When you look around your home, do you see a collection of things that represent your past and a lifestyle long gone, or do you see a home that represents your current self?  Maintaining the past and all the possessions that went with it can be very time consuming and can keep us in a holding pattern, making transition difficult.

You have probably worked very hard giving to your family and/or to the community.  It’s time now to give back to yourself – reinvent your home to reflect your present pursuits and make room for new ambitions.  Letting go of sentimental attachments is not easy and can be a very emotional experience, but purging can also be extremely exhilarating and liberating.

  • Start by placing a large bin in your garage and/or your laundry room.
  • Then, room by room, collect all the items that you no longer use and place them in the bins.  This could be – outdated clothing, books that you have read or don’t intend to read, art pieces that you are tired of looking at, or gifts that you never really identified with.
  • Eliminate dust-collecting ornaments and keep only a few functional ones, like vases, clocks, and candles.
  • Keep just a few recent photos on display – the rest go into an album to be brought out as you wish.
  • You may have projects that you started but never had the time or inclination to complete.  Most likely you feel guilty and anxious every time you come across them.  Give them away to a crafter’s group or the women’s centre and you can feel good about your donation instead.
  • Have you been saving items to pass down to your children some day?  Find out if they even want them – then, if they do, pass them on, and if they don’t, add them to your give away bins.
  • Once you’ve decluttered, give your home a fresh new look to further awaken your space.  If new furnishings or paint aren’t in the budget, consider Redesign – this popular concept uses your existing furnishings in creative ways to transform your rooms.  Sometimes just reconfiguring your furnishings and accessories can give you a much needed change without making any purchases.
  • To give yourself and a friend a fun change of scene – try exchanging some furnishings, art, or accessories for a few months.
  • Last, but most important, deliver the bins to your favourite consignment store or charity so these items don’t mysteriously make their way back into your home.  There are some charities that will come and collect them if you would prefer not to do it yourself.

If this process is simply overwhelming, a Professional Organizer or ReDesigner has the training and creativity to make dramatic improvements in your home.  Whatever you decide – a little planning and persistence can produce a more personalized space that supports and reflects the real you.  Enjoy the freedom that letting go will bring!

Written by Neila Morrison & Published in Beyond 50 Magazine