I was organizing a closet for one of my clients who was having a challenge with space. In the back of the closet there were 3 very old and very large plastic bins which were taking up a large portion of her closet. In the box, I discovered memorabilia from her high school days. She was the head cheerleader, student council president, homecoming queen, and voted most likely to succeed. There were so many articles written about her, cards, signs, uniforms, and dried up corsages. Viewing the box was like looking at an entirely different person than the client I had come to know. She gave up thoughts of college and career to marry her high school sweetheart and stay home with her children. She did not view herself as successful, but holding onto the memories made her feel strong and beautiful and capable.
I have seen that over time, those things we hold onto, whether tangible items or emotional baggage; they cause us to begin to unravel until eventually we become lost in a terrible cluttered mess of our own making.
Hers is a story I am familiar with. Like many women, she began her family sooner than she had planned. As a result, she could not part with the thoughts of the person she was and the person she could have been. In our discussions, I was able to show her that she was more than a memory, and her accomplishments as a mom were something to be praised and celebrated! Once she saw herself as a beautiful and capable woman, she was able to make peace with storing her items in the attic.
Excerpts from my 2nd book Uncluttered: discovering strength and purpose in the chaos of life
Lisa Giesler, Professional Home Organizer, Author, Speaker