aim4order professional organizer

Letting go of the past

letting go of books
 “Collect moments, not things”
~ Author Unknown

The Role of JOY

letting go of stressI have a client who has really taken the “Does this bring me JOY?” seriously. With certain items, she asks herself this question and she is able to honestly assess her reaction to the item and use that as her guide. If something makes her laugh or smile, she’s more likely to keep it. If it causes her to feel the least bit sad or regretful, out it goes. She has made humongous strides in the few weeks we’ve been working together. This is a special lady who has been in a serious depression for about 2 years and is finally coming out of the darkness. VERY exciting and rewarding to help her discover the world outside her home. This is what I love best about my work… the freedom and joy I witness every time someone lets go…


Letting Go…

letting go of thingsMany of my clients are in the process of dealing with all that remains from their loved one(s) who have passed away. It’s very overwhelming to confront the past and make decisions about things that have been at rest for many years. To greatly reduce the stress and cost of moving, limiting what you take could be the number one way to have an easier move.  Even if you’re not moving, many clients tell me that they don’t want their family members to have to go through their volume of stuff when they’re no longer around.

Getting started is difficult – both emotionally and physically. I hope that some of these tips can help you to have movement with the more sensitive things in your home that need to be dealt with.

  1. Books – paying to move books is extremely expensive. IF you are not planning to read the books, let them go. Google “Sell or donate books” and you will see many options. Be ruthless when it comes to taking books with you. They’re heavy and they take up space and they start to smell when they’re very old. And yes, I know this is a sore subject – don’t shoot the messenger (me!). ONLY the creme de la creme should be allowed to go with you. If you or your family member authored a book, consider taking one or two copies verses every copy you might possess now.
  2. Photos – IF you take a few minutes and look at a few packets of pictures, you will quickly see that MANY of the old photos are duplicates, blurry or places and people you don’t remember. LET them go. Really. It’s not worth the space they take up nor is it worth scanning thousands of pictures that you may never look at. I know this sounds harsh, but it’s very disheartening to see pictures thrown away once a person has passed away. Families don’t have room for all of your pictures…they have their own!
  3. Magazines – There is very little that you can’t find on the internet. The magazine articles are not valuable. The magazine articles, in most cases, do not have rare information. Magazines also get yucky and smelly as they age and they’re heavy. Let them go…or at least let a bulk of them go.
  4. Dishes – If you are moving, chances are you are moving to a smaller location. Are you really going to have large parties where you’ll need your grandmother’s china or your champagne glasses?
    Do you really want to give up your precious cabinet space for things you will rarely use? I often joke with my clients – if they ever run out of glasses, please call me and I’ll bring some over. Let them go… or at least let a bulk of them go.
  5. Notes and Cards – This is tough – especially notes and cards written by dear ones who have passed… see if you can consolidate everything into one container. Consider scanning or taking photos of some of the letters and cards so you don’t have to physically take everything with you. Putting notes and cards into albums is another option. But think twice or three times before boxing up tons and tons of past notes and cards… and yes, this is at the top of the ‘really hard to do’ list.

Per usual, I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. If you are stuck about letting go of your loved ones’ stuff, please contact me. It is possible and even enjoyable to identify what’s really worth taking with you and being at peace with letting the rest go. It would be my honor to help you.

So please remember – it’s the memories that you will hold dear… the physical stuff can cause stress and strain… it’s ok to keep extra special items… but be very selective and always ask yourself, “Would my loved one want me to keep ALL of this?”

“Helping Baby Boomers and their Parents Lighten their Loads.”

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home, contact me. Together, we can transform your home into a happy, tidy place where you can feel at peace. We can also get you ready for your next move… more enjoyable, faster and easier!


Cindy Bernstein, Owner and Professional Organizer



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