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Decluttering & Moving: How to Stay Calm and Move On!

clutter clearing May 05, 2022

A friend, and real-estate agent, recently reminded me that moving is known to be one of the top 5 most stressful life events. She said that often people struggle with the emotions that surface when making a big change such as moving, packing our belongings, and decluttering.  

Decluttering our belongings can be a particularly challenging part of moving for many people. The objects we choose to keep in our homes often have meaning beyond their immediate use. In fact, objects become “alive” to us because of how we relate to them. They can “speak to us” every time we look at them because of the memories and associations they trigger. So sometimes when we let go of an object we’re faced with the feeling that we're letting go of a memory or an association... that somehow we're letting go of a part of ourselves.  

When moving it’s easy to focus on what we’re letting go of but it can be helpful to shift our focus to what we are choosing to keep… and better yet, what we are creating! 

Try to think of moving as a time of beautiful co-creation with the universe. Before you start packing, take time to close your eyes and imagine yourself in your new home. How do you want to feel in your new home? Now imagine cooking dinner, getting dressed, sitting with family or friends on your living room… How do you want to live? Keep only the items that align with your vision. 

If you find yourself having difficulty letting go of something because of the memories and associations it holds, keep the following tips in mind: 

– Be gentle with yourself. It’s natural to have feelings arise when clutter clearing. Try to remember, although not always comfortable, it can be a gift to have feelings come to the surface so you can address them. 

– Reframe the decluttering process. Instead of thinking about what you’re letting of, focus on what you are choosing to keep. What items will you keep that will support and align with your vision for your life in your new home. What items will you keep that represent and reflect the best of you and your family?  

– Ask yourself the following questions: Is this object an important part of my history? Will I use this as a tool to understand myself? Could my children learn from this (keeping in mind that you do not want to weigh your children down with unnecessary baggage)? Spending time with intimate memories from your past may be a healing and empowering experience. However, if looking at an object is not healing or empowering, then it is time to let go of it. 

 – Finally, if you find yourself feeling stressed, take a moment to take some deep breaths and get centered. You may wish to find a quiet corner and think about about your vision for your new home and to be grateful for what is unfolding. Or, you may wish to take a moment to thank your current home for how it has served you. When in a place of gratitude, it's almost impossible to feel stress or worry. 


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