I have physiological reactions to clutter and disorganization. Something happens inside of me when I see stacks of papers, unorganized widgets, and collections of God knows what. It has been this way since I was a child. I would clean and organize the house for my mom after school or in the summer. It was a source of great satisfaction. I’d tackle stacks of bills, junk mail, laundry, dishes, you name it. I’d have it organized in no time.
It’s no surprise that I’ve made a career out of helping others downsize, declutter, move, and organize. Its a thrill…and it seems to be a thrill for my clients once they see the final product. That smile and look of satisfaction when my real estate team, Indy Real Estate Experts, opens the door to the their new place is the same reaction I would get from my mom when she came home from work and I had cleaned her house.
Some folks like to re-live memories through their things, which is normal. In the article “Preserving Our Memories in Things,” Anthony Ongaro explains that things, such as ticket stubs or old t-shirts, may remind us of significant events in our lives (a first date or High School graduation) and could be tough to let go of. Finding a way to commemorate these items/events through writing in a journal will preserve the memories and allow us to let go of our things.
Ongaro goes on to explain that we are the same people whether we hang on to items from our past or not. The memories are still there and the experiences are woven into who we are.
Whether you are a “keeper” or a “thrower away-er,” there are several creative ways to store memories for later in life. Have you heard the phrase “use it or lose it”? I inherited some beautiful English China from my great grandmother. I use it regularly. When guests are over, I tell them about the China we are using. That’s the way I preserve memories of going to Florida for Christmas to visit my dad’s family. Others like to journal or scrapbook.
Finding creative ways to preserve our memories will also help make later in life moves easier. Moving into low or no maintenance living can be a daunting task. If we’ve been diligent about preserving our memories in a way that does not involve holding on to every item that reminds us of a great memory, downsizing will be less stressful and even fun!