Clutter is a universal problem in our wealthy countries. Whether it’s a child with too many toys, a middle aged couple working full time and overly busy buying more than they use or a senior with lots of time on their hands yet closets full of items not needed. Clutter has been proven to create stress unnecessarily in our lives. We live with so much choice yet it is overwhelming. Walk down the shampoo isle in the store and notice how you feel trying to pick one.
Seniors who lived in large homes with large families usually have decades of items that have been accumulated and now have a hard time to downsize because they feel a sense of loss. This is sad because when we eliminate the unneeded from our lives we free our minds to focus on what’s important and that is relationships and well being. Spending time wishing things were different and keeping items for “someday” actually holds us back and ties us down. We humans make our lives more difficult than we should. And when we pass on if we haven’t cleaned up our stuff we leave that burden for the ones we left behind. My dad died over 2 years ago and I spent hours going through years of old receipts and newspapers clippings. I was scared to throw out something important but it was my dad who should have worked through his stuff because the one owning it is in control of it.
Eliminating clutter through out your life is best because it becomes a way of life as we are always changing and growing. Each stage of our lives will be enhanced as we take control of our “stuff” and move things out that no longer serve us. In a recent visit with a client who was packing to move to a smaller home I opened a large box of baby clothes. Baby clothes that were used on her child who was now 30 years old. My client confessed that the clothing was kept to give to her daughter one day if she was to have a little girl. As her daughter entered the room I asked her how she felt about the box of clothes. The daughter said she did not want them and wasn’t even sure if she would have a child. My client was holding onto items that brought her joy at one time but now brings her pain as she was holding onto the idea that she wanted her daughter to have a child. Learning to love and cherish moments of joy in our lives and move on is important to our current well being. Each day has blessings and it is up to each of us to be open to the new blessings and be content with the old blessings. Letting go of our expectations for our children is also good for us. While working with my client she choose to keep one beautiful dress and put that in a keep sake box that was meaningful and cherished but not overflowing.
We are all on a path forward and embracing each day with openness and gratitude is the gift of the present. What serves us today may not serve us tomorrow and knowing when to let go is a gift to yourself and your loved ones. Knowing what you have and finding it easily can not be bought. There is a peace of mind in surrounding yourself with what’s needed and loved and embracing change when it’s needed.
On Saturday, January 28th join Jackie Lysak of Home Made Perfect to discuss Decluttering and Letting Go at the Invermere Seniors Hall -1309 14th ST. Invermere, BC at 2pm. Admission by donation to cover hall rental. Jackie can be reached at 250-688-4219 if you have questions on how to move forward and eliminate clutter.