman Cleaning Services & Outta The Closet Professional Organization. For more information call 406-426-2376 or visit http://www.bozemancleaningservices.com

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