What exactly are toxins in your home. There are the obvious toxins that affect you physically like chemicals, bad air, bad food, and dirt. Those are easy to get rid of and obvious. (There will be a blog post in the future about getting rid of those toxins.) But what are the other toxins that are helping create an unhealthy, unhappy life?
The huge toxin in my home was stuff. Stuff you couldn’t get rid of because it belonged to someone who passed on. Stuff that was a gift and you don’t want to hurt the gift giver’s feelings. Stuff that you don’t love but cost money. Cleaning stuff, ignoring stuff, organizing stuff, finding a place to put stuff, and protecting stuff took a lot of time and energy. I was constantly looking at stuff I didn’t like. It wasn’t my style. I didn’t even like the majority of it. But I couldn’t get rid of it because it would hurt someone’s feelings.
After many years of therapy, self improvement seminars, and reading blogs like mine I had a revelation. It is just stuff! Stuff is not the person that passed away. Stuff is not the gift giver. Stuff is not a representation of how much money you have. It was very freeing.
I began to slowly get rid of stuff by selling on Ebay, having yard sales, gifting to others, donating to charities and thrift shops, and throwing away the unusable. I only did this with my stuff. My family still has their stuff and their space to clutter up. My space, and the majority of the house, only has the things I need and love. It isn’t a minimalist home at all but it is definitely not a hoarder looking home anymore. It is peaceful and useful and easy maintenance.
But what about the stuff from the people that passed on you ask? How can you get rid of their stuff? That is like admitting they are gone! Their stuff is not them. They are not stuff. They are physically gone but they are not gone in memory or love. Keep the pictures of them. Keep a few items that have happy memories of them. The desk I use daily was my sister’s. I have a cedar box with my brother’s initials that I keep my jewelry in. I have tons of pictures of our life together.
“I can’t get rid of a gift. They spent so much time picking it out for me. It will hurt their feelings”. One of the ways I get around this is I ask for experiences or services instead of stuff. For my birthday last year I asked my husband to take me on a motorcycle ride to Out of Africa in Camp Verde AZ. Entry fee is free during your birthday month. For Christmas I asked my daughter to prep a months worth of meals for the freezer for me. This eliminated clutter and provided things I really wanted/needed.
“But it cost so much” Do you love it? If the answer is no then sell it. You might not make a profit but at least you won’t have to agonize over it any more. Last year I lost my mind and agreed to make an impulse purchase of a dual sport motorcycle for myself. I don’t know how to ride and I am a control freak and have personal safety issues. I am a klutz, have no balance and I am not strong. The bike is really sexy though and the idea of riding my own bike was exhilarating. Reality check is that I failed the riding portion of the class to get a license. Riding makes me so nervous that I crash. I haven’t gotten out of the parking lot and over 10 miles an hour. It has a total of 15 miles on it. 10 of those miles were from my husband riding it to the parking lot. The motorcycle is now for sale and has been for a few months. I will loose about $2,500.00 but when it is gone I won’t feel guilty anymore and I will not have a reminder of the huge mistake I made. I will feel free.
Get rid of the stuff that is weighing you down. Lighten up your personal space and only include the things that really appeal to you or mean something to you. If someones feelings get hurt that is on them. You do what you need to do for you to have a more organized and happy life.