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We had a family effort to “clean house” at my ex’s place last year.  Ever since then, I have been looking at everything in my small apartment in a new light.

It isn’t just our family, but many others who have decided “if you haven’t used it in five years, throw it.”  Or, if you can’t play it (VHS tape, cassette tape, 8-tracks, etc.) throw it.

Unchain3But it is so hard.  Their is NO WAY I am going to throw away family memories.  No flippin’ way.

That leaves MY personal stuff.  You know, memories from BEFORE we formed a family.  In my mind, I imagine my progeny going through my sacred stuff from high school and/or college and saying to each other, “What the heck do we do with this matchbook from Vegas?  Why did Dad even keep it in the first place?”

I won’t be around to tell them that was from a great debate trip I went on in college when I won most of my competitions!  Sigh.

Here are bits and pieces from an article in the paper that outlines the dilemma.

Overwhelmed by stuff? Get after that mess

UnchainMyHeartSacramento Bee – January 1, 2016

Despite our best efforts and intentions, we continue to pile up more stuff than space to hold it. . . . .

. . . . . “Get organized” annually ranks among the nation’s most popular resolutions (right behind “lose weight”). More products exist today than ever before to help us reach that goal.

. . . . .  “It’s overwhelming,” said Sacramento professional organizer Gwynnae Byrd. “That’s the phrase I hear over and over again. And it can be overwhelming. You look at all that stuff and don’t know where to start.”

“When Mom passed, she was kind of a pack rat, and it was left to me to sort it all out. I thought, ‘If only there was someone to help me!’ It’s a very common dilemma. The best gift you can give your children is to have your affairs in order, not only legally but your stuff.

. . . . . “There is no one right way to organize or perfect storage system for every person. You pick a spot and start. It’s just getting over that initial hump. Do a little at a time. If you start to see results, you stay motivated. It’s like losing 10 pounds; it doesn’t disappear overnight. Neither does the clutter. But you’ve got to start somewhere.”The biggest roadblocks come from “deferred decisions,” Byrd said. “You need to make decisions on whether to keep something. Often, people can’t decide, so they just keep it. I’ve had clients pick things up while sorting stuff and put it right back down again in another pile.

. . . . .  We have to constantly remind ourselves, ‘This object is not my mother, it’s not my grandmother – it’s just stuff!’ We have to give ourselves permission to let go.

. . . .  “Stuff can get in the way of our relationships and responsibilities,” Schofield said. “You have to be brutal with yourself. We use the ‘delete’ key all the time on our electronic devices. Use it with stuff, too.”

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