How wedded are you to your things?

Marriage. Two people. In love. Making vows to each other. Usually. But I have clients who are so attached to their possessions you’d think they’d made lifelong vows to their BELONGINGS. So it got me thinking. If we did make vows to our stuff, how would it work?

To have and to hold…

Whether it’s a trinket or a beloved bag, you need to love it, use it and look after it.

For better and for worse…

Even when you don’t need it, or you’re a bit bored of it or it has seen better days, you should still love it and look after it.

For richer or for poorer…

Who cares what it cost? If you love it then it becomes priceless, regardless of its actual street value… or you fall out of love with it but believe it could be worth something one day – grandma’s wedding china, your son’s Pokemon magazine collection.

Perhaps you have so many possessions which you’ve promised to have and to hold that you move into a bigger home, fill the loft, garage and then rent storage units to keep them all. Can you really hold on to them all and keep loving them all? Can you keep them all safe, healthy, clean and looking good?

In sickness and in health…

Fine, your favourite dress needs mending, the dryer needs fixing and a quick polish of the silver will make it shine again. It’s not hard to look after the things you love. But what about the backlog of stuff? The things in the loft. Back of the wardrobe. Storage unit. Are you really looking after them the way they need? Do you really love them the way you did when you first had them?

Till death do us part…

When someone we love dies the mourning rituals begin. There’s the final goodbye, and grief to be dealt with. We bury our dead, mourn them and let them go. But in the cycle of stuff, when an object dies – the rip is too big to mend, dryer too pricey to repair, bottle of Christmas port drunk and rinsed out, why is it that we so often just keep it rather than part with it?

Hoarding and mental health issues aside, I think it’s a matter of engagement and energy. Once we stop engaging with stuff we can’t be bothered to spend precious energy rehoming or recycling it. So we stuff the stuff and it wastes away. And that costs us money. On storage units, bigger homes, mounting debts, anxiety issues. Until it becomes too overwhelming to even begin to deal with so much dead stuff.

Or you can keep all your things until you die. Then what happens? All that love is gone overnight and it will be a huge job for your loved ones to try and make sense of what to do with it all. Chances are, their grief and feelings of being overwhelmed by the task will mean your things aren’t treated with the care you’d like. Or they are so confused as to what was important to you and what wasn’t, that they too end up keeping every thing.

If we can learn to detach from our once-loved objects and let them go when we have no use for them, maybe putting them back into the world to be reused, rehomed or recycled, we’re showing true love and respect – to our things and ourselves.

If you need practical help or coaching to get your belongings sorted then email sarah@right-size.co.uk or call me on 07792 298595.