I am obsessed with helping clients create memories when they are going through a major downsizing process. Often we take photos of items that are being gifted or donated to charities. We scan old negatives and photos to share among family members, or to use in a digital photo frame in the new residence. Some keepsakes trigger such evocative, happy memories that these are ‘no-brainers’ to keep and display. So often the saddest of all farewells is usually in the garden. Sigh, how do you let go of living plants? I decided: not without a fight! If you think you can’t take it with you, then here’s a great solution…
If you’re living with an overwhelming number of sentimental treasures that are cluttering up your home and nagging at your relationships, it is time to get it sorted. However, this can be very difficult to focus on. If you’re finding it hard to decide what to keep and what to let go of, here’s my advice: have the conversation.
Enough’s enough. All the signs are telling you that you NEED to declutter and you’d love to make a start. The problem is, it’s not all ‘clutter’. Yours is a mixture of things that you don’t need and things that you do. In amongst it are a great many treasures and the only person who knows which of them are truly important to you is YOU.
People often fear that ‘decluttering’ will mean getting rid of stuff that they love. They know they have permission to hold on to obvious heirlooms like family jewellery, however mostly it’s the other things – the belongings with no obvious financial value but huge sentimental importance – that they feel under pressure to let go.
Some times as a Belongings Coach, just a couple of emails suffice to put my clients on the right track.
Here is a recent email thread, reprinted with kind permission under a different name. Read more
So, I’m a Professional Declutterer, but it’s not what I do on the job. Regardless of text-book definitions, clutter is a word that can reduce peoples’ belonging to junk. Most of my clients say I am transforming their lives, one possession at a time. I insist that all I am here to do is help them make decisions about their belongings. If this #belongingscoach gives clients a decluttering afterglow them I am all the happier for it.
Overall my clients come to me for help during significant life change: downsizing from the family home, surviving divorce, illness or bereavement, empty nesting or introducing themselves to blended family realities. In all situations, there is many years’ accumulation of belongings. And that suddenly becomes stuff, or ‘clutter’, that needs sorting out. See above!
A query in the New Year left me flummoxed. The email asked what my charges were for a “blitz clean” of her home. Clarification came in “I want it all clean and tidy”. So as a declutterer, I advised that I could help her with the tidy bit and would signpost her to regular cleaning support but she was confused. She asked if I was going to leave her in a mess after just doing the tidy bit. Now I was confused! Read more
Marie Kondo instructs us to keep only those things which spark joy. While we all have rooms of stuff to test this out with, let’s focus on the outcome: the extraordinary joy and sense of peace in being surrounded by those joyful things – and absolutely nothing else. It is a very empowering place to be. Read more