Today I got the best email from a woman I've never met. She reached out to me a few years ago via email asking for help but being out of state, all I could do was refer her to one of my colleagues in her area. It was a godsend to her and she has continued to stay in touch with me through my blog, email and she is an avid listener of The Big O podcast that I do regularly with Vicky and Jen. Last year her mother passed, which was very difficult for her and through that hardship, she has managed to stay on track and remember that the uncluttering process she started is for her own betterment. I am so very proud of her! This is the note she sent to me, Vicky and Jen and I wanted to share it with you as an illustration of how powerful uncluttering and organizing can be. (email used with her permission)
I heard your "shout out" to me in your last Big "O" podcast. Nice! I have a "new game" I am playing to help me get rid of stuff. I have been doing really well getting rid of my clutter, but when it comes to my Mom's things and memories it is really hard. So I play this game.
It is sort of like the diet "Eat this..Not that." I see so many things that I want to keep but there is no way.
So it's "Keep this..Not that." And this works for me!
It makes me prioritize what items are the most valuable to me. Sure I want to keep all the paper store bought cards Mom had tucked away. But then I would not have room for her sketch book with all her drawings. (Mom was an artist.) So I take a picture of her cards and put them in our recycling bin for pickup.
There are dishes and special vases that she loved, but I have no room for. So I give them away to her friends which makes them happy to have something of hers. And (this is the best part) I use what I keep.
No more waiting for "special" occasions. That way when I am entertaining everyone gets to enjoy the special dishware, serving plates or cups. If something gets broken at least it was while I was using it. I can not tell you how many times I go to unpack some special piece that was put away for safe keeping only to find it was cracked or chipped inside the box.
The "Keep this..Not that" idea makes me concisely think about what I am hanging on to and what it means to me after I am gone. (I don't have any family and I don't want my friends to come into my home and find a huge mess. LOL.)
My neighbor is still helping me with items for a garage sale. Elosie has a sale once every 3 months in her yard and I just bring my stuff over there. It make her yard sale bigger with more various product to sale and afterwards she either packs it away in her spare shed for next time or has Purple Heart to pick it up. Win/Win. Sometimes I get a little change, or at least know that the stuff is being donated to a good cause. I do get sad while I go through Mom's things, but I try to think of it a Treasure Hunt. I never know what I am going to find.