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The Art of Letting Go

This episode we talk about the art of letting go. We discuss the reasons we struggle to let go, what letting go of items means on a deeper level, and some questions you can ask yourself to let go of things you no longer use, need or love. If you want to say goodbye to clutter but you can’t seem to let it go, this episode is just for you.

 

Transcript

BONNIE: Hello and welcome.  This week in the episode we are going to be talking about the art of letting go, we are going to chat about the rationalisations we give to hold onto stuff, how letting go means more than saying goodbye to clutter and why that one time that you let go of something and needed it a week later is still haunting you.

LILY: When you think about letting go Bon, do you think Frozen

BONNIE: Yes, “Let it go…. Let it go……”

LILY: I think a lot of parents of young children probably think that but when you think of letting go for you, has it gotten easier as you have gotten older and more practiced at decluttering to let go of things.

BONNIE: That’s a really good question.  I think there are some things that I have gotten really good at letting go of because I am more defined as a person, you know I have gone through all the teen angst I have done the 20’s, I am in my 30’s, I’ve got my kids, we are not having any more, please, we are done so I feel like there is a bit more stability and security in my identity and so I kind of know what I want and I am pretty good with, I am not going to read that book, lets just let it go, or I am going to pass this on because I know we are not going to use it, or I will give it a trial, like probably the biggest think I do is oh if stuff comes in I will say okay lets try it for a week and if no one is really using it or whatever then we will pass it on to somebody else so yeah I think I am better with letting go.  What about you?

LILY: I think it is something that I have to be really diligent and practice, like it is not, in some areas it is definitely second nature to me and then in other areas it isn’t.  I was a teenager with floor-drobe.  I was a teenager with all the knickknacks, umm when I did go out and start buying things and putting them in you know my blanket box, preparing for one day when I would get married, so old fashioned.

BONNIE: The glory box

LILY: The glory box, you know we talked about my candle collection on our last episode and you know the things you start acquiring in getting attached to, you know when you are setting yourself up, as you say to create that identity for your self it can be really hard to let go of things when you are still feeling like you are in that growth phase and you haven’t reached your destination yet, so it is really interesting that you say that you feel like you have kind of like settled down in a way to be like comfortable with who you are and your identity, so I think for me even though I am now dirty 30 I do

BONNIE: Still feel like

LILY: I prefer

BONNIE: flirty 30

LILY: Flirty 30 oooh,

BONNIE: I like that

LILY: Maybe your husband wouldn’t

BONNIE: That’s true

LILY: But letting go I think is something that it has gotten easier and I think for anyone who is struggling to let go, the more you practice it like any habit, like any new thing, the more you do it the easier it can become because you start training your brain to process things in a new and different way and that’s why this episode I think is going to be really challenging but it is also really an important discussion to have.

BONNIE: Yeah you are right, you need to flex your decluttering muscles and your decision making muscles and this episode is all about how to do that and how to get to that end goal of letting go of something that you are not using, you don’t need and you don’t love.

LILY: When we talk about letting go and when I think about the most challenging stuff for us to let go of there is often a huge emotional mental connection, we can think of things that are really simple to let go of, lets say you have a cardboard box and it got wet, it was going to be practical, you were going to keep it in case you moved or for packing something, it could have come in handy, you have no attachment to it, the box got wet, it has sunken in a bit, it doesn’t actually function as a box anymore, it was so big it is taking up valuable real estate, prime real estate in your house, so when it comes time to go, I might get rid of that, it is quite an easy decision to make, versus you know something that has been passed down through generations of your family, it is maybe a piece of furniture, maybe it is a small trinket that has got a connection to somebody else that has a lot of value for you, maybe for your family, like those 2 things are very different items to try and let go of aren’t they.

BONNIE: You know when you say that story I think back to our hoarder’s episode from the US, it was years ago and there was a lady who had a lot of rotting food and she had this pumpkin that was like is was mush, like it was gross and she had to scoop out some of the pumpkin seeds, and she was like this was such a good pumpkin I need to rescue it’s babies so that I can make more pumpkins and it just, when you were explaining the box thing to me I am thinking there will still be people listening to this and thinking oh no I could make

LILY: I could save that box

BONNIE: I could put that box in the garden as compost, or I could help it get rid of weeds.

