Have you ever opened up your desk drawer trying to find a pen and find yourself sifting through memorabilia–the medals of your recent 10K run, certificates, photographs, or ticket stubs? If your memorabilia impedes your use of active space, it’s time to get serious about its true value.
We appreciate Peter’s style of getting right to the heart of the emotional holdbacks our organizing clients face. One section of the book covers all the excuses we’ve heard for justifying keeping things that are no longer being used. Here is a great one and Peter’s response:
Excuse: “It’s too important to let go.”
Excuse Buster: “If it is so important, then I must give it the honor and value it deserves (or let it go.)
Here’s how Peter counsels his clients on this topic:
“Don’t tell me something is important, has personal value, or is a family heirloom if it’s covered in dust, lost in a pile of clutter, or buried somewhere in your garage. If you value an item, you need to show it the honor and respect it deserves. Otherwise, it has no place in your home. No discussion, no negotiation–it goes! Either you value something or you do not. You have room for something or you do not–it’s that simple. If we each had a palace, we’d have infinite space in which to cherish and display our prized possessions. Maybe you’d devote a whole room to the porcelain figurines you inherited from your grandmother. But most of us don’t live in palaces, far from it. You can’t own everything, so you have to pick and choose. The value you say an item holds for you must be reflected in the place you give that item in your life, otherwise your words have no meaning and the object is little more than clutter.”
So the next time you stumble upon some memorabilia in an inconvenient place, ask yourself, “Am I giving this the home it deserves?”
Are you really honoring the memory of this person or personal achievement? Or is it keeping you from moving through your life with ease?