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Why are you keeping that? You don't even like it! - 5th April 2023
Most clients know what clutter they have, and they want my help to clear it. Having said that, a lot of people are harbouring things they don't actually like, without even realising. Surely, there can be no better reason for decluttering something, than the fact that you simply don't like it?
Why would anyone keep stuff they don't like?
First and foremost there must be an element of obligation at some level. A feeling that if this thing was decluttered there would be a lot of guilt and self-judgement.
Next we have to ask, why would anyone feel obligated to keep something they didn't like?
Well, it likely comes about because people attach feelings to possessions. So, for example, you might feel you can't declutter anything that was given to you by close family (especially your mother), or that was given by a special friend, even. If the person who gave you the thing has subsequently died, that adds another potential layer of emotion, and more guilt. Don't forget, we are talking about things that you really don't like. You might consider them ugly, or in bad taste, or not fit for purpose. But still you hang on.
Obligation - not a nice word?
It can feel like there is a ton weight of family expectation when you inherit old photos and memorabilia. What about the next generation? Well, maybe that's a point. But it doesn't mean you have to keep ALL of it. Imagine if everyone kept all the photos they inherited and then passed them on as well as adding their own photos to the pile.
Recently I've been hearing about mothers who have saved keepsakes from their children's early years and then presented them back to the adult child many years later. The sense is that this is a wondrous gift to receive. But is it really? Do you really want your mother to more or less instruct you as to how you must remember your own childhood? Memory boxes are fine if they are your memories. I'm not so sure if you fill one on behalf of a child. Wouldn't it be better to rear a child who lived in the moment and was not tied to his or her past? He or she will no doubt choose to keep maybe a special toy or book, perhaps, and that's fine. It's their choice.
Your beliefs hold your clutter in place
Finally, consider what beliefs you have around that item you really don't like. Imagine taking it to a charity shop, or putting it in with your household waste. What is the thought that pops up when you imagine that scenario?
"I shouldn't do this!" Perhaps?
If so, don't let it stop you in your tracks just yet. Ask yourself, "why should I not do this?"
This is what you really need to know! Maybe there's a belief that if you do this thing, then you are a bad person? It could be anything - but whatever it is, it is holding you back. The more inquisitive you are about what lies in your subconscious, the more chance you have of making decisions that you are happy with in the present moment.
If you would like support with this process, do please get in touch and ask about my one to one coaching sessions.