LILY: Well that is true, you know you could make a practical use out of it and it is funny how we are all like innovative in different ways too. Like as you were explaining that I was like oh I really would have thought about that

BONNIE: If you really want to keep something you will

LILY: find a reason

BONNIE: Yeah where there is a will there is a way

LILY: Well before we get into like the reasons why it is hard to let you, we should probably define the difference between a reason and an excuse.

BONNIE: Yes and this is really good because sometimes people will give us a reason, this is the reason why I am holding on to this, and really it is an excuse dressed up as a reason.

LILY: So when we think about reasons and excuses, so a reason is more an explanation, this is why, where as an excuse is kind of, its based in a defensive status, it is a self justification

BONNIE: It is more emotional, isn’t it, whereas a reason is more

LILY: It is more defensive

BONNIE: Yeah where I find a reason is more of an objective factual viewpoint where as an excuse might be that more subjective, this is how it is for me.

LILY: Yes so one of the simplest, I am definitely going to go into this in another episode because I believe so passionately about it and so I don’t want to go into too much detail about it today but there is this concept of living above and below the line, not about poverty but it is about our mental processes and how we view the world and long story short, above the line is more of a victor attitude and below the line is more of a victim attitude, and so when we live our life we all go up and down above and below the line, you know when we are exposed to trauma and hard events we dip below the line and other times we are above the line and the idea is to try and live above the line so when you think about a reason versus an excuse someone who is explaining something without the excuses and the blame and the denial would be living above the line where as somebody who is justifying with excuses with blame and it is coming from an emotional defensive place would be living below the line and so that is the difference and today we are going be focusing on some of the reasons and self talk and you will hear that some of these are excuses that we make that we all make for the reasons why we do things and specifically why we can and cannot let go of stuff.

BONNIE: Your example then just makes be think of the Hunger games and being

LILY: Oh why

BONNIE: The victor because I think they call them victors when they win at the end of the hunger games and oh what’s that quote that they say, the one line oh

LILY: do, do, do doo

BONNIE: I love the music. It is so awesome, you are doing the 3 finger thing

LILY: I am, it is not a visual medium but I am doing the 3 finger thing

BONNIE: Oh may the odds be ever in your favour.

LILY: Ahh yes.

BONNIE: Love, love love it. Ok

LILY: Anyway we digress

BONNIE: Back to what we were talking about.  So lets talk about some of the reasons and the excuses why we might actually hold onto things that we feel that we should let go of.

LILY: Yes, so I would say first things first, if I go out and I buy something, maybe it was an impulse buy, maybe I thought it was a good deal at the time, maybe my house was cluttered and I couldn’t find it and so I went and brought another one only to find out that I had it later.  When I then go to declutter it because I literally don’t need it, it is excess, it is filling up unnecessary space in my house, it is hard to let go of because I think I have spent money on this, or this has good value.  This item has value, it is hard to let go of.

BONNIE: And something that is really important to remember when you are feeling what about the money, what about the kids in Africa, what about people who have got no money, why am I just wasting this money and just donating this item when I have spent money on it,

LILY: What if this pandemic goes for years….

BONNIE: Um you have got to think well that money has already gone, it is a sunk cost, the money is not coming back and yeah if it is valuable item to somebody else and you can second hand sell it and get recoup some of those costs and you have got the time and the energy and the mental headspace to do it, great do it but realistically that dress that you brought that you have never worn and you are never going to wear because maybe it doesn’t suit you or it is the wrong size, the money is gone, you have just got to let that go.

LILY: Yes, yeah and we you know we talk about donating and if you can find the right place to donate it that is another way of like getting your head around it and thinking okay this is highly valuable to me, maybe this can be really valuable to somebody else as well.

BONNIE: And I think that thinking is really good, flipping it on it’s head and rather than thinking about oh I have wasted all this money, think about oh this item could bless someone else.  This dress that I have not worn that could be great for a charity like dress for like success, which is one we have here in Australia that helps people who are looking to get back into the work force with out fitting them for their interviews with their clothes, their shoes, their bags that kind of stuff.  Like look for a charity where that business dress you have brought that you have never worn can go and bless someone else.

