Is Your Home a Museum of Grief?

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Author Elizabeth Gilbert has a thought-provoking question which might help you and me de-clutter and grieve at the same time: Is your home a museum of grief?

Do you hang on to mementos and journals that make you cringe every time you see them? Are you crestfallen every time you step into your storage area and see all the unfinished projects you could have-would have-should have done?

It might be time to let go. The things that are not helping you reach your goals, the items which drain your energy are taking up space in your house and in your life. Space that can be used for the people and things that you love.

Last year, I began to give away, recycle or toss all the things I just haven’t gotten around to doing, or the things that caused me unhealthy grief to keep.

The hardest part for me was ridding myself of a few rejection notices that I had received for internships in school many years ago. I had carefully organized, alphabetized and labeled the rejection notes in a binder with other old school papers. I think the idea was to have them in case of a documentary about my life after I had become a successful screenwriter. It would make for great drama.

I finally tossed them and I haven’t missed them for a second. I don’t know why I kept them. I suppose formal institutions were a part of my identity, even the unpleasant parts. I did keep the one acceptance notice which, combined with my hard work that summer, lead to another summer internship the next year. You only need the one acceptance to begin.

A problem area for me has been THE OUTFIT! The Outfit is what I wore on the evening that a person whose company I enjoyed first called me “gorgeous.” Circumstances are such that we’ve since parted ways, never really knowing each other, but the The Outfit remains a stronghold. As if keeping it will bring back an opportunity. It won’t. But somehow I’m attached to it. I carried it around for nearly a decade before I finally gave it away to charity last year. Have I missed it? Every now and then, but for the most part, no.

Is your home a museum to grief? What ideas do you have to de-clutter these kinds of items? Do you have any prevention ideas?

Still need help? Find great de-cluttering ideas from Taylor over at Home Storage Solutions.

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