If you have been diligent in keeping only things that bring about a positive emotional response, be it a memory, a good feeling, comfort, etc, your home should be free of clutter. How is it that it still feels full, sometimes too full of things?
Objects that hold an emotional value of sorts come in different types: they might have been passed down from our parents, or we associate them with certain events in our lives, or we might have valued them in the past and now only hang on to them out of habit or a vague feeling of obligation. Or else there could be any other kind of emotion attached to something. Those feelings of obligation can be difficult to deal with.
Auntie Clarissa gave you a painting as a birthday gift. She thought you would love it, but you didn’t really. Now the big frame is hanging in your entrance hall and you regularly think to yourself “I should really get rid of it, but what if she comes around and finds the painting gone?” An obligation of this kind is hard, but not impossible to take care of, though: it’s all about being honest to yourself and auntie Clarissa. If you tell her how you feel about the present, she might be sad, but she’ll probably understand.
You bought a decorative inkwell in Rome, but as soon as you brought it home and put it on your desk, you realised that not only is it completely useless (you do not use a fountain pen), but it is in the way of getting things done. It is a nuisance most of the time, and you only keep it because of the memories it brings occasionally. The question to ask yourself here is: do you really need that inkwell to remind you of the good times?
Does this sound as if you should get rid of everything? Of course not: I would simply like to encourage you to think about the reasons why you are keeping certain objects, why you are having a hard time discarding them. I’m not talking of ‘letting go’ here: letting go refers to things you are emotionally attached to. “Discarding” is about objects that you feel an obligation to keep.
Nothing good ever comes from objects you keep out of obligation! They weigh down your soul and make your feel unhappy. Why in the world would you want to keep them?
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.