LILY: And I think, you know this ties into another reason is it is a feeling of regret, like we regret having maybe spent the money or we regret maybe the situation for where our life is and what our home looks like or you know whatever is going on inside us and physically manifesting around us as well and so that sense of regret is something that sits so deep seated within us and it makes it really hard to justify letting go of something. Living in regret it doesn’t spur us forward, it holds us in the past and so finding good reasons to let go of something can help actually ease you from that and it can actually help free you.

BONNIE: Yes and I think another reason that we hold on to stuff which ties in with this dress example might be a loss of identity,  so maybe you brought the business dress because you were going to work in a Corporate office and for whatever reason maybe it’s a health reason, maybe there has been a family um tragedy,  maybe you have just decided it is not the pathway for you anymore.  If giving up that corporate dream or that working in an office dream um is something that you are still struggling and you are maybe grieving about, then letting go of the dress is like letting go of the dream, where is if you have still got the dress you can think, oh I will come back to that later.  It is a backburner but I will come back to that later.  It is like letting go of the dress is closure on that dream.

LILY: Oh there is so much that intertwines that isn’t there, so there is the nostalgia of the past for who we were and so in psychology there is this idea of self actualisation and living as your actual self and living to become your ideal self and what happens is if we are not meeting the mark, if we are not living as our ideal self, it is what’s called incongruent, so it doesn’t align, it makes me feel something is off in how it makes me feel is because I highly value X, Y, Z, you notice I am practicing my Z again.

BONNIE: Yes good girl

LILY: I am Australian, um it doesn’t align, for example I love yoga and I believe in so much about what the practice does for my mental health, and at the moment I am not practicing it, which is wild but it is what’s happening and so I am not, I am living incongruent with that value and so I am not living as my ideal self because my ideal self is someone who does yoga and so when you think about that and apply that to your life and you apply that to your home, if it doesn’t fit your ideal version of yourself it doesn’t feel your values when you look around your home or you look inside yourself, it doesn’t feel good, it feels really yukky and that feeling can make it really hard for us to um be happy in our present and to move forward and there is that Marie Kondo quote and she talks about why some people struggle to let go of stuff and it is because they have this, she says it, you know you are holding either holding onto something from the past and unable to move forward, or there is a fear you have about the future and when I think of like aspirational clutter and the stuff that we struggle to let go of, you know it’s like if as you say if I let go of this dress my identity was about being that business women and I have been out of the workforce for this long and then I have to accept that I am not that business women again at the moment but you can be that person again or you can be a new version of yourself again.

BONNIE: Yeah it doesn’t mean that the dream has gone forever it just means that right now is not the right time and there is that quote, you know the song: “there is a time and a season for everything under heaven” such a good song, I can’t even think of who it is by but we get really hung up on who we were in the past or who we want to be and then there is that fear of the future of who am I going to be, like especially I have found when I became a mum, and that business women identity that I have had kind of got shaken around a little bit and I feel like I don’t quite fit into what society deems is normal because I am not a full time stay at home mum but I am also not a full time worker, I am self employed so I have this lovely juggle going on of raising my kids but also working and owning two businesses so it is difficult to let go of the things that relate to that identity and there is also that fear of the future of am I going to be able to go back to that dream that I use to have or is the dream going to evolve and is it going to change into something beautiful and something different that maybe aligns better with who I am in the future.

LILY: And I think the most classic example for me and I think for a lot of people and maybe even specifically women, definitely for men too, but a lot of women have this ideal version of themselves as far as how they look physically and their weight so you may find yourself unable to let go of a certain pair of jeans or a certain top, or it maybe because you spent big money on them and it maybe that you didn’t spend big money on them but for you it confirms something in your identity that if I let go of this I will never be that size again.  I may never be that size again, I am taking away the chance that I could be that size again.

