Creating order out of chaos

Creating order out of chaos

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In the last 2 years, I’ve hired four skips and I’ve gone through everything I own, and most of it has gone either in the skip to be recycled, or my local Barnados Donation Centre (gift aid cards – what a genius idea!). I’ve attempted to create a sense of order in my life, not chaos.

On the face of it, this may seem rather brutal, but I really believe it has helped with my mental health. I’ve got rid of old hobbies, books, CDs, art, clothes, furniture, paperwork (especially unpaid bills), and keep-sakes. I’ve let go, it’s given me space in my life both physically and mentally.  I’m able to welcome the new in. Not that I’m replacing my crap, but when I buy something new, I’m focused on buying for it to last, and I’m more thoughtful about the purchase.  Like – “do I really need this power-duster pro 2000?” – Get rid!

I discovered Marie Kondo before NetFlix did, and I was hooked when she wrote “tidying” and “mental health” in the same sentence. I was all in. So the Great Purge began.

Hardest to let go of was stuff my mum owned, or stuff I’d inherited from grand parents. Letting my grandads bookcase go was a really tough. But I thanked it, and let it go. And you know what – I feel fine about it. It was a bookcase. My grandad is in my heart for as long as I walk this earth. I’ll plant a rose or two in my garden and tend to it – that’s how I’ll remember him. Not through an Encyclopaedia Britannica.

I hope the things will be useful to someone else.  For me – they held me back, and stopped me from being at ease and comfortable in my own skin.  Before this process, I honestly did not think, or believe, that material possessions had such an effect on our psychological well-being.

I genuinely believe in decluttering the mind requires a laser focused approach to decluttering your stuff – that very process of agonising over whether to bin or keep is therapy in itself. If it’s hard then good – it’s meant to be.

After my mums and grand-parents stuff – the next hardest was all my CDs and books. They all went except for my cook books – purely because I like a physical book for cooking. I have no need for an in-efficient storage medium (the book) for any other purpose. Sorry. But that’s how I feel and I’m sticking to it. My e-reader can carry an entire library on it.

But those things I kept – genuinely – I love them. The records, the odd CD, the 4ft wooden bear.  It’s not like I’m living in a house with only floorboards to stroke.  I do have things.  They’re just important now.

Take a look at the things you own, are they making you happy? Or are they tying you to a previous version of yourself? Are they helping you? If not, maybe you need to let go too.

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