By clearing space so you can surround yourself with happiness.
If you’re anything like me, 2020 was a year of decluttering. It was likely because we were in lockdown and actually a) had the time or b) realized that you needed more space.
We were a little bit of both. We needed to make enough space to have room for two parents and two kids to do work, play, and just have fun. On top of all that, typically the new year brings on a feeling of newness, that prompts many to do a little extra space clearing. Clearing out the old and bringing in the new.
For some, this process is easy. The minimalists among us have this down, and popping things in the bin comes naturally. For me–this is hard. I am deeply sentimental about things, feel morally responsible for gifts, and on a subconscious level–have a sense of lack and fear that we won’t be able to replace those items in the future.
What I have found very helpful is to actually flip my mindset regarding the why we are clearing the space. To create space for something I LOVE or NEED. We deserve to be surrounded by things that make us happy–not things that fill us with a sense of obligation, remind us how we made a mistake in buying it in the first place, or of people or places that bring us down.
One thing I removed recently was actually a photo of my wedding day. Although I am happily married, when that particular photo was taken, I was extremely frustrated with my husband. It was hot, I was newly pregnant–not an ounce of liquor in me, and was desperate to get the wedding photos done so I could go back to the venue, take my heels off and drink some water. But, my husband kept insisting that we stop for a coffee. So, his best man bought him one. Seems harmless–but that just meant that every photo going forward from that moment had to be taken two or three times over, because there was a COFFEE CUP IN THEM!!! Even now, I get fired up thinking about it. It is not a nice memory, even if the photos turned out nice (I am a professional after all) ;). So to avoid reliving that moment of my life over and over again, I simply removed the photo. Just because we are happily married doesn’t mean we have to display our wedding photos. Instead, I prefer to display our engagement photos–which bring up much fonder memories.
Below are a few common reasons why we hang on to things, and a way to flip your mindset so that you jumpstart your decluttering, and jumpstart your new year.
- “This might come in handy one day”: This is me–a lot! Because I craft, and love to DIY, I feel as though anything can be made useful. But, if you haven’t used it over the course of the year–past all the seasons, you likely won’t be using it. Let it go. Should the opportunity come around where you need that item–It can be easily replaced.
- “I paid good money for this”: Yes, but since you haven’t used it in a long time, it actually weighs on you every time you look at it, and makes you feel subconsciously like a failure. Just let the item go to a donation centre, where someone who really needs this item will use it happily. Think of it as you bringing this person a fantastic present.
- “It’s practically new”: That’s probably because it hasn’t been used nearly as much as you thought it would be. Sell it, donate it, give it away to someone who you think will use it. That item can help someone else out–why selfishly hang on to it to collect dust?
- “It was a gift”: This can be hard, especially if the item was given by someone who has since passed on. But as the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts. So giving the item away does not diminish the reason why it was given to you in the first place–to make you happy. If the item doesn’t give you joy every time you look at it–then the person who gave it to you wouldn’t want you to hang onto it out of obligation.
- “It’s a souvenir”: Sure, if it was from one of your favourite trips ever, and whenever you see this item it reminds you of those good times and maybe a story of how you got it–keep it. But if the photos on your cloud server or photo album do the same thing–you can definitely let it go. Memories are internal, you don’t need an external item to remind you of good times.
Once you’ve had the chance to revisit these items, you’ll see how much weight you were carrying around that just didn’t serve you. You now open yourself up to new, fresh ideas, and to manifesting the happiness that you deserve.