BONNIE: So that’s the dream and you are grieving the loss of the dream and that is another reason why we don’t want to let go of those pants that are a couple of sizes too small. Because it’s the dream

LILY: Yes and the problem with this thinking, the problem is if we are so busily ruminating so having those thoughts swirling round and round on the past and so fixated and clinging onto it and afraid for the future and worried about our loss of identity and all of these thoughts what they are doing to us they are actually crippling us in our now, we get really fixated on the past and we get really fixated on the future and we often forget we are here right now and I deserve happiness now, I deserve to accept myself and love myself how I am now and when I hold onto these things and I don’t let go and I get fixation on these versions of time I miss the reality of me in this moment living every day when I obsess about that pair of jeans or maybe I don’t even obsess about but when I look at that pair of jeans and can’t let go there is something deeper going on emotionally and mentally, that’s why these decisions are so hard and that’s why this episode is probably going to make people really probably feel a lot of emotions thinking about that stuff

BONNIE: Yeah, one of the other reasons I think how we struggle to let go of stuff is the family heirlooms, the sentimental reasons, so um I find in our generation we don’t like to hold onto our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents stuff but there are people in the baby boomers and above generations who feel, who have been handed down stuff and who feel a kind of sense of guilt about holding onto the family heirlooms, the being the curator of the family stuff.

LILY: Um there is that side and I also think there is the side where it is a connection to the past and I think there is definitely people who enjoy that history but more and more as the generations going forward, you are right it is seemingly to be less and less like you have said before we like to furnish our own houses with our own stuff and not the stuff of our grandparents generations and before

BONNIE: Yes so tastes have changed a lot and I think what is frustrating to see is that our family heirlooms are not being honoured, that people are holding onto them and just putting them in a box or putting them in garage storage somewhere because they want to hold onto it because that item was important to somebody else but they are not actually using it and displaying it and so that’s I think the biggest thing to think about in terms of sentimental clutter and sentimental items and family heirlooms is that if you are not storing it in a way that someone is getting enjoyment out of it what is the actual point of that item existing.  Like the purpose for that item is not being fulfilled, so say it is a writing desk and you know writing desks have this beautiful fold up thing that folds down to be desk and then it closes and you can lock it up and they are just lovely looking but they are not the practical for a lot of people these days because they are quite a small desk and they don’t have a huge amount of storage space so for a lot of people it is something that they might display as a central piece when somebody walks into the house but then a lot of other people they just want to kind of keep it in the garage almost like they are storing it for the next generation but no one is getting any use out of it or any joy out of it in the meantime so what is the point.

LILY: And that’s, your hitting the key mark there right, once it is on display you are honouring that item,

BONNIE: Yes

LILY: But if you haven’t got any space, because your house has so much stuff to be able to honour that item that’s where it gets really like tricky and you have to ask yourself this question, why am I holding onto it, or why am I not making the space to be able to honour this item.

BONNIE: Yeah and when you think about sentimental stuff I had this client who her sister had passed away from cancer and they were very close and she had a lot of stuff in the house that reminded her of her sister or that her sister had given to her and we were doing stuff in the kitchen and she had these two coffee cups that she was using both as penholders and one was really practical and it was a colour she really loved and there was another one that her sister had given her and she said oh my sister has given me this one so I am, want to hang onto this but this is actually the one I use because it is more practical, it is a colour I really love blah, blah blah and so we talked through it a bit and she realised that she had other things in the house that were far more special to her that honoured her sister um that reminded her of her sister rather than this random coffee mug that she had given her.

LILY: And you are making a really good point there and I think we will jump into that later in the episode to kind of talk about how we choose what to let go of and make things special, one more thing I wanted to add is about this idea of it’s a behavioural theory called prospect theory and it is actually based in economics but the whole idea of it is that we are like behaviourally we are inclined for loss of version.  So when we make decisions as people we try to do things that minimise risk, for example lets say you are gambling, and you have a chance of winning $100 and you have a chance of loosing $100, biologically under this theory when we are making that gambling decision it is not an even decision, the loss and the chance of loosing that $100 is actually 50% greater and so what that means simply is that when you make a decision to let go of something in your brain biologically you are predisposed to think of the lose as bigger than a gain  and that’s what can make it really hard to let go of stuff

BONNIE: So you are saying that when I think I want to let go of the book,  my brain is predisposing me to go oh but hang on what if you never get to read it, rather than hey now I have got time to read all these other books that I actually prefer and someone else can get use out of this book that I am not reading.

LILY: That’s right, I think we need to take a quick break and listen to a clutter confession

CLUTTER CONFESSION

Anonymous caller: My clutter confession is that I know someone who collects all their bird feathers, which are a beautiful blue colour, but it is because they are one day going to donate it to some kind people that actually transplant bird feathers onto other birds that can’t fly.

