If letting go was easy the clutter wouldn’t be there.
The TOSS can be tough – we so get that! We shared in SORT First. TOSS Later. that sorting everything first, without trying to decide whether or not to keep the items, makes the toss step easier. When you can see exactly what you have and how much, you get clear about whether to keep or release things. Now we want to give you even more support for this challenging step in S.T.A.C.K.S. © (Sort, Toss, Assign, Keep it up, Simplify).
Here are our top ten tips to make letting go easier:
- Let go only when you are ready. To force the TOSS step is abusive whether we are doing it to ourselves or to someone else. If you let go of even 5% of your things you will free space for the new to come in. From Marla – I learned this from my meditation teacher Mary Nickel, of Time Out Associates, who helped me see that I couldn’t clear a lifetime’s worth of buildup in my body in a 2-hour session or even in 3 months. I have been meditating for 21 years and I still need a clean out every day.
- Let your vision support you. Ask the question, “Does this support my current vision?” If not, be willing to let it go. It is powerful to print your vision and put it on a wall so you can see it often!
- Find an Agency you care about supporting. Let go of the idea that you have to figure out where everything is going. Keep it simple and find one agency that is meaningful to you and donate your things to them. If you have unique, valuable items, trust that someone is willing to help you.
- Believe in win-win. Choose Trust over Fear. Look to the gift that you are passing on to others who will love what you no longer need or want. One of our favorite stories is about a client who kept getting stuck on this step because all of her items were so valuable. They represented thousands of dollars of her time, energy and money. But the stuff was paralyzing her. Finally, the day came when she had to let go. She called in sick, sat still, went deep inside, and called out for inspiration. Within minutes, she jumped up and started hauling all the stuff outside to the front yard. She took it all out along with a big sign that said FREE. Then she sat in her living room all day and spied on the people finding treasures. She let herself witness their joy and delight. It set her free. It was a beautiful way to honor the value of what she was letting go. She was then able to start a meaningful new chapter of her life.
- Trust your body to tell you. A simple exercise is to hold the object, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask for a Yes or No. If your answer is yes, you will feel your body lift and expand. You will feel a YES. If your answer is NO, your body will sink or get heavy or tired. This tells you that the object is draining your life force. It is time to let it go. This works well with clutter clearing tasks also.
- One box, one pile, or one type of item at a time. This will support you in staying present and keep you free of distraction. Keep the other piles hidden in covered banker’s boxes.
- Ask the question “Does this serve me in the current chapter of my life?” Remember all of our clutter tells a story. Is this clutter from a past chapter that you are ready to close so you can get on with the new?
- Always do the TOSS step when you are fresh. Because this step takes so much energy, it is important to give yourself a chance of success by having as much energy as possible.
- Have a temporary staging area. If you can’t let it go and don’t want to keep it, give yourself permission to have a temporary staging box or area. Then choose how long. We suggest no longer than 3 months.
- Lastly, get help if you need it. We have other professional organizers come into our homes seasonally and support us in letting go of what builds up. Because it is our own stuff, it is very challenging for us. If you would like support from a professional organizer, check out NAPO and UPO.
Remember all choices boil down to FEAR or TRUST! You can trust to let go of what no longer supports you and that you will have what you need when you need it.
We want you to live free of clutter and replace it with meaning.
Marla, Kate & Team