Live Better With Our Belongings
Change is challenging. Nevertheless, the benefits you will experience when you ‘Rightsize your life’ will be worth it. When we discard objects from our past we are saying ‘yes’ to the future. French writer Simone de Beauvoir said, ‘Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.’ When we live a little lighter we feel our stress and anxiety melt away as we abandon our excess. Living better with our belongings means we can live a much more intended and contented life with less. Be brave and let go of your past self, your past ideas and embrace life. When we know our PLACE in the world this is reflected by the impression our homes give. Now our projects are complete using The Rightsize Approach to discard, sort and divide our excess, our Home Routines will be our next focus. Reflecting on who we are, what we deserve to own and what our home conveys about us will increase our health, our happiness and continue the balance we have now created for ourselves.
You Got This
When we set sail towards any new horizon it is important to design our intentions to align with our needs and our wants. Now we know WHY, HOW and WHAT will be accomplished during our project, next we will need a set of dependable strategies. This will add another layer of success to how we sort and divide our belongings. The last heading in the Division of Objects framework is the word THINK. This word is double sided in its meaning within the confines of The Rightsize Approach. THINK is to direct our minds to actively create connections between ideas or objects. We firstly can THINK about which strategy to use in our chosen project or as a standalone option for Rightsizing our lives. I have included the twelve To Keep or Not To Keep accountability strategies that have provided and benefited my clients with successful outcomes. These each follow the mantra of the Rightsize Process of breaking down big tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks that will assist us to achieve the best results. Secondly, THINK is a category for items to reside in for a short while, until we can best decide their fate. The THINK was only added once I had begun my own journey in assisting tenants in the social housing sector.
One of the very first clients I had the privilege to work with showed me that a neutral segment was a necessity for this framework to be complete. Together we created THINK as a small platform of breathing space for some of her belongings to rest in whilst we were sorting her KEEP items from her DONATE items. Rightsizing requires many facets of our minds to be working all at once. During this time our emotions will be heightened, our memories will be triggered and we will be in constant state of decision making. Following and using the strategies in this chapter will assist your process and take the guesswork out of what strategies actually work. Using the Five-Minute Meditation for Rightsizing will allow you to become centred as you begin your projects. You can trust that these mini road maps will provide you and/or your project with the guidance you need to start, finish and complete your Rightsize journey.
To Recycle Or Not To Recycle
We all know we should RECYCLE; it is the smartest thing we can all do as individuals to increase the health of our planet. When we RECYCLE our household waste properly we are helping to save our planet’s precious resources. The fundamental benefits of our recycling choices can impact on pollution, landfill, wildlife and our energy consumption. When raw materials are made the way in which they are collected and processed it contributes to both air and water pollution. When we RECYCLE these materials, such as paper, plastics and metals, we are assisting to decrease the process of the production of new raw materials. This reduction reduces the amount of pollution that is produced to make these materials, thus reducing the overall amount of pollution that impacts upon the environment.
By recycling and reusing items that would otherwise end up in landfill, we are able to reduce the amount of items that end up in these spaces. Raw materials that are extracted from the environment destroy and threaten the habitats of many species. By recycling these we can help to assist our native wildlife in keeping their homes. We can also lower the energy used to extract, refine and transport many of the raw materials used for producing our everyday items, products and equipment. Recycling your plastic can help to counteract the impact the production this material has on our planet. In the production of new plastics the raw materials that are used are oil and coal. These two are the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases that are responsible for our Earth’s climate changes. Plastic is found in our waterways; around eight million tonnes is estimated to be floating around, which is responsible for the death of over one million sea creatures every year. The energy we can save from recycling just one plastic bottle is enough to power your computer for twenty-five minutes!
Today, paper is still the world’s most commonly used consumer product. In our digital world we are striving to become paperless in our homes and at workplaces, we are still consuming around two hundred and thirty kilograms per person per year in unrecycled paper. Here in Australia, we are world leaders in our paper recycling with around eighty-seven percent of all our cardboard and paper products being recycled. According to the website of Waster.com.au recycling one tonne of paper saves thirteen trees, two and half barrels of oil, four thousand one hundred kilowatts of electricity, four square metres of landfill and almost thirty-two thousand litres of water. With statistics like these how can we afford to not RECYCLE our paper and cardboard products? Thinking sustainably and introducing ourselves to mindful acquisition of the consumer goods sold with excess packaging will benefit our ethical responsibility, allowing us to do our bit in the conservation of our planet’s valuable resources.
Arthur M. Schlesinger said, ‘Science and technology revolutionise our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.’ Our memories are stored in our minds and we are able to take them with us everywhere we go. They are a part of our identity and often account for a large part of who we are. Different types of our memories are stored in different parts of our brains. We have memories that are about events that have taken place in our lives and these are known as ‘episodic memories’. We also have ‘semantic’ memories that include facts and broad-spectrum information. We also store ‘implicit’ memories that are linked to movement or how our muscles remember how to operate a television remote or how to knit a scarf. We also have long-term and short-term memories; these assist us to navigate the past and present respectively. Once we have affixed a tangible physical artefact to a memory this object becomes a symbolic reminder of the memory we have attached to it. This object ‘becomes’ the memory. The feelings associated with it are what we need to identify before we are ready to let go of this item from our lives.
When we know WHY we feel a certain way about an object we will be able to assign it an Object Classification. This classification will be critical in understanding our own relationship to this object. If this is an object we identify ourselves with, we must give it space to live with us. Or we might well be ready to positively let go of this object but still retain the memory that we associate to it. By choosing to let it go we will create a new memory of this object in our minds. For example, when letting go of some of your good quality ‘work’ clothes, visualise the value the new owner may receive from your donation, such as obtaining employment because your no-longer-needed jacket allowed them to look the part for the job. Another example I like to use with my clients is donating good-quality items that have packaging such as crystal vases, candlesticks and sliver photo frames as they may be of great value to someone who needs to purchase a high-end item without the retail price tag. Our tangible objects serve us as physical reminders of these memories that we have attached to them. Ultimately, YOU are your memories.
Find Your Why
Finding your WHY is important for you to hook your motivation and ignite your intention to start your Rightsizing journey. ‘All knowledge meets an end at the question … Why?’, said American author and philosopher Criss Jami. If we know WHY we are doing something this will allow us to fully emerge ourselves in all we do. Drilling down through our WHYs will give us a clear, defined, specific outcome, which allows you to discover what your emotional outcome is. If we know what is in our hearts of hearts, or what our true emotional needs are, we will be able to provide ourselves with a new template to live our lives through. We will achieve our vision to live better with our belongings by identifying the emotional benefits we will experience from changing our physical space. Knowing your WHY is HOW we are successful but also it assists us in WHAT we maintain as lasting successful outcomes.
If we think back to our kitchen example, the why behind this could pathway like this:
Why am I starting in my kitchen? > I am choosing to start in my kitchen because I am frustrated as it is so untidy. Why is this frustrating? > Because I am unable to find items instantly. Why is it frustrating when you cannot find things? > Because I need to rebuy items I cannot locate. Why is this a problem? > It costs me extra money. Why would rightsizing solve this for you? > It will allow me to see all my utensils and I could avoid spending extra dollars on repurchasing. Why will this be beneficial to you? > Because I will have more time and money. Why is this important? > Because I will now be able spend both in other areas of my life. Why will this be valuable to you? > Because I will be happier as my quality of life will have improved.
This shows how asking ourselves WHY until we have reached our emotional outcome will allow us to verbalise our specific of our own WHY for our project.