LILY: That is so interesting

BONNIE: I didn’t know you could do that

LILY: No, that’s like, that a commitment to that birds life

BONNIE: That’s amazing but having a real love of all things blue and teal, I totally get that.

LILY: But what is interesting about that confession aside from it not being the person who confessed, someone else that they knew, is they were describing it like the person is keeping them and has been collecting them over a long period of time but hasn’t yet given them

BONNIE: Mmm but this is often why people have clutter and can’t get rid of it because they want to do the right thing with it so we don’t get rid of the e-waste, like the old printer because we don’t know where it should go, we don’t know that there is someone who will actually take it and recycle it so it is like we become a care giver for that item or that collection because we are afraid that no one else is going to appreciate it or take care of it and love it as much as we do.

LILY: So if you haven’t sent in a clutter confession yet please do, head to our Facebook page, send us an audio message of clutter confession an item, a collection something kooky, weird, wacky wonderful whatever it is, let us know, it is anonymous and we would love to hear from you.

BONNIE:  And if getting organised is something on your to do list we have got an organising cheat sheet which outlines our 5 simple steps that you can use to organise any and every space in your home.  Simply  go to our website littlehomeorganised.com.au/organisingcheatsheet to get your free copy.

MUSIC

LILY: Alright so we are talking about this idea of loss of version right, so one of the things that you can do when you are deciding to let go of something is right yourself up a pros and cons list.  So you want to be emphasizing all the things you are going to gain by letting go of this item as opposed to focusing on all of the losses, because when we start to sit down and think about all the what if, what if, what if, what if, we suddenly have 10 different pathways in our head and of course it is stressful and challenging to make a decision so we need to try and zone that back in, put down onto paper what am I going to gain by removing this item from my house and what am I going to loose and if we can really expand out that list of all the pros it is going to make it easier for us to let go.

BONNIE: Yeah I do love a good pros and cons list I have to admit.

LILY: Laughter

BONNIE: What, why is that so funny.

LILY: Of course you do, your Little Miss Organised

BONNIE: Oh okay.  You love a good pros and cons list to, why

LILY: Because I am a sister to Little Miss Organised, of course I do.  Another thing I wanted to talk about is another psychological concept and that is the idea of an illusory correlation

BONNIE: What

LILY: Yeah right, so illusory correlation, so in life we create associations with things, you know like think back to Pavlov dingle the bell

BONNIE: Pavlov

LILY: Pavlov, yeah what did I say pavlova?

BONNIE: No Pavlov I thought

LILY: No, he dingles the bell and the dog

BONNIE: Is dingle a word

LILY: What do you do with a bell

BONNIE: You ring it or you ding it. I think you have been listening to my kids who say Grandma can we ding the ding bell

LILY: Oh my goodness, okay I swear I am getting back on track.  Okay so anyway long story short, your brain makes associations with things right,

BONNIE: Yes

LILY: And sometimes those associations are misplaced and they are based in something that is really really rare and or doesn’t even happen but for some reason we decide to like grab onto that and like stick with it.  A good example of doing this is stereotyping

BONNIE: Ok sure.

LILY: Yeah so I met that one person who in my mind fit this idea of what that person from that ethnic group or from that demographic is like and because of that I now associated all people to be like that.  Small town people are really kind, I drove to a small town in out back Australia, the women in the grocery store is really kind therefore all small town people are kind.  DO you know what I mean.  It is like actually I mean there are kind people in cities too. There are kind people everywhere

BONNIE: Yeah

LILY: You know its like when you like base a theory on like one thing.

BONNIE: Yes

LILY: So illusory correlation can happen when we try to declutter as well, so lets say one of the reasons you are holding onto to items is because you think someone might need it, or it may come in use, right.  Lets say you are holding onto 20 assorted items with that mentality, this may come in handy, one time, one time one of those items comes in handy for a use that you need, you know something breaks and it is a part or you keep it because someone might want to borrow it and so then they do, or you know we talk about the illusive magical dinner party you host and you end up hosting that mega dinner party that is once in 20 years and it does get use, so what it sends a message to your brain then if you are thinking with an illusory correlation is oh this stuff that I am hanging onto

BONNIE: Its useful I used it

LILY: It will definitely come in , it would be wasteful to get rid of it because it will come in handy.  It will get used

BONNIE: So it is like your brain justifies it for you.

