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  • Writer's pictureJen Waldon

Stuffing Steals Serenity

Updated: Oct 31

Don't allow "stuff" to steal the peace, joy, and calm in your home.

Imagine this...

Guests are arriving soon and you are hurriedly stuffing things in spaces that will be out of sight, out of mind for the moment. You're painting a facade of "Our life, our home is in order. Welcome to a place of serenity!". They arrive and compliment you on your beautifully organized home, and they marvel at your ability to keep life from cluttering your nest. You take the compliment on the outside, but inside you feel a sense of guilt because you know if they open that closet door, that room, that drawer, they'll see that your stuff has been stuffed, and your true state of chaos is now exposed. Stuffing has stolen your serenity.

Or, you look around the house assessing what's around and wonder, "Where did all this come from?" or "Why do I have all this stuff?". Closets full of abandoned memories, boxes full of hand-me-downs and memorabilia, shelves full of things that you've accumulated but don't even remember their significance. You feel cluttered, messy, unsorted. When you look into these spaces you lose your sense of calm, peace and remembrance. Stuffing has stolen your serenity.

I know this feeling all too well. In fact, this might be the #1 reason I've grown in my passion to pursue helping others with organization. We accumulate things over time, things we "need", things we are gifted, things our kids create, things that are passed down from generations, things that we buy to remember that time spent experiencing. We give value to each thing we keep because, in the moment, there is an importance about them. You honor the function of something you bought. You honor the gesture of a gift. You honor a childhood milestone. You honor the importance to family legacy. You honor the memories made. Now you are left with a lot of things accumulated over time, overflowing in every nook and cranny of your home. What once brought joy, purpose and appreciation now brings overwhelm and a sense of clutter.

Why do we hold onto things? Why can't we let go?

  1. Guilt that we are being wasteful or ungrateful.

  2. Fear of forgetting a memory or milestone.

  3. Belief that things state status.

We ignore that amidst all this stuff we feel stuck in our mess and consumed by our clutter because we are too busy feeling worried about what it might feel like or what might happen if we let go. So we stuff more and more into our spaces, continue to accumulate, and over time we lose the serenity we desire in our homes.

So, what do we do?

We stop stuffing and start honoring our things and our space. If something is worth keeping it deserves an honored space in our homes. That doesn't mean it must be displayed for everyone to see but it does mean it should have an intentional place to live where it will not lose its purpose and significance.

How do we stop stuffing and start honoring?

We A. C. T. Assess. Categorize. Transform.

Assess | Take time to look at what you've accumulated and begin to assess areas of your home where serenity it lost; where calm, order, peace, joy and efficiency aren't present.

Task: Make a list of the areas/spaces in your home that need attention.

Tip: First attack areas designated for "storage" to make "living space" for items that should not be out or displayed every day.

Categorize | Within each space place items in categories.

Task: Put items into four categories: Function, Treasure, Esthetic, Let Go

Tip: If you see sentimental or purposeful value in everything you own, recruit a friend or professional to help you assess what truly holds significance.

No matter the category, everything you keep should be able to hold an answer to this question, "What purpose does this item serve in my life?" No solid purpose...Let it go!

Transform | Take your time to transform stuffed places into serenity-filled spaces. Every area in your home, even your storage spaces should give you a sense of serenity. Your home should honor function, preserve treasures, or display style.

You are not alone if getting rid of things is difficult. You are not alone if day-to-day accumulation is out of hand. Don't feel guilty. Don't be afraid. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help. You deserve a home that brings joy, peace, purpose and calm to all who step over its threshold. Stop stuffing away the things in your home that matter and the things that don't. Honor your space and serenity will return!

Need a little or a lot of help bringing serenity back?

New Heights | Personal Solutions can help you get on track.

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