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STREAMLINE YOUR STUFF: Could you walk away from old habits and adopt new ones?

A few weeks ago, The Minimalists posted an essay on their blog entitled Prepared to Walk Away. As many of you may know, I have been reading their work for a few years but for some reason this piece really struck a chord and got me thinking and asking myself the same question. Could I walk away from everything in my life? Well, no, I couldn’t. Could you?

I could probably walk away from all my material possessions. I’m not saying it would be easy, but it could be done, and I don’t think it would cause me any long-term trauma. Although I let go of much of what I used to own over the last few years, but I still have attachments to stuff. I have created a comfortable living space which is decorated exactly the way I want it to be. Even though the furniture, artwork and area rugs are just stuff, I would be sad to walk away from those things.

In the essay Joshua Fields Millburn writes, “Being able to walk away means I won’t ever get too attached to my belongings and being unattached to stuff makes our lives tremendously flexible — filled with opportunity.” Well, when he puts it that way it does give me permission to let go of my stuff and imagine what my life could be like if I didn’t assign so much importance to the space I live in and the things in it. In my work with clients I give them permission to let go of a lifetime of stuff that’s holding them back. So, if my stuff is holding me back, perhaps I need to walk away?

He also writes about habits in this same context. Can you walk away from old habits and adopt new ones that will help you move forward in your life? Habit change is absolutely something I work on with clients almost every day. The habit of throwing things on the floor or filling horizontal surfaces full of stuff doesn’t really serve anyone in a positive way. I suppose the question is, would the effort required to change that habit be worth it?

I have been working with a couple of clients over the last few weeks who are selling their homes. Those clients will be walking away from the home they may have lived in for 10, 15, 20 years or even longer. They will be leaving behind a home full of memories and my hope is that they will also let go of a lifetime of stuff so they can walk into a new home and a new life. Life certainly is a journey and so is our relationship with stuff.

Speaking of journeys, if you know anyone who is downsizing this summer, we got the exciting news a few weeks ago that we have been renewed for Season 2 of The Big Downsize for VisionTV. Woohoo! So, that means we are looking for two clients who would be willing to let us film their downsizing journey in return for fully complimentary services from yours truly. Please get in touch with me if you or someone you know is interested. We’ll make it fun, I promise.

And speaking of The Big Downsize, if you missed Season 1 it will air again on VisionTV on Mondays at 10:30 pm AT starting June 10 or you can watch online after each air date at https://www.visiontv.ca/shows/the-big-downsize/.

Jane Veldhoven owns Get Organized by Design in Halifax and loves working with busy people to help them de-clutter, redesign, and redecorate their spaces, move to a new home, or renovate their existing home.

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