LILY: Well yeah, I mean at the end of the day it is you, call it your brain, call it whatever, but year

BONNIE: No, No, No my brain is separate, my brain does some really naughty things, like lets go and buy chocolate

LILY: Oh mine too

BONNIE: It is so naughty

LILY: There is actually a special on at the moment and it is a bad problem at the local grocery store.  Um but yeah sometimes when we are making decisions you know we can affirm the processes in our head for why we haven’t let go of something so maybe it is that thing, maybe for some reason I don’t know you have two sets of dust pans and you have decided, that’s no many, lets say you have 20 sets of dust pans

BONNIE: How many dust pans do you need?

LILY: Well lets say you have got those mental thought processes, this is why I am hanging onto this dust pan and then one time your son comes over and for some reason he has brought his laundry with him as well and he is at university and you feel sorry for him so you do his laundry and you kept that dust pan and he is like actually I need to borrow a dust pan to clean out my car, I went 4 wheel driving on the weekend and it is full of sand and you think oh yes that is one occasion where that dust pan came in handy is that enough of a reason that you need to hold onto an extra dust pan for 20 years.

BONNIE:  Ok so I want to poke a flaw in that story,

LILY: Oh yeah

BONNIE: He is just borrowing it, or is he one of those kids that borrows

LILY: And doesn’t give back

BONNIE: And it never comes back

LILY: Well I mean that would be ideal because then you wouldn’t have to make the decision to let it go

BONNIE: Exactly right, like that would prove the justification for keeping it because  it is like oh hey my son who is living off 2 minute noodles in a poor college dorm, I gave him a dust pan and brush and I saved him $5-$10 go me,  I am going to keep on holding onto all of this practical stuff

LILY: And that’s it, so often these things are like rooted in a place of oh it could be useful, I could help someone, you know but when you look at the overall picture, the overall desire for what you have in your house.  Are you living your ideal self, are you happy with your surroundings, you know and if you are not then you need to start to question some of the reasons, some of the excuses, some of the thought processes going on in your head for why you are not letting go.

BONNIE: And back on that thought that you mentioned before about the loss and the pain, versus the gain I want to focus on more what are the things we are gaining by decluttering,  what are the things that we are gaining by letting go, so there is a bit of list that I have got here and we have talked about a lot of these things before and we will talk about them again multiple times I am sure because they are just so important to remember what we are gaining I think is like looking at the goal and knowing where you want to go.

LILY: So there are plenty of things that we are going to gain by letting go:

  1. More space – so physically clutter takes up space so letting go of it you are going to have more space

BONNIE: Absolutely

  1. More time – more time to spend doing what you want, me time with the people you love, doing yoga, whatever it is that you like to do, your hobbies, you will have more time when you let go of those things

LILY: Absolutely

BONNIE: More money

LILY: Mmm

BONNIE: Not just because you are not buying duplicates but also because you are not paying overdue fees, you are not spending money on stuff that you actually don’t need, because when you have paired down to the essentials you have more confidence in your identity, in your stability, in your situation and you don’t buy things kind of on a whim so much any more.  So it definitely saves you a lot more money.

LILY: Yes and as I said before another thing that benefits you when you let go is that you are going to find these things the first time, I think of the classic, because it is only something we do periodically where we gift wrap a present and it is like where is the sticky tape?

BONNIE: mmm

LILY: Where are the scissors, where is the gift wrapping paper, you know like that should be, if that is a job that you are about to do before you race out the door to the party and you remember oh I have haven’t wrapped that present well when you have let go of all that excess stuff and you have got your stuff organised and you have decluttered, done

BONNIE: Yeah you have a gift station, you know that you can pull that box out and the scissors, the sticky tape and the wrapping paper, it is all going to be there in that one spot.

LILY: When you let go you are also going to have better mental health, there are so much emotional attachment to our stuff and it does have a bigger story and it does reflect how we feel on the inside and our identity when we do actually address that stuff and we start to work through it and process and move forward and we let go of items, it is going to improve our mental health and potentially if physically looking at clutter makes you feel unwell then decluttering it is going to really start to bring back some joy into your life.

