Keep It or Toss It? Do You Love It?

The one thing I ask people time and again when we are working together, sorting through their things and making decisions about what to keep or not, is “Do you love it?” That is such a key question, and here’s why: if you don’t love it – love how you look in it, love looking at it, love how it makes you feel – then why keep it?

“junk” I love and hang as art

If everything has energy, what kind of energy do you think that thing you don’t really like very much is going to have? Our emotions are powerful, and are energy too, and we attract into our lives things that resonate at a similar frequency. Similarly things we have in our life effect our energy. So, that shirt that I have in my closet that I don’t really like, and every time I try to wear it, it bunches up and is uncomfortable, I associate a less-than-desirable feeling with that shirt. Every time I reach into the closet for it I think, “Maybe this time it will fit.” When I know it won’t.  Negative emotions pull me down. Now is that shirt going to ruin my day – no. I chose to remain positive, but what if I had a several shirts that did that, or worse PANTS? Every time I walk into my closet to get dressed I might feel unhappy or discontent.

I hear this one a lot – “My mother/friend/aunt gave me that vase/frame/trinket, I can’t get rid of it”, to which I’ll ask

“Do you love it?” If the answer is yes, that‘s the end of the discussion. If the answer is anything else, then we talk about it.

Sometimes we might not love the item so much as what it represents – the aunt/mother/friend, and that is the part we love (end of discussion). Other times we are only hanging onto it out of obligation. “They gave it to me; I don’t want to make them feel bad”. To which I will ask, “Do they come to your house searching for the item? Would they want you to keep something you don’t like? Would they really be offended? Would they ever know? Do you like the gift giver?” The idea isn’t to deceive the gift giver, but to be true to yourself. This is your space, you live there. This is your life; you are in charge of it. You get to make the decisions that are best for you. No one wants to hurt another person’s feelings, but most of the time the gift giver will never know you got rid of the gift.

a favorite trinket from my aunt

Every time you encounter that unwanted item, it interacts with you on a subconscious level. You know it’s there, and when you don’t like what it looks like or what it represents, that’s energy pulling you down. “Re-gifting” wouldn’t be a household word if we all loved every gift we ever got and/or everyone kept the gifts that really weren’t desired. The stronger the feeling associated with the item, the stronger the pull – either up or down – positively or negatively. You create the energy associated with the object (most of the time).

I realize gifts aren’t the only way we acquire things we don’t necessarily want. Inheriting family items is another – where there’s an implied obligation to hold onto it. There are many other scenarios out there where we just can’t part with things that we aren’t in love with, which makes it all the more important to part with the things you can.

One sure way to make your house more of a home is to fill it with things that you really love. I have been working on that in my own house. I decided a change was in order. Last week I organized the kitchen and kept out only a few key items that I liked and wanted to see. {Pictures of my son on the fridge, my sister’s vase, the bowl from my friend} It’s way better than the clutter that was up there before just taking up space. I moved some things around the house as well, to get a fresh perspective. I brought in some things that I really enjoy. Today, a friend came over and remarked that it just felt better in my house.

adorable art created by my son

Decluttering and organizing are not only about having less, but that what you have is what you love. Yes, having a clean organized space is visually pleasing, and makes you feel good and is important, as is wrapping your environment with things that you connect with in a positive way, like your child’s kindergarten picture, your wedding photo, the vase from your sister or bowl from a friend. It’s all connected, and it’s connected to you. Chose wisely!