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Indecision - cause of the no-go zone in your home? - 30th June 2020
It starts small. You can't decide if you need something or not. You put it to one side. You do that again with a few more things. Before too long you have filled a small room.
If you have a stash of 'random stuff' in either your garage, loft or spare room, you are far from unusual. I think it's pretty common. I hasten to add, I have not been 100% immune myself.
You might occasionally curse the lack of space and chaotic muddle, but nothing is done. Items that end up stored in this way represent a whole lot of decisions not yet made. Your heap of stuff represents the "don't know" aspect of decluttering. Your dedicated storage area is like some kind of holding bay which waits for you to become decisive and to take action.
Move from indecision to decision
It's weird. At some level you have acknowledged that you no longer need this stuff. That's how it ends up in the loft or wherever. Otherwise this random assortment of items would have remained in their original positions. You are already living without it! The decision is only partly made though. For decluttering to take place you must be 100% decided that a particular item can permanently leave your home. If you are only at 85% sure, then you are bound to hang on to it.
Many people will tell you that you must develop an iron will, some gumption, determination, or whatever. They will insist that once the stuff has gone you will feel better. That's a big leap of faith to take. If you risk it, then you might end up with feelings of grief and even guilt.
Rather than taking popular advice, gritting your teeth, and acting against your intuition I would suggest you adopt a holistic approach. In this version, the passage from indecision to decision is usually a series of small steps and shifts in perspective. The intellect might want to know, "why have I kept this?" and that's not a bad starting point. I must emphasise that this is NOT an invitation to berate or judge your former choices. Far from it.
As usual though, the real answer is rarely the one produced by the intellect. The truth lies somewhere deeply buried inside you. You might respond, "because it belonged to my grandmother". This could be valid or invalid but it's not the whole truth. If you kept everything your grandmother owned that would be excessive. What makes this thing so special? Is it really as special as you thought it was when you stashed it away?
What might have been emotionally valuable 3 years ago might be in quite a different category today. Don't get stuck in your historic decisions. How do you feel about this stuff right now? That's what matters.
Choice or obligation?
Another perspective to consider with this stuff is, do you really want it? Or is it that you can't get rid of it? The two have quite different foundations. If you genuinely want to keep something that's fine. If on the other hand you "can't" part from it that does require some gentle self-enquiry. What exactly is going on?
If you want to get to the bottom of this situation and be free from stuff that feels like a millstone around your neck then you do need to be open to some self-enquiry and feeling those buried emotions. Underneath every feeling you have held in is the truth about your stuff. When you hit on it, you will know exactly what you need to do and you will do it with relative ease. So much so that you will find yourself pleasantly surprised, euphoric even.
If you would like to know more about how you can work with me, please get in touch. My specialism is holistic decluttering and I can help you find your way through the maze of conflicting feelings you have about your clutter.
Keywords: loft, garage, indecision, emotions