I am so “normal.” Even though I am a professional organizer and people may think it’s easy for me to stay organized – it’s not. Making organizing decisions to keep or donate can be challenging for all of us.
Recently we were organizing some things around the house. I asked my kids to take their pile of stuff I had gathered and put it away. One of the things in my son’s pile was his clay monster. He made it in elementary school. He is now in High School.
“I don’t want this,” He said.
“Don’t you want to put it in your memory tub?” I asked.
“No,” He said.
“Don’t you want me to keep this so you can show your kids one day?!”
“No,” He said looking at me with his are-you-CRAZY-why-would-I-want-to-show-this-dumb-clay-monster-to-my-kids face.
“Are you sure? Your brother has one that he made and its in his memory tub.”
“I’m sure. If you want it you can keep it but I don’t want it,” He stated flatly but very confidently.
That put the next decision on me. I’ll have to put it in my memory tub if I decide to keep it.
Sometimes the little decisions are harder than the big ones.
I asked myself these questions:
Does it bring me joy?
Will I enjoy seeing this in 20 years?
Will we miss it and wonder what happened to it?
Could I live without it?
What is the worst thing that would happen if I got rid of this?
What is making this so hard for me? Am I holding on to his childhood?
If I decided I did not want to keep it would I throw it or donate it? Throwing away my child’s creation, the only clay monster he ever made, seemed wrong but do I donate it? Who is going to want that?
None of these questions seemed to help me make a decision so I put his monster down.
Delayed decisions = CLUTTER.
It was now clutter.
As I sit here writing this I don’t know what happened to it. It happened a couple of months ago and I can’t remember what I did with it. See, I have a hard time making decisions!
What about you? What was a hard organizing decision you’ve made recently or are in the process of making now?
My best advice…
Organizing is like peeling an onion. You do it layer by layer. With each organizing session you go a little deeper. It’s okay to let the super hard decisions go right now. It’s a deeper layer than you’re ready for.
Make the decisions you can now and save this one for later. Don’t get hung up on this one clay monster. Move on to the multitude of other items that need to be organized right now.
Here are some suggestions that were emailed to me by a few of my clients.
- I found that if I take a picture of the item, it becomes much easier to part with! I can always hang onto the picture to conjure up the memories associated with the object without having the actual object clutter up my space. I have 3 kids who also made the clay monsters… lol…. After so many years of living in my “museum” of kids’ creations, I finally parted with the stuff they didn’t want to keep in their memory tubs and I don’t feel the least bit regretful thanks to my digital museum in the Cloud (iCloud). ~ T. D.
- I DID keep ONE clay animal that each of my daughters made in elementary school. I display them proudly on a bookshelf. I know I would regret pitching them. ~ D.R.