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.
The Dos and Don’ts of Donations
When we are sorting through our items that can be DONATED we need to be mindful of quality and condition of these objects we are ready to let go of and give. If you would give it to a friend or it’s something you would be proud to display in your home, then it is a worthy item to donate. Assess your items and apply this general rule to your decision-making process: If you wouldn’t purchase this item second-hand based on its condition then RECYCLE it thoughtfully. Do this yourself rather than making it the problem of the charity organisation. Items that are not welcome donations include anything that is dirty, broken, incomplete, ripped or damaged. These need to be disposed of in your household waste bins or taken to specialty depots or drop-off points. Important points to remember: not all stores can tag and test electrical goods; refrain from leaving items outside of charity bins; and anything that is governed by a safety standard cannot be accepted. Giving items to your chosen charities will not only benefit the organisation but assist those in need. This can be an enriching and a profoundly rewarding experience knowing you’re able to help others in need by offering up your excess. The biggest bonus is that whilst you are contributing to this worthwhile cause, you are also reclaiming space in your home and balance to your life.
SORT AND SEPARATE
When we divide something, it is the basic action of separating something into parts. By breaking down our tasks into smaller segments we can feel more in control and less overwhelmed. When we find ourselves overwhelmed we can become distracted and this can cause interference with our project. We want to minimise our distractions whilst we are sorting so we can maintain focus and do exactly what we have planned to do in our scheduled time frame. If we look at the room our project is being conducted in as whole, we want to view the items in this space as separate components. The components are all the objects in this project area. We are now acting on the decisions we have made relating to the belongings we identify with and those we are now ready to let go. Once we know WHAT will be kept, this object can either stay in the room or be relocated to a better-suited place in our house. If we no longer identify with this item we need to address where it should go and what we will do with it. During this process our NOT KEEP items that are similar can be grouped together. As we search and sort through our belongings we will be focusing on the categories of SELL, DONATE and RECYCLE. Collating our possessions using the Division Of Objects Framework will allow for swift sorting, quick decision making and success in achieving the balance over belongings instantaneously!
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.