BONNIE: And on that vein when you have got better health you have got better relationships with those around you.  When there is less stuff in your home and you have got more time that is more time to have better relationships and I have got a family that I am working with at the moment who have got 3 young kids and the one thing that they keep saying to us is, we have time, we’ve got time to sit down and play a game with our kids, we are not constantly chasing around the house tidying up, cleaning up, we have let go of so much stuff and what we have gained is just immeasurable.  The amount of time that we now have with our kids and it is just beautiful to see.

LILY: It is so awesome and that is the point of this right, we want to be living our best lives, we want to be living congruently with the person that we valued for ourself to be, so if we can let go of this stuff then we are going to be moving towards that ideal self.  So if you are in a position right now at home and you are thinking ok I have got this one item I am think of, how can I let go, what are some of the questions I can ask myself.  We have actually got a few questions here that you can start to implement to think is this item serving me or is it time to go.

BONNIE:  So the first one is, when is the last time you used it? Was it in the last 12 months? The next one is will you use it in the next 12 months?

LILY: Mmmm that’s the whole question of past, present and future, where does it sit?  The other question I would say is, is it cheap or easy to replace?

BONNIE: Mmmm, is the item’s purpose being fulfilled? Is it a book that is being read? Or is it a book that is sitting in a box with a bunch of other books, just collecting dust and silverfish?

LILY: Gross.

BONNIE: They are gross actually

LILY: Umm, I don’t understand silverfish. Why are they called fish?

BONNIE: Maybe because they look like fish

LILY: I just thing they are so unusual

BONNIE: They are, they are very much are silver and I am actually shocked and horrified at how big they can grow.

LILY: Yeah gross

BONNIE: Feeding on your books

LILY: The other think I would say if this might help you to let go of things that have a huge emotional attachment or are highly sentimental, find a way to honour their memory, so

BONNIE: Yes yes

LILY: Pick a few of those sentimental pieces, pick the most important ones and make them the treasures, you know we talk about if everything is special, nothing is special, well pick those few things that do hold that memory of that person, that do have that capture that little bit of history and put them on display and have them in your home so they are not collecting dust, they are not getting, you know they are not rotting, they’re able to live.

BONNIE: Their being honoured

LILY: Their being honoured

BONNIE: Yeah like if your grandmother was an awesome cook and you remember cooking with her, use her apron in the kitchen, use her wooden spoon for goodness sakes, those things are so hard to kill, use whatever the items are. Like I will give you an example, when our Oma passed away she is Dutch, so we have a few delft things around the house, she gave me um a couple of like tea like candle holders and they have got little love hearts etched in to the sides so when the candle is being lit there are these little love hearts that bounce off the walls and I love those things, they don’t go with my décor at all but I keep them in the bathroom for when I have a bath because I stick them in on the sink next to me and I just sit there and I think oh I love this.

LILY: Mmm. So find those things, honour them and you know keep it special and look at it and say yes this is a way to honour the pass but it is also adding value to my now.

BONNIE: Absolutely.  Okay let’s talk about today’s tidy task.  So what we would like you to do this week for your tidy task is we want you to think about those items that you are holding onto that you kind of feel like you should let go but maybe you are not sure about it and I want you to pick one of those items and I want you to ask yourself the questions that we have talked about, we will put them in the show notes for you.  Ask yourself these questions and see if your decision can be made about letting it go, about passing it on to someone else who might give it a second life.

LILY: And you can think about the stuff that we have talked about today, so are you making excuses or reasons for the thinking behind why I can’t let go of this item, are you feeling like you are living as your ideal self and the way you are living right now represents the values that you hold high. Start to really challenge that loss of version that you have within your self to think oh I am worried about what I will loose by getting rid of this instead time to focus on what you are going to gain.

BONNIE: That’s so true.  And if letting go is where you are up to, you are ready to let go, you are ready to get organised, please head to our website and grab that organising cheat sheet littlehomeorganised.com.au/organisingcheatsheet

LILY: And that was a doozy of an episode, we hope you enjoyed it and we want to say thank you so much for tuning in and thank you so much to everyone who has left a rating and review and if you haven’t done that please hop on over to apple podcast and do that, it means the world.

BONNIE: And remember progress not perfection.

LILY: See you later

BONNIE: Bye

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