If you experience resistance to reviewing your things, you may not be giving yourself permission to declutter.
I’ve worked with lots of clients who find it difficult to get started or complete their declutter project. If things have built up, it can feel overwhelming, you might don’t know where to start, may find it hard to make decisions about what to do with things and may worry about the decisions you have made.
Often, the items have crept in or hung around too long; thoughtful gifts; items inherited from loved-ones; purchases made with hard earned money; items from a special event or era. You might feel obligated to keep them or be the custodian of these special objects. And once they arrive, they outstay their welcome, but releasing them can feel like an impossible task.
One way to overcome this barrier is to give yourself permission to declutter.
When you give yourself permission to declutter; you take control of the situation. You allow yourself to make decisions and to take action. Whereas the stuff around you might represent the past, others wishes or preferences and weigh down your home; giving yourself permission to make a change removes a barrier, enables you to put your wishes first, and to focus on the things and activities you love.
Give yourself Permission
Below are three ways to that permission can help you to declutter your home.
Permission to release the things that no longer serve you
It’s so easy to shop, acquire things, and we receive gifts or inherit things all the time. Often things build up and we don’t even notice it, until we do!
When it’s time to work through it all, it can feel hard to let things go. There are many reasons we feel like this, not least because it’s a normal human trait to place a high value on the things we own – even if we might not wish to acquire them again, given the choice!
Give yourself permission to let the go with these useful phrases:
- I don’t use this but if I need it again in future, I can borrow/hire/buy second-hand/buy it again
- It’s wasted by not being appreciated in my home, if I release it someone else can enjoy it
- I am freeing up my home for the things (or space) that I value the most
- There are lots of other things that are more important to me
- I can hold on to the memory by taking/finding photos, keeping a diary entry about the item, but I don’t need to keep the item itself
You have permission to let it go.
Permission to get some support
I know that asking for help can sometimes feel like giving up, but getting support with a task that is important to you can be the difference between achieving your goal and not. Whereas you have other strengths, you may not have the expertise, energy, time or headspace to work on everything yourself. It’s more efficient to find someone who can help you.
We all have natural preferences or styles that can make it easy or more difficult to get things done – for those of us (I include myself here) that need deadlines, accountability and extrinsic reward, a professional organiser can provide this kind of support too.
If friends and family have the skills and interest, ask them for help. They may be able to give moral support or practical help. You’ll also find online groups, forums, podcasts and TV programmes that can offer ideas and encouragement.
Much like hiring a gardening, a personal training or a cleaner; a professional organiser lives and breathes their specialism. Professional Organiser’s have the knowledge, skills and experience to help make a changes. And because organising and decluttering is their favourite thing to do, they have the headspace to think about these things and come up with creative ways to do things, where you may not.
You have permission to ask for help.
Permission to prioritise your needs and wishes
Decluttering is a difficult task because we get attached to the things we own. They are familiar, may be comforting and we may feel obliged to keep them for a whole range of reasons.
Give yourself permission to prioritise the things you love and want around you. To create an environment that supports your mental health, the things you love to do the most, your favourite things and happy memories and your personal style.
Focus on keeping the things that you love, that make you feel great and that support you and your lifestyle, rather than the things you feel obliged to keep because they were gifted, cost money or were valued by others. You have permission to prioritise your life in your home.
If you want to dedicate some space to keeping memories this is a nice way to create balance, but do this intentially and prioritise space for your life and your treasures first.
It’s not selfish, in fact it’s the reverse. If you look after yourself, you will have the energy to love and support others in turn.
You have permission to put your needs first.
What do you need to give yourself permission to do in order to create the life you want?