What’s with all the stuff? The “things” that surround us; an old sweater we used to wear, the stack of books we’ve never read, that chair we always thought was comfortable but never sit on. All of these “things” are a piece of us and most simply represent emotional ties. When one declutters they're actually touring life — past, present and future. No wonder decluttering is so difficult! To get rid of that stack of books is also to renounce the aspiration you once had to read them but that’s not always so negative; to get rid of the chair is to embrace a new direction for your home and throwing out that old sweater will prepare you for a fresh look.
We have a tendency to spend our lives outside of the current moment. We can sit for hours reorganizing the past or considering the possible future but as we do, the present moment becomes lost to us. By decluttering life of items that have no tangible use we are allowing for more physical space but more importantly, more mental space in which to branch out.
So how do we know what to keep and what’s just taking up space? The great 19th century philosopher and designer William Morris once said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” It’s that simple. If something doesn’t immediately please you aesthetically or doesn’t serve a real function, you don't need it.
Nurturing the ability to let go of the past is an incredibly important foundation for building a healthy and happy future. Decluttering is simply a physical manifestation of letting go. It will be hard but by following this first of the five steps and ridding yourself of all the junk, you’re going to find new freedom in your life. I can promise you're going to feel a lot better in a sleek new space.