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The Ties That Bind

I’m not going to lie, last week was hard all around. Nothing horrible happened,  it was just emotionally trying in nearly every facet of my life. Not wanting to be a downer, just being real because I heard from many of my friends that they too were struggling last week. Maybe it’s the change in weather; sunny summery days are most likely put away to be enjoyed next year, getting into the groove of school. Whatever the reason is, it’s pretty much stopped me in my tracks. Then it got me thinking, this emotional hold that has taken over, the emotional side of anything really, is the very reason many people can’t let go of “things.” (I know that may seem like a large leap, but i’m always thinking organizing.)
Think about it…

No matter if we bought something or it was given to us, there is meaning behind it both positive and negative. To spend money on something only to give it away, sell it, or throw it away is difficult because someone had to work to earn the money to purchase it. If it was given to you, most likely it was given to you by someone who means or meant something to you. To dispose of that item may make you feel like you would offend them or you’re trying to get rid of them. However, holding on to the physical object may cause you a life time of burden.

1) Purchase items with intent and purpose, don’t settle.
I have been guilty of this on many occasions. Many. Occasions.

Cribbs Style - Professional Organizer, Charleston, SC
The rug on the left I settled for until I finally found the original rug I wanted. (Porch isn’t done just yet.)

I have had a vision in my mind and out of pure impatience bought something else that was close enough.  When in all actuality it wasn’t “close enough.  Later I found myself disappointed and ended up spending more money getting what I originally wanted. (The yellow rug above is still in my trunk waiting for me to take it back. Oopsies.)  Make a plan, figure out a what you’ll need, and either save the money for each item or gradually buy them to complete your project.

2) Give it to someone who will get a lot of use out of it.
We kept our girls Baby Einstein DVD’s until this year, they are 8 and 7. I kept them mostly because I didn’t want to let go of the idea of there not being another baby, but also because I didn’t want to forget the sounds that played when they were a babies too. Instead, I gave them to a neighbor who had mentioned on the local mom swap that she was looking for those DVD’s.  Not only did it give me satisfaction knowing that someone will probably cherish them as much as we did, but also they have a more relevant use for them than we do right now. Win-win.

3) Make it into a keepsake.
Our family has a running joke about a shirt that I gave to my dad.  He wore it ALL the time and it got to a point that in some holiday pictures, it was getting really difficult to tell which year and holiday was which one.

Cribbs Style - Professional Organizer, Charleston, SC
My daughter Kennedy’s first year of life: Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas and getting ready to have her little sister.

Three years ago my dad passed and that shirt was the first thing that I grabbed going through his stuff. It was him, even though I know it’s not really him, but I won’t be able to ever get rid of it. Ever. There are companies out there that will turn your favorite item into a keepsake pillow or even a keepsake bear.

Source: etsy
Source: etsy

An article I found on Yahoo that even talked about upcycling other objects into wearable keepsakes.  For right now I have his shirt in a safe place until I decide the special what exactly I am going to do.

4) Get your money back.
Recently I spoke with a young lady who still had her rehearsal dinner dress from her first marriage. The only reason she kept it was that it cost so much money to purchase, but really she hated the dress; then and especially now. I told her to get rid of it… immediately! Not only was it a constant reminder of a relationship that ended, it was also taking up space. This goes for anything you have! If you’re on Facebook, check to see if there is a local swap site to sell it or take the item to a consignment store that will buy the item from you.  My biggest profit has come from my girls clothes and toys. (Show momma the money.)


Then with the money you profit, either treat yourself to something new or save your money for something big down the road.

Aside from the typical “one day” I’ll use something, often times there is a deeper reason that we hold on to the “things” in our lives. However, don’t let the “things” consume you; if everything is important then nothing is really important.  Evaluate why you have held onto something and if truly has a deeper meaning or moves you strongly, it’s ok to hold onto it for another day. I have a trunk of keepsakes that I periodically go through to not only remember special times in my life, but also to see if there’s any way I can incorporate it into my life right now. Keep in mind though that if you decide it’s time to move on, doesn’t mean that you have to erase that memory, those you can keep for a lifetime.

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