De-clutter This Mess, Vanquish Your Stress: Positive Psychology Purge


Have you ever dared to de-clutter? To de-stress and purge your mess?

I promised myself last year, that this year, I would start letting go of stuff. Why? Because it’s time. Not to mention my house being sucked into the “stuff sink hole”. The urge to purge is ripe and ready.

Our house is groaning, like it ate too much at Thanksgiving. Yes, it is wonderful to have been blessed with so many cool these possessions. But there comes a time when stuff is too blamed much. I gulp. Over 4 decades of psychological supplies are taunting me. I know I have at least 50 paintings or some sort of art from the my office, Ken’s office, or from our remodeling.

I did mention 30 of the largest Tupperware containers known to man lounging in our basement, didn’t I?

Mostly, it’s my holiday gear for the office and home. When I owned my building, we did it up grandly. Some therapy clients told me they made extra appointments around the holiday to make sure they would have fun savoring our over the top wild assortment of decorative treasures. And between home and the office, I had 4 trees decorated to the rafters. Literally.

I admit, Halloween, Christmas and Easter were times our pupils widened with delighted. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces added many micro-moments of love and filled up my positive resonance coffers. What fun!

But that was then.

And my days at the office are gone.

So are giving huge parties when I “needed” these items. The grand occasions with over 100 invitees have been gone with the wind for 25 years.

Now I work from home. I “see” kind folks on the telephone or Skype. I don’t decorate for holidays. I don’t miss it, either. Very few clients come to my home. I have closed the decorating book. It’s OK. I have great photos to remember the good ole days’ fantastic times. My staff and I have lasting positive reminiscing memories etched in our happy brains.

Enter Ken. He has been retired for several years, but our son, Jason, now president of Architectural Forest Products, this winter finally took over Ken’s office. Over three decades of Ken’s personal gear, office art and supplies have now joined mine in our lower level. A prince, he has a better attitude than I. ‘Just get rid of it.” I try on those words, but they seem way too large.

Then there are 11 boxes of Mom/s beloved mementos.

Mostly paperweights, photos, and travel keepsakes. One person’s life legacy. This is a colossal undertaking. These are things that mark my whole existence, all textured with magic memories. Not to mention the tender time we shared at her assisted living when we sorted through her possessions together. Another gulp.

I think of my greatest strength, Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence.

How these lovely decorations/entities have made my heart sing. But now it’s time to be grateful for my grit. Let my passion and perseverance reign in my art-loving heart. I need to be brave, too. Maybe add perspective, to sweeten the pot. “Simplify” is my new buzz word. My neurons fire up the song, “Get Over it!”.

More Stuff

I need to put on my big girl party pants and gift my Christopher Radko and Snoopy ornaments to the kids and grand kids. The ton of scrap booking supplies need to go bye bye, too. Way difficult. The glassware’s gotta go, too. I know! And when is the last time I used my silver and china?

What is the hardest to divest? MY BOOKS! Ugh. My 8 bookshelves, some floor to ceiling are screaming, “Mama, don’t leave me!” I grit me teeth, “Someone else can love you, too!” I am letting go, divesting, bit by bit.

I gaze at my books. They mirror my history.

I lovingly pick them up. I stroke their covers, smile as if I were holding a baby and muse, “My life sits on my bookshelves.” A savoring sigh flashes by. But the past is past. It surely isn’t easy saying good-bye. My ipad is not a decent substitute. I can’t feel the solid pleasure of real pages. I am in love with my books. I mourn their loss. I rationalize I am recycling. I tell myself others will enjoy them. But…this is not a scene for sissies.

So what about you?

What strengths do you need to power-up to get your de-clutter engine energized?

Did it happen because you moved? Or down-sized? Or like me, were you feeling squeezed out of your own house?

I’d love to hear from you. Do you want/need to let go of something?

What has worked for you in the past? I might wrap my brain around one of your strategies and help our house win at weight loss. I’m thinking I might need someone here with me to nudge me along the positivity path of letting go. Would that help you, too? Yes, a strong person to help me unlock the vice-grip I know I have around some of my treasures. I hear myself yelling, “Please Mr. Custer, I don’t want to let go!” moments.

Perhaps a little positive psychology re-framing would work here: “How nice it will be to pay my treasures forward to the welcoming hands of another.” Yep, that works.

What would you need to utter to enhance your ability to let go of clutter?

What character strengths would you call forth?

Wait…Is that you I see heading to your basement? Wanna race?


Want to know more about how to harness your strengths? Check out my book on Kindle. Nothing like saving space.