It’s done! You are now officially divorced, maybe moved into a new place and trying to move on…. Somehow everything around you just keeps you in the past and is holding you back from moving on. You look around you and realize there are so many THINGS around the house that keep you chained to a past you are looking to move on from. We all tend to hold on to some things we really think and feel we can’t let go of. Sometimes they have an emotional attachment, and at times having to part with it will trigger fear of actually having to bury the past. I remember clearing things out before I moved into a new house and the crazy turmoil of emotions I had to deal with while trying to just throw some things out. It wasn’t easy, but the feeling of starting fresh in a decluttered home opened up a whole new chapter of opportunities.
Decluttering is really about getting rid of things that no longer serve you, or use. It is really about letting go of the past, enjoying the here and now and clearing the path for a brighter future. Decluttering your home will not only make your space feel less cluttered, but it will also help to clear your mind. There will be less stuff to take care of, less running around trying to find things, and more time to spend on what is really important to you.
So why is it that some many people find this such a hard task to accomplish?
Some people have emotional hurdles that they need to overcome before being able to let go and get rid of belongings that tie them down to their past. Some may just be overwhelmed by the magnitude of such a cleanup project and have no clue where to start. Of course most of us will always find the excuse that we don’t have the time or energy to tackle this now. Whatever the reason of your decluttering paralysis, take a few minutes to sit and ask yourself what is it really that is holding me back from moving on, why is this so challenging for me? Then take the time to visualize the end result, breath deep and BELIEVE you can do it.
Here are some paralysis reasons:
- Emotional Attachment.
I am sure this is a big one for everyone. Giving items away that we longer use but have a personal attachment to can be very hard. I must admit that I have even shed some tears and really struggled as I gave away some of my daughters toys, clothing and other things that I held onto, but I can honestly say that I never had any regrets. I had a hard time getting rid of things from my failed marriage as well because it made it so FINAL and official. Looking back however it was just a brief moment of sadness as I let go of the past before being able to embrace the future. When getting rid of things from my failed marriage I felt that it helped me heal and let go of memories I needed to put behind me. That being said every situation is different and you have to know what is right for you so you can move on to your better and brighter future. I’m not saying that you have to give every single item away – you can always keep a few favorite treasures from the past if you have the space. You just need to make sure that you contain it!
The things we own should bring forth feelings of happiness and in some ways improve or be useful in our lives. So why do we hold onto things that make us feel guilty? I have held on to things out of pure guilt, guilt that I spent so much money on it, or guilt that I can’t get rid of something I got as a gift from my sister (emotional guilt). But the reality is that I will never wear/use it and I really don’t like this “thing”, yet I keep it hidden in the back of my closet. Truth is keeping it is not making me happy, nor will you be happy by keeping things out of guilt. SO GET RID OF IT and get RID of the GUILT!! It might be hard to let it go but you will so much lighter once you did.
- The Desire for Perfection
Social media has overtaken our lives in many ways, and managed to seep into our minds when it comes to organization as well. Yes, it’s great to have everything perfectly arranged and organized as seen on “Pinterest” or other social media platforms, but the reality is that it is not always realistic to accomplish perfection. So we push things off and wait for the day when we will have the time to get it done JUST RIGHT. DON’T wait, start NOW and do the best you can with what you have. Be proud and content with what you accomplished today and let go of the perfection image that is unattainable. You can always do more… start with something and start today.
- The Item Represents Something That You Wish You Could Be.
Do you have a whole closet filled with scrapbooking supplies that you have never even touched or a beautiful collection of sports equipment that has been sitting in your garage for years? (Don’t tell anyone but I do still have some scrapbooking boxes which I hope to work on with my daughter). Truth be told, I do love scrapbooking, but will I really ever get around to it? I think I am going to clear out some boxes today J! Maybe in your mind you think that you should want to be that person that has a huge collection of beautiful scrapbooks or devotes hours each day to participating in various sports activities. Be honest with yourself and take some time to figure out what you really want to do with your spare time. Keeping things around that just remind you of what you are not doing will not help you to achieve happiness. In fact, it will most likely have the reverse effect and just makes you feel bad about yourself. It is your life and you need to do what makes you happy!
- I Might Need It/Want It Someday.
Every year when it’s time for spring cleaning, I find myself faced with the same debate. What if I will need it someday? Maybe this year I will have extra time to explore this hobby! Reality check!! Chances are, if you haven’t used it an item in the past year, you will probably never use it again. In fact, once you have gotten rid of it, you will probably never eventhink of it again. And, on the off chance that you do need that kitchen gadget that has been sitting at the back of your kitchen cupboard for the past three years, you could always borrow one from someone else that actually uses one on a more regular basis.
- I Am Just Waiting Until…
This one is very similar to the I Might Need It but can be even more negative. You know, your favorite black dress from when you were twenty that would fit perfectly if you could just lose those 20 lbs. Or those skis that are sitting in the garage just until you suddenly have more time to use them. or even worse anything that you have and are not using but waiting for WHEN you will be in a new relationship. These items drag you down and remind you of what you don’t have right now. Get rid of them and don’t hold onto somedays!! And if you do happen to lose those twenty pounds, you really deserve to go on a little shopping spree anyways!
- I Am Just Waiting Until…
This one is even worse than the previous waiting until… DO NOT hold on to items from your previous failed marriage or relationship for a new one. I see many people recycle gifts or furniture or other things in a new committed relationship. Chances are that these items hold negative emotions and memories you really do not want to hold onto. I know it’s expensive to replace certain things, especially furniture, but when you are finally moving on and into a new relationship, get rid of stuff that connects you to your previous failed relationship. They just hold too much emotional baggage, nothing you want to drag with you for the rest of your life.
- Lack of Time and Energy
We all have busy hectic lives, and decluttering usually doesn’t take priority. But the truth is that starting your decluttering process is more about emotionally committing to the process rather than finding the time. Whether you choose to spend an hour once per week decluttering or do 15-20 minutes per day, it doesn’t really matter. Because any time that you devote to the process moves you one step closer to getting things done. Set a realistic goal for what you can fit into your lifestyle and commit to it. Remember that getting things organized will actually free up more time in the long run because you will not be wasting time taking care of things that you do not use or looking for things that are buried in the clutter!
Are you ready to start letting go of some “things” from your failed relationships? Are you ready to let yourself move on and heal?
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