Decluttering, downsizing, professional organizer Toronto

Bent Over With the Weight of Our Possessions

I was multitasking the other day, listening to a Wiretap podcast on CBC (an acquired taste, I know) and ironing. Jonathan opened the episode by remarking that there was an Islamic or maybe Arabic saying that the correct amount of possessions for a man is not so much that he is bent over with the weight of it all. 

Wow, I thought, ironing away. That is exactly the mantra we need to have in these overstuffed times. 

If there is one thing I have learned so far in my career it’s that everyone can bear a different load of possessions. Generally, we organizers are a minimalist bunch, naturally, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find us entirely sympathetic to what your stuff means to you, or the difficulty you may experience with paring it down. You will feel lighter, and freer as you open up your home to more air, sunshine, and possibilities. You will no longer be bent over with the weight of it all. 

One of my clients had a revelation as we looked through her old craft magazines and quilting books. At first she was adamant that she would quilt again in the future, so we found room for “the good stuff”. But as she looked at those magazines, she said she was no longer the person who had bought them; and in the future she would be someone else again, so what inspired her in the past was no longer relevant. If she got back into quilting one day, her art would reflect a new person. 

Organizers like to use an emotion/memory box to store the bits of who we once were. It isn’t a reflection of our present but still deserves to be honoured. For this client, living in a small downtown house, storage space is limited but that space should be found for storing memories. And, going back to the idea of the correct amount of possessions, keep only the memories that lift you up. Then, tuck them away safely in a clear, waterproof box, and get on with filling the rest of your space with the person that you currently are – with touches of who you want to become. That’s a weight anyone can bear.

Photo by Ives Ives on Unsplash

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