Rule #1

Photo by j_rodenhouse

Thankfully, I am still operating under a cloak of anonymity.

Otherwise, I would have to clean up rotten tomatoes after what I want to talk about today. I would like to discuss Rule #1 in operating a clutter-free home environment. And I warn you, it is not fun.

In short, we must separate our feelings from our stuff.

The number one reason we hold on to things that are past-date/out of style/unusable/unattractive is because we have attached a memory or a feeling to the object that we believe we are throwing away if we discard the item.

Throwing away the box our engagement ring came in is not throwing out our memories of that day. Tossing the coloring pages of our now-grown children is not eliminating our feelings for our offspring. Throwing away the seventh grade bug project…well…that just needs to be done.

But for reasons known only to Freud, it’s easier said than done.

I once heard a really great tip from a lady whose home is void of “emotional clutter.” She suggested that, in lieu of filling the house with these emotionally-charged items that will gather dust and take up space, we snap a photo of the person we love holding the object in question. Then, we insert the picture into an album and toss the thing we really don’t need.

With this strategy, we win on two fronts. We’ve eliminated something we aren’t using. And we have another photo of the person we cherish.

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