Here’s a typical exchange I might have with my clients when working with them to declutter and streamline their stuff and their lives:
Me: Oh look, here in the back, there’s this red lacquered picture frame (empty) with “DIVA” emblazoned in rhinestones along the bottom!
Them: Oh, THAT’S where that went!
Me: Ok, so do you like it? Can you see yourself using it?
Them: [laugh] No way, I hate it! But it was a gift from my [sister/mother-in-law/husband/college roommate/son] so I can’t get rid of it! It’s sentimental.
Ever thought that yourself? There’s this misguided belief out there that if someone made it or gave it to you, you have to keep it. It’s sentimental, right? In reality, it’s simply not practical –and doesn’t help you to live the life you want to live- being surrounded by all this clutter.
Here’s a tip to help you look at these situations with more clarity:
When someone gives something to you, what really matters is the intention, the gesture, the sentiment, the thought. The “thing” isn’t what matters at all. The fact that they thought about you and cared enough to make or give something to you….that’s what has the real meaning.
People who adopt this belief lead much happier lives. They can remember and cherish the feeling of when they received something, be it a card or gift, and then without guilt or regret they can part with the item if it isn’t serving them or their life.
Let’s face it, the giver might have very different tastes that you. Or you might already have 4 of the items, now what are you realistically going to do with 5 of them? Or, simply you just don’t like or need or want it. That’s OK!
As William Morris once said:
So consider donating all those unused gifts that aren’t seeing the light of day, and have someone else actually use and adore them! As you say goodbye to them, take a quick moment to remember and appreciate the thought, gesture, intention and sentiment from the giver.
For more information on Simplify with Eileen and how I can simplify your life, please check out www.simplifywitheileen.com or call 781.589.5444 today!