Do you feel stuck and want to move forward, yet you find it difficult to let go?
“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” – Unknown
On my early morning walks, I notice the trees turning their leaves to the most beautiful colours. Some had shed most of their leaves, in order to conserve energy during the winter months.
Subsequently I was wondering why so many of us find it so challenging letting go of things that no longer serve any purpose. Through my experience working and decluttering with clients, clearing any item impacts them immensely, in the long run bringing them joy in knowing that someone else will benefit from them.
How long will it take?
Some things have served you well in the past, but instead of letting them go, you still keep them around. Our life changes, but unlike the trees, we hang on to stuff from our past as we transition. Are you feeling bogged down and even fearful of what will happen if you let go? Take heart; even the tree gradually drops its leaves over time as part of the natural cycle to survive the harsh winter climate.
What is holding you back from living the life you want to live? What are there things that drain your energy? Ask yourself, “Are they still relevant in your here and now?”
In order to live a better life, be the tree that gets rid of redundant things. It took time for you to accumulate those possessions, and it will take time to let them go. Start small as it is a complicated process; work on one category, one drawer, one shelf, one file or folder to get it done and believe that by letting go, you’re creating space for something new and better in your life.
What can you let go?
I’m no therapist and will focus mainly on the physical deadwood you can release.
- Belongings – Books, magazines, recipes, clippings, clothing, paper piles and overstuffed closets. If you release any of these physical items, you will be able to see what you’ve got, making it easier accessible and will give you space for something new.
- Sentimental Attachments – these items are essential to you because of where or from whom you got them or coming from a particular stage in your life that you feel is worth remembering. That’s why you find it difficult to let go causing lots of clutter. Remember that you carry the memories inside you. No one can ever take those away, even if you get rid of the item. If it is hard to let go, use them, love them or display them if they give you so much joy!
- Old and redundant products – Keep only the ones you use and let go of the rest. Donate unused items to women’s shelters. Now you’ll be able to see what you own, preventing double or unnecessary purchases and saving you money.
- Computer files and folders – Deleting files and folders that you no longer use as you come across them; will make you feel more organised, give you more space on your computer, making it work faster.
- Email – Use your rules feature to organise the emails entering your mailbox. Delete emails as you have actioned them. Unsubscribe from no longer relevant subscriptions or don’t get time to read.
- Have you lost the passion for some hobbies you used to love? You love to do cross-stitch, but your eyesight has deteriorated, and you can no longer do such delicate embroidery. Cease the hobby. Give the project and all the material away. Someone else might enjoy it, opening new opportunities for you.
Bad habits to get rid of
- Bad habits are the most challenging clutter to heave and steal hours of our day. They are unconscious behaviour that produces schedule clutter.
- We all perceive perfectionism as a good trait, yet it is one of the biggest challenges in organising. If you wait for the right time to get something done perfectly or for the perfect solution, you’ll never get it done. Allow yourself to be less than perfect or to tell yourself. “That is good enough!”
- Procrastination is a close runner up, as we often put off things that we don’t feel like doing instead of just getting on with it. We then beat ourselves up afterwards for not getting things done. Do it as soon as the time presents itself instead of putting it on the backburner. It will boost your self-confidence to get it done sooner rather than later.
- Mindless escapes like TV, internet games, and social media – steal hours of our day. You don’t need to work all the time but be aware of how you use your time.
- Commitments & Responsibilities – do you do something because you want to or feel obligated to do so? Let go of responsibility, unfinished projects, to-do’s, unfulfilled, burdensome commitments, and cumbersome roles. It will give you time to do what you love and never find the time.
- Let go of anything that de-energises you, bogs you down, or makes you feel bad about yourself.
Live the life that you deserve
What impact will it have on your life if you let go of these items draining your energy?
Letting go becomes easier with practise, thus creating a cascading effect. Once you have cleared one area in your life you’ll feel motivated to do more. You will feel energised and have a new sense of hope. Becoming unstuck, gives you incredible lightness creating a rich, more satisfying life.
I wish you the courage to start your journey to create a new life for yourself. Letting go of the things holding you back, the leaves that have